Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Does God Say to Parents of Obese Kids?

The Bible says: “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). Child abuse laws are very stringent in this country and one common abuse that is easily detected is starvation. If the state finds out that a parent or parents are not feeding their child properly or enough the child could be seized from their parents because through starvation the child may die. But then on the other hand obesity is killing many children. Steven Galson: the Surgeon General of the US in a conference in March, 2008 said: “childhood overweight is among the foremost health challenges of our time”.
It is generally accepted that obesity causes diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, liver diseases, loss of libido, hypertension, female infertility and a lot more. Consequently parents who are overfeeding their children are indirectly contaminating them with these ailments. So tell me why they should not be charged? How much longer would they wait to take away the fat kids from abusive parents?
I do acknowledge that there are some kids that are obese not due to overfeeding but due to some other factors. This lesson is on those who falter in child upbringing. Obesity is one abuse that falls into two categories: physical and emotional of the four types of abuses. Physical in the sense that the child’s body is temporarily or at times permanently destroyed and emotional because the child’s self confidence is eroded. As you know; very few fat people have self confidence. If a parent could be charged with physical abuse if the child was not given enough food why is he or she not charged if he/she gives more to the destruction of the child? If parents are charged for inadequate affection and nurturing why are they not charged when they feed their kids like Congolese frogs that eat until their stomachs explode?
People should eat for strength and not for eating sake (Eccl 10:17). In the days of Israel gluttons and drunkards were to be lapidated (Deut 21:20). As you know well, gluttons and drunkards end up wretched (Prov 23:21). In Proverbs 23:1-3 the glutton is advised to put a knife on his or her throat. Thus beseeched to stab their appetite.
Nonetheless, if you are obese, the secret is in reducing how much and what you eat. The second is physical exercise. Even the Bible acknowledges the importance of physical exercise when it states that: “for bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (I Tim 4:8). One neither needs a physical trainer nor a gym to lose weight. Yet parents allow their kids to sit on the TV for hours, replace rest time with video games and time to learn etiquettes with phone garrulity. The next thing that we need is the fruit of the Spirit. Religions that encourage fasting do not have fat people. Show me how many fat monks, Buddhists, or imams you have seen. The number is infirm. Surprisingly, Christians who are being encouraged to live by the Spirit so that they may put on the fruit of the Sprit: like patience and self control are instead the majority obese ones. Even there again in Christian circles where complete fast: no food and drinks is encouraged you do not have those obese Christians. Celebrity clubs may help you lose weight, but they do not help you keep it; physical exercise, self-control, healthy diet and patience do.

Until then, woe is the parent that destroys their child with overfeeding.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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