Monday, October 11, 2010

God Provides Food for Pleasure

A few weeks ago, I brought up the fact that God provides food for our pleasure (not just to sustain life). I want to re-visit that topic.

After dealing with food issues for years it is hard to think of food objectively. I maintain a love/hate relationship with it. And the love part sometimes has negative effects. But so can the hate part.

Food becomes an idol when I use it to try to fill an empty spot, or to take away the pain, or to deal with a stressful situation, or (fill in the blank). However, while dieting, food becomes an idol when I count calories constantly or think about meals and snacks all day long. And while the diet typically serves its original purpose (lose weight), I don’t think I am any better off in the long run. What I am striving for is a healthy perspective on food – one in which I think about food only long enough to plan suitable meals/snacks and consume what is in front of me. A more grandiose goal is to enjoy the experience also.

I think one of the side-effects of an eating issue is the guilt associated with enjoying food. Dieting instills an almost paralytic effect. What I mean is food becomes taboo. So every time I put anything in my mouth I feel as if I am “being naughty.” Of course, that is ridiculous when weighed against the fact that food is what sustains us. And yet, the guilt still exists.

Is it unreasonable for me to simply enjoy food for food’s sake? I don’t think so. The key is education, balance, and motive. I have done enough research (through reading and experimenting on my own body) to have a clue how particular foods affect my temporary residence here on earth (read: my body). The balance comes into play when I remember that God created food for enjoyment as well as fuel for our bodies. And my motive should be to eat in a manner which optimizes the efficiency of my body (His temple) out of love for my Creator. What do you think?

Bon app├ętit.

1 comment:

Laura said...

You make some really good points, Barb - especially about having balance, rather than swinging to one extreme or the other. For me, finding that balance can be a daily struggle - it's so easy to either become so obsessed with trying to "do the right thing" that I make myself miserable or, on the other extreme, get overwhelmed with the process, throw my hands up in the air, and head to Dairy Queen! But, each day is a new opportunity to turn everything over to God again, and take one more tiny step toward being healthy (both physically and spiritually). I'm grateful to have a patient Lord, because sometimes if feels like I progress at a snail's pace! :-)