I just put my 20 month old to bed after his last nursing session. For good this time. Weaning breastfed babies is hard. They cry. They don’t understand why you no longer provide that for them–the comfort and nourishment that you have provided since birth. It’s confusing, frustrating, and frightening.
It’s hard on mother too. It’s hard because you know that it would be so easy to soothe him and make the crying stop. Just give him what he wants. Put him at ease with that which is sweet, warm, soothing, and familiar.
Yet, you know that your baby isn’t really a baby anymore. He has to grow up, and you have to let him. So, you do your best to distract him. Sing silly songs, dance him around, offer a snuggle and a story instead. Show him something new and exciting. Encourage him in a new way that increases his confidence as he grows into a “big boy.”
It’s hard to wean a baby, but it’s an amazing milestone too.
Look how far he has come. There’s so much more to learn, and without as much dependence on mama, he can do greater things than he could before.
It is the same with us as Christians.
We cannot stay as breastfed babies. We have to grow up too, and sometimes we might want to fight it. We might want to cry because it’s confusing, frustrating, and frightening. Yet, it is also exciting, especially if people are there to guide us, sing us songs, dance us around, and show us something new and exciting.
The leaders of the faith need to be willing to do this. It’s hard to wean the babies, but because we love them, we want to see them grow. They cannot remain dependent on us forever.
We want people to be able to live their lives without needing constant instruction and assurance from a pastor, teacher, or some other form of minister. Sure, we are a body and we serve one another, but we do so with the goal of helping one another grow up into Christ.
I have a great appreciation for milky ministries. They are sweet, warm, and soothing. However, there is enough of that already. We need meaty ministries that encourage Christians to grow. Even if they kick and scream a bit at first.