Enrichment. It's a pretty popular word these days. You hear it in regards to food, relationships, job duties and pretty much any area of life you can think of. But why do we need enrichment? Is it because something is missing that used to be there?
Our food is enriched-everything from milk to crackers to chicken. What do they enrich it with? Is the lab-created vitamin D they enrich milk with as bio-available to our bodies as the vitamin D that comes from drinking milk from a cow that was raised on grass and then left in it's natural state? Why not find ways to help our food retain their vitamins rather then strip them of it and add a chemical form back in later? Almost all grain products are enriched-even some whole grains and rice. Walk around a grocery store and you'll see 'added this' and 'enriched that' everywhere you look. But why are they lacking in the first place? And look at us, with all this enrichment, we should be the healthiest country in the world! We're not.
Our emotional/mental lives seem to need serious enrichment. You can tell not only by the shambles that most relationships are in. But also by the vast amount of self-help books that are on the bookshelves these days. And I know, I've read a lot of them! And to be fair, they've helped me a lot. Marriages are falling apart. People are lonely and depressed with no real friendships to encourage and help them. Parents have no control of their children. We have Doctor Phil and Oprah and Parent magazine and psychiatrists and psychologists and enrichment seminars and training classes. And yet we're a mess! So much enrichment, so little real help.
As I have read and searched for answers and help (mostly in regards to food, marriage and parenting), I've gotten better at picking out little 'tips and hints' that might help in my particular situation, while letting the rest go. But, how did people manage before all of these 'self help' books and enriching vitamins came into existence. Both are relatively new and the world has managed to carry on for a few thousand years now.
God made us, he knows our needs. He knows the very answers I'm seeking, but has not chosen to lay them out in a book for us (the Bible has little to say on the nitty gritty of daily life-which is what I was desperately needing). I believe he meant for those things to be passed down from generation to generation. And over time, because of sin, those unwritten instructions have been skewed and changed and sadly neglected. Mentoring and even true parenting, has become a lost art it seems.
Like nutrition, as issues started manifesting themselves in large parts of cultures, people started studying the cause and effect, trying to help solve the problem. Hence the rise of social and humanity studies. Of course, sin is the ultimate problem, and the only answer for that is believing in God's Son as the covering for them. But even then, how to train your child to obey and respect his elders, what to feed a growing child, or how to daily respect your husband, doesn't come naturally!
Psychology is basically the study of other people's studies of people throughout the centuries (got it?). Some have hit on some helpful truths and ideas, some have missed the mark entirely. But it all falls pathetically short of what God designed for our lives. And sadly, much of the detailed information we are so badly searching for today, has been lost over time.
Same with nutrition. God knows what a body needs to be truly healthy-he created us. I know he cares. He does, after all, call the body the temple of the Holy Spirit. And the temple was something taken VERY seriously in the Old Testament. But nowadays, every book you read on the subject tells you something different. It's so confusing!!
God knows it all of course, and He seems to somehow be helping me to muddle through my homemaking tasks one day at a time-with a seriously sharp learning curve. But at least it's going up and not down in the overall view.
While I'm incredibly grateful for the 'enriching' I've gotten from the many, many books I've read (on parenting, marriage and nutrition mostly), I so often find myself longing for the 'real thing'. Just the way God intended it to be. Pure, unadulterated and whole. Raising children is a HUGE task. One I'm starting to take very seriously (yes, it only took me 6 years to get here). But to feel the weight of something, and feel an utter lack of solid ground in regards to it, is downright depressing!
I am thankful, at least, for the pure enrichment I receive from my time in the Word every day. I truly believe God has used that, indirectly, in finding the proper enrichment for my day to day duties. It is so refreshing to pick up something I can trust to nourish my soul completely.
I feel a pressing need to pass the spiritual legacy on to my children. And I hope as I do that, I will also figure out and then be able to pass along a 'nutrient dense' lifestyle as well. Maybe they won't feel the need to scour the parenting and marriage books like I have. Imagine the time saved!
Of course, sometimes I wonder if my main problem is brain fog. I finally figure something out (like how to get my kids to eat what I serve them, or not whine about something, or how to communicate with my husband), and I just shake my head and say 'duh!' at the utter simplicity of it.
But that is for another day..