Pursuing Health for God’s Glory

My first reason for perusing health is that I have been given stewardship over my body and home. My body belongs to God and to my husband. As a believer I seek to be faithful in all God has entrusted to my care. My stewardship entails a great many things: finances, education, children, ministry, and boy, that is just a few. A good steward wouldn’t squander money wastefully on cheap trinkets, but would save and invest and make wise purchase. Just the same, I should not squander my health by eating unhealthy, smoking, or not being disciplined to exercise. My body belongs first to God. I care for it, for Him, not for myself. By caring for my body, I am enabling myself to serve God better and longer than I would if I did not care for myself and was sickly, weak, and tired. I understand, there are diseases and illnesses we endure, but I am still responsible to care for the body God gave me, not matter what its physical condition is.

The second person I am steward of my body for is for is my husband. On my wedding day, I pledged to be his until death parted us. I am doing my husband an injustice, by not caring for the body I gave him that day. Out of love for my husband, I need to tend to myself so I can think clearly, rest as needed, be as attractive as I am able, and eat, drink water, and exercise in order to be strong and healthy for his sake.

I have also been given stewardship over my household. Since I am the homemaker (a steward of the home), I am responsible for feeding my family and caring for them. Proverbs 31:14-15 “She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” As the virtuous woman prepared food with thought and care, I feel it is my job to care about what I feed my family. It takes effort and I need to apply myself to knowledge about nutrition and make wise decisions for the health of my family. Even if that means bringing in foods from afar. I cannot adequately meet the nutritional needs of my family if I am ignorant how to do that. I want to know the ingredients on packages, vitamins in various vegetables, concerns of various unhealthy foods like sugars and fats. It is my job to know what food is in my home, not just blindly trust manufacturers, trying to sell me a product. So, if I don’t know what an ingredient is, I will look it up and learn about it. I am the one responsible for feeding my family, I need to be knowledgeable on nutrition, ingredients, and the nutrients a human body needs to prepare balanced, wholesome meals for my family.

Food is a ministry to others. Having knowledge of ingredients and nutrition has opened doors for me to have people in our home or take meals to people with specific dietary needs and restrictions. Without that knowledge, I would find it intimidating to make a meal for a diabetic friend, and would be far more likely be inclined to do nothing. If I am unable to work with various ingredients, recipes, or create balanced meals for others, I hinder the ministry of my home. Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Even at home, I am better able to minister to my family by knowing ingredients that will comfort and heal. Such as being able to cook a bowl of bone broth with garlic and turmeric for my sick children, or being able to know what supplements to give my daughter with poor vision development, to help give her the best start in life I am able to give.

Discipline is a crucial part of a life that brings God glory. To be able to be controlled in my personal eating habits or exercise is very important, but I am also training children who have no concept of what to eat and why. I not only teach my children discipline by example, but by limiting their indulgence. If they had their way, my children would live on candy and ice-cream. I must teach my children to be faithful stewards of the earthly bodies they have been given. I want my children to have an idea of when it is time to stop. So, like most mothers, my children have boundaries and limits when it comes to food. I also must take care not to allow myself to be enslaved to anything…even coffee or chocolate. I must be in control of what I eat. “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything” I Corinthians 6:12.

Eating for God’s glory means I don’t eat carelessly. I don’t put food in my mouth for myself, but for His glory. That means I will not overeat, I will not indulge my flesh on tasty things for my sake. And with a grateful I will also enjoy the food God has given. I will not be a food snob. I will use food as a tool to minister to others. And I will also refrain from eating and drinking certain foods if it will cause offence to other Christians. So, absolutely, I will eat foods I don’t believe are healthy, out of kindness to others and for the gospel sake. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” I Corinthians 10:31-33.

Now a brief disclaimer. I very much understand that a certain body image is marketed in our culture. That “perfect” image should never be goal of Christian women. We simply do the best we have with the body God has given us. Being skinny is not the point. Being pretty is out of the question. We are responsible to the best we can with the body God gave us, even if we have a slow metabolism or diseases that hinder us from our idea of a healthy look. Perusing health to bring God glory is all about the heart, not the body.