Little is known of the family life of Peter. He and his brother Andrew worked together as fishermen in the Sea of Galilee (Mt 4.18-9; Mk 1.16-17), they lived in Capernaum, and Peter was married (Mk 1.29-30). The question as to whether he had sons or daughters has been asked at times, but is not answered in Scripture. He was, however, very aware of how a new-born child was fed and how vital it was that a babe should feed and grow.
This issue he addresses in the three opening verses of the second chapter of his first epistle. His desire is to encourage vital spiritual growth in all who have been born again. He commences with the changed character of a saved individual, and with what has to be put away. It is the action necessary to show the reality of being born again and is not forced on anyone, but rather is the desire of newly born again souls. The picture is that of having laid aside a garment, not gradually, but with one act. "Malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings" (v.1) no longer should flourish in the life of a Christian. The believer must be different, and in facing the world show clearly that they now have a new, a different character.
But the action that has taken place is backed up with a new appetite, a desire to feed from the Word of God. A child just born has to grow and can only do so by healthy feeding. This is so also in the new spiritual life. The food in this realm is the Scriptures, but how does a recently born again person feed? First, such a spiritual child feeds intuitively. The mother needs not to instruct the child that it must feed, for there is born into the child the desire to be fed and how to be fed. Such it is with the new babes in Christ - there is in their soul a genuine desire to feed from Scripture. Without feeding growth is absent.
Second, the newly born child feeds voraciously, that is it feeds ravenously. The Word of God will be read in this way - hungrily, eagerly, with a desire to take in all that is possible to consume. What a delight this is for the babe in Christ.
Third, this babe feeds beneficially. The food being taken in benefits the body that strengthens, grows and develops. So it is with the Christian. Only by such feeding can there be spiritual development and strength. But note also that the Word of God is stated to be "the sincere milk of the word", the adjective "sincere" denoting what is unmixed and pure.
What follows is the appreciation that is the result of tasting of the "sincere milk of the word". This teaches that the Lord is gracious, the spiritual nourishment enabling the believer to enjoy more of Him. Not a few writers commenting on this verse (v.3) have directed the reader to Psalm 34.8: "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him".
But it must not be thought that the desire to read the Word of God is only for those who are babes. It ought to be continuous, not only for the novice but for all who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus. To fail to do so leaves the believer as a young babe. To do so builds up spiritual maturity when the Scriptures are put into practice. Let us follow the teaching of Peter and feed on the Scriptures daily, no matter how short that time has to be, and continue to feed on what will mould us and change us so that our lives are worthy testimonies to the gospel.
The challenge today is clear. The purpose of the Adversary is to ensure that the Christian manner of life differs little from that of the world. This always has been his goal and will continue to be so. Daily reading of the Word of God will enable us to overcome, and be the more marked by Christian maturity.