Navigating Your Child's Education: Ages 3-K

2 min read

Sippy Cup Spirituality

Jun 18, 2019 12:39 PM

Back in the day when my children were of toddler age, and somewhat beyond, sippy cups played a very important role in that season of growth. I call these the sippy cup years of parenting. Within those years there is a vibrant spiritual truth waiting to flow into each of our lives.

The sippy cup. Think about it. What a great invention! It is designed to keep what is on the inside, inside. In fact, I would wager that it was a tired mom who came up with the original idea. A cup that a child can hoist around, take a drink, and not baptize other objects within a four-foot radius of the ‘splash zone.’ Do you realize that you and I try to be like sippy cups? Each of us walk around trying to keep everything that is on the inside, inside; somedays it works and some days it doesn’t.

How is that working for you? Keeping what is inside, inside. As those with developed frontal lobes, you and I have learned how to navigate through life keeping the inside stuff inside, generally. Then it happens, most unexpectedly most of the time, our sippy cup lives get bumped really hard, our lids pop off, and then what is inside can be seen by those around us.

There it is, in all of its messy glory – the inside stuff. That stuff we all carry and after the hard bump it unexpectedly gets put on display for all to see including our spouses or kids.

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Then in anger or embarrassment we attempt to justify the messiness. We rationalize that it was because of that ‘hard bump’ our inside stuff came flowing or gushing out. We blame shift and blame the bump when really we need to look at what we are storing inside. It is not the ‘hard bump’ because Scripture assures us that we will get hit with hard bumps in life. Read through James 1 to see that trials will come our way. So possibly we had better look at what we store inside.

In Romans 12 Paul exhorts you and I to not be conformed to the pattern of this world. What is that pattern? I would submit that pattern would be things that do not align with Christ. These could be thoughts, actions, or attitudes or any combination. Yet, how do we change what we place inside? Paul goes on to share that only by the renewing of our mind are we transformed or changed on the inside. Quite honestly, that is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and mine, and we each need to allow Him room to do His work.

So what do we put inside? Paul gives us an idea of what to pour into our sippy cups from his ‘joy’ letter to the church at Philippi. In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” There it is. When we think on such things that gives the Holy Spirit the room to renew our minds.

Yes, our sippy cups will get bumped and what is inside will come out so you and I need to be careful of what we accumulate inside. This vibrant spiritual truth is for us, and it is also for our kids who are watching us and learning what to pour into their sippy cups. I pray we all pour well during these sippy cup years.

Jim Parrish
Written by Jim Parrish

​Jim is the current interim Head of School and Lower School principal for Worthington Christian School. Before moving to his administrative role, Jim taught 5th grade at WC and Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools. Jim married his college sweetheart, Terri, in 1986, and they have two grown children who are both married and gainfully employed. Jim is passionate about helping people move forward in their role, whether as a teacher, parent, or spouse. In the fall of each year, if you listen closely, you will hear him cheering on the football Buckeyes of The Ohio State University.