The God of Ice Cream Flavors

A Saturday Rant~

Sometimes I think the conventional wisdom of contemporary Christianity is to view God as an ice cream flavor. Sweet and pleasant to swallow, best served in summer, melts away if you don’t eat it fast enough.

Flavors? 31? 29? 88? There is unbelievable choice in how you want to swallow God. He comes in such great flavors. Maybe you want a vanilla God? Or how about chocolate and vanilla swirled? It’s all your choice.

Just don’t make Him any more substantive than that. We wouldn’t want God to be hard to swallow. He needs to be easy on the eyes. Easy on the palate. Especially easy on the heart.

Only He isn’t. He’s GOD! He isn’t an ice cream flavor.

An article on the BBC News Website by Rob Dreher says that current research shows that “people see religion in primarily therapeutic terms. That is, they believe that God wants us to be nice, happy and self-fulfilled – and that’s about it.” In response a friend of mine says this:

The more Christianity is viewed as primarily therapeutic the more it dissolves into a shapeless. impotent mess of relativism. The muscle, and bones, and sinew of Scripture show us the shape and character of a God who doesn’t just listen and empathize and gently encourage us to become whoever and whatever we want . 

For goodness sake, He is GOD. He hurls stars. The strength of His arm separates darkness and light. His love isn’t about how people feel. It is about His own holiness…and about life and death, rescue and consecration.*

Which will it be? An ice cream flavor God that makes me feel “good, happy and self-fulfilled” or a hurling stars sort of God? A “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” sort of God? Or a “chocolate sundae with sprinkles on it” sort of God?

Is it even up to us to decide? 

*Quote used with permission from Emily Van Dalen

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Why Kids Need Icecream for Dinner

Mango icecream
Image via Wikipedia

Trust you to begin on the football field and end with a strong message about the presence of God.” This comment came from one of my readers on my Monday post. It’s true. It’s part of my soul I guess. I write through my “faith lens”.  This spills into other areas of life and my family rolls their collective eyes at what they call my “Marilyn” questions. Questions about life and faith and redemption. Those questions that seem tangential but to me are critically important!

But today I realize that these past couple weeks of blogging have held some heavy feelings, strong defenses and a lot of passion. And frankly, sometimes we need a break. So today is light and fluffy. In that spirit I offer you 3 simple  reasons why kids need ice cream for dinner.

  • Excitement
  • Bonding
  • Memories

Excitement ~

The excitement that a child feels when they realize that they are getting ice cream with 6 different choices for toppings for dinner knows no bounds. It’s so unexpected. It’s so what life should be. Expecting vegetables, chicken,rice or potatoes and suddenly finding out that these are replaced by creamy, cold, sweet ice cream.  It helps to teach children that life holds amazing surprises in unexpected places.


How many parents and kids bond over spinach? Brussels sprouts? Broccoli? See – they don’t. There’s nothing to talk about over these vegetables, but the atmosphere changes when ice cream is served for dinner. It’s a perfect segue to talking about what really matters in life. Suddenly there are all kinds of conversation possibilities. Life is full of vegetables, but how often is it full of ice cream?


Memories of ice cream for dinner? Priceless. These are the moments that Master Card commercials are made for. Moments of pure joy, mouths full, brain freezes, sticky fingers, yummy flavors – these are what yield the “Do you remember when….” memories of the future.

In the world of parenting where we are constantly assaulted by without and within with the rules, the do’s, the don’ts, the worry, the control issues, the mirror held up to our tired faces that too often shouts at us “You’re not the fairest in the land! Snow White – that beauty over in the woods is a way better parent!”  – it is in this world that we need ice cream for dinner.  Maybe not for the kids, but most certainly for us!

Readers – what are your thoughts on or memories of ice cream for dinner? It’s a Friday and we need your stories! Share in the comment section.