Friday, December 21, 2007

Thoughts on Intimacy in Breastfeeding

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was spurred on to share my experience with intimacy through breastfeeding. I shared a bit of 1 Peter 2, "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." It was easy to paint a picture of the desire for milk that this talks about as just about every week Karrots loudly shares her desire for milk.

Breastfeeding is a great picture of intimacy. Your baby sucks on one of your most intimate parts to receive nourishment and love. It's about more than just the milk. I know that when Karrots is screaming for the boob, it's not just the milk she wants, but the intimacy. In the middle of the night she is so comforted by the closeness that it puts her to sleep. She often falls asleep while she is still latched. This is such a great picture of how we are to be with the Word of God. In our darkest hours, the Word is a comfort and necessity to help us though. It's a lifeline to intimacy with the Lord.

As a nursing mother, when you are being intimate with you child in feeding him or her, it is difficult to hide it in public. I know there are some rather discrete mothers out there, but even though you're not showing the latch, it's hard to hide the closeness. Also, a mother and their child learn each others cues and habits. That's how our intimacy with God should be. If we are daily latching on to His Word and being near Him, we should daily be basking in His presence reflecting Him.

A mother's milk supply relies on the baby. The more she eats, the more you'll produce. The more we dive into the Word and chew on it, the more God will give us divine revelation.

One thought I had: Babies go through different feeding schedules. When Karrots was a newborn she fed every hour. Thankfully we've got her down to at least 2 hours between feedings. During her growth spurts, though, she feeds more frequently. I believe this sorta parallels with our Christian walks. When we're newly born again we can't get enough of the Word. Unfortunately, the desire can fade out a bit as we grow. There are those seasons, though, where we go through growth spurts in our Christian walks and our desire for the Word increases.

I'm not the greatest at researching things in my Bible, but in skimming, I found a comment that read:
"Breast milk is God's way of providing a natural source of nourishment for the newborn child. Until this century it was the only method available for feeding infants.

Two complementary functions take place after the birth of a child: the mother's mammary glads fill up with milk and need to be emptied, and a baby displays sucking behavior...

In Scripture, four aspects of breastfeeding are worth special note:
  1. Breastfeeding is regarded as a satisfying bond period between mother and
    child. (Is. 66:11)
  2. Breastfeeding requires a special commitment on the part of a mother to her
    child (Is. 49:15; 1 Sam. 1:22-24).
  3. Weaning of the child - usually by the age of three - was an occasion for great celebration, a milestone in the child's life (Gen. 21:8). It was after weaning that a child was expected to receive the teaching of knowledge and doctrine (Is. 28:9)...

I am FAR from truly understanding intimacy and how to acheive it, but God is working on me. I know I keep posting on breastfeeding, but it has truly been a change of lifestyle for me and challenged me beyond what I could have imagined it to.

I pray that God will truly teach us intimacy, both with Him and each other.

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