This one is from 2010. I was foolish enough then to think I knew enough to lecture someone else on BIblical womanhood. We’re more strict about our choices now than we were back then because we’ve had to be. I’m beginning a 60-day habit changing push today in anticipation of my anniversary, and thought a re-post of something nutrition related might be in order.
Finally, I am back to the Biblical Womanhood series. While I have taken quite a long detour the past couple of weeks, I want to finish what I started here, and by gosh, I aim to do it!
Awhile back I noted my newfound resolve to revamp our family’s eating habits after reading Nourishing Traditions and seeing the documentary, Food Inc. After the comments I received from you all, and taking a hard look at the grocery budget, I formulated what I called my plan of attack for getting us on the straight and narrow.
I didn’t realize how big of an issue healthy eating had become on the Christian Mommy blog circuit until I wrote those posts and saw the responses. It was an eye-opener as I read links sent to me from readers to bloggers who were cutting back on their giving, in some cases eliminating it altogether, because their commitment to organic produce, pasture raised chickens and grass-fed beef was draining their pocket. Other women wrestled with guilt because their limited resources demanded that they eat the best food their families could afford, which was often far from the “best” food. It was as if for some, healthy eating was an important matter of faith rather than stewardship of their temples and a best possible choice among many.
It certainly got me to thinking about our eating habits. I mentioned before that we eat hot dogs. Not every day, or even every week, but often enough. Beans and wieners are a big hit with the under 4 set. That said, we eat pretty well overall, certainly better than research shows the average American eats. Every meal is accompanied with a fruit or veggie. Water is our beverage of choice. As much as possible, when I bake bread (often using my bread maker as I am what you might call a lazy baker), I try to use whole grain flour. But it’s hardly something that I am religious about. The only place that sells the brand of wheat flour I like to bake with is out of the way in an area of town I rarely travel to. So I buy whole wheat sandwich bread from the store and bake my rolls and such with white flour until I have occasion to pass by my local Whole Foods Market. We enjoy our crackers, bagged pretzels, and the kids take Yoplait yogurt in their lunch boxes. We are hardly food purists.
That said, rarely do we eat dinner when every dish isn’t made from scratch. Same with breakfast. And we’ve cut way back on potato chips, saving them for the occasional treat. That said, I fail to see what all the hoopla is about concerning what we eat when I compare the hype with the Scripture. Further, most of the things I do that are healthy are motivated as much by frugality as they are health, if not more so. It just makes more sense to cook from scratch. Do I believe we have a responsibility to eat as healthfully as possible? Yes. Do I think it’s wrong to eat junk food morning, noon, and night giving regard only to what tastes good? Yes, again. My very brief study of what goes into the foods we eat has certainly given me pause and driven me to spend more time in the kitchen rather than put so much pseudo-food into myself, my husband, and my kids.
Still, making a decision to do better as I learn more is a far cry from spending so much energy, time, and money in the kitchen that it consumes my life. When we can’t enjoy fellowship at the home of a friend and receive whatever is put before us with thanksgiving for fear of preservatives, we have a problem. When we further tell ourselves that this is how God would have us live and judge the family who eats hot dogs as if they are doing something immoral, we have crossed over to the dark side!
My contemplation of this topic led me to a few verses of Scripture, of course. None of which, on the surface, seem to relate directly to the matter at hand, but they certainly apply,at least loosely, when healthy eating is elevated to a spiritual or moral concern.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:25-27
While these verses are about God’s provision and an admonishment for us not to worry, they apply here for those who worry about affording the healthiest, purest, least processed foods in the market. If you can’t afford to pay $7 a gallon for minimally processed milk from the health food store, then prayerfully and thankfully drink the $3 gallon homogenized milk, trusting your family’s health to the Almighty. Worrying just strips additional health and peace anyway.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-5
Please know it is not my intent to call my foodie friends hypocrites! My point here is to recognize how easy it is to take good thing, or even a godly thing, and elevate it to an issue of morality or faith. Health, modesty, frugality, stable families- these are all good things in themselves that we should all develop as we grow in grace. It is just far too easy, however, for we humans, and women in particular, to judge others based on the areas of life that we feel we have mastered. This of course, leaves an open door for envy, competition, and strife to set in because none of us has mastered all areas of life. With that I’ll leave with my conclusion on the matter.
I have a growing appreciation for my kitchen, and how what I do in it expresses love for this family God has graciously given me. I’ve come a long way from my early days as a bride when the extent of my culinary skills was spaghetti and meatballs or grilled cheese sandwiches. I’d still rather read a good book than cook, but I’ve come to enjoy much of my time in the kitchen. If you ever have occasion to eat dinner at my house, however, please be advised that I will not have spent $32 to serve you a pasture raised chicken.