Bible Verse: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation . . . -1 Peter 2:2
If you’ve ever been around a newborn baby, you know that the one thing they need above everything else is there mother’s milk. My daughter came out of the womb hollering, kicking and screaming. She was completely unappreciative of all the work that the hospital staff, myself, and especially her mother had just done to get her out safely. No “thank you,” no smiles, no warm hugs upon the first time she felt her parents’ warm embrace. Just passionate screams. All the girl wanted was milk!
As soon as she latched on to her mother, she went completely silent. This is how Peter tells believers they should act towards the word of God in 1 Peter 2:2. Newborn babies instinctively know how in need they are of their mother’s milk. Besides it providing fuel to live, a mother’s breast milk provides essential vitamins and immune fighting nutrients to strengthen the infant’s weak system. Aside from the physical health factors, psychologically the baby feels warmth and loved by snuggling up to her mother skin to skin.
1 Peter 2:2, “Crave Pure Spiritual Milk” Means We Must Take In God’s Word and Never Stop
While an infant eventually outgrows breastfeeding, Peter uses this analogy in such a way to show how we should always desire the word of God like a newborn baby does her mother’s milk. As Christians, we are not to outgrow our need for pure spiritual milk. Like a baby who needs to feed at least every two hours, we too must crave the word of God regularly. Through breast feeding an infant gets fuel to live, immunizations, and skin to skin affection from her mother. Likewise, the word of God provides these benefits to us in our walk with our heavenly Father.
1 Peter 2:2, “Crave Pure Spiritual Milk” Means if You are Christian, You Will Crave Instruction
Additionally, it is impossible for infants not to crave milk. This desire naturally swells within them to eat what they were designed to eat. Likewise, when we are born again, there arises a natural desire for the word of God. With that said, by giving this command at all, Peter knows Christians will have to actively fight against the sin that remains in them and actively choose to crave this instruction, which all true Christians will do (though not perfectly). Some, therefore, who have never had a desire for pure spiritual milk, who have never chosen to seek true instruction in the Lord, may have never been truly born again.
No true convert to Christ rejects the milk without dying from starvation, sickness, or a lack of love. To withhold milk from an infant is to kill them.
1 Peter 2:2, “Crave Pure Spiritual Milk” Means the Word of God is Foundation to Our Spiritual Health
While all believers can certainly connect with Christ and grow through other means than just the word of God, nonetheless, the foundation to a spiritually healthy life starts with the “pure food” and is sustained by pure food. To wonder too far from a healthy diet is the sign of immaturity.Infants turn into babies, babies to toddlers, toddlers to children, children to teens, and then teens to adults. And through this growth cycle our eating habits vary.
As a baby we progress to solid food, but still easy to chew. Toddlers and children like simple foods, plus lots of candy. Children and teenagers love exciting, fun food, often falling under the heading “junk food.” Lastly, adults, if they truly mature and come back to their senses after their youthful days, begin to eat healthy foods once again. Adults begin to look at the labels, counting fat calories, and looking for non-processed food. Being more mature, they again see the benefits of “pure” food.
On our Christian walk, we will certainly go through seasons of being dazzled with talented conference speakers, brilliant authors, movies that stir our souls, and so many other flashy means of connecting with God. None of this is wrong in moderation, just like flashy food is not wrong in moderation; but with maturity comes a realization of our need for pure spiritual food, like that of an infant.
1 Peter 2:2, “Crave Pure Spiritual Milk” is the Starting Point and Ending Point of Our Heart’s Health
A healthy physical life starts with an infant getting pure food, just as a Christian new birth begins with the word of God. When the baby grows, she needs to keep eating healthy foods, just as her life began with healthy foods. The same remains true for the Christian.
1 Peter 2:2, “crave pure spiritual milk” means God’s word is extremely important to our spiritual health. Our life started with the word, and we must be sustained by continually eating this healthy diet. Just as humans never outgrow the need for pure food, Christians will never outgrow the need for pure spiritual milk, namely, the word of God.