Last week we dove into the Intro on Food for our 7 experiment. The scene was set and discussion on the purpose behind fasting. This week we will finish up or study on food.
In this second half of the chapter Jen Hatmaker discusses the elements of our western diet. With the rise of industry and more dual income families whole foods, home grown products and even prepared from scratch meals are at an all time low. Families are eating more food from a box than fromt he ground.
Fast food is a booming industry while mothers and fathers are eating critical meals in the car while racing from one activity to another. Even now, as I write this I am thinking about what fast food restaurant we will be driving through on our way to the next event for our busy Friday.
Our children are facing chronic illnesses not normally seen in such young bodies until recently and the life expectancy of our children, for the first time in American history is declining rather than increasing. Our children’s generation is the first facing a shorter life span than their parents. And I am one to say I have bought into the hype. I LOVE my sugar, my high fatty foods, and my high carb foods! The fact that my children BEG me to buy fresh fruit and veggies because we never have any in the house breaks my heart. To say that I am just as guilty as the next person for doing such a huge disservice to my children would be an understatement.
What Does The Bible Say About Food?
The fact that there has been such a drastic change in the way we grow, produce, package, distribute, and consume food over the generations would lead one to think that maybe food is just another thing that is irrelevant to our spiritual lives. However, the opposite couldn’t be more true.
God laid out some very specific guidelines for how His people should nourish their bodies.
To begin with, all the way back in Genesis, we find that humans lived originally on a plant based vegan diet. Humans were told they could eat the food from the trees, but never given any direction on milk from the animals, the meat of animals, or anything of that nature. Humans and animals were to live together peacefully.
The flood changed all that and God then gave Noah instructions on eating the animals as food provided for them. This was helpful since all the vegetation was probably pretty waterlogged at this point. While plants need water, too much is not a good thing for them. So here we go. We have meat.
But as we read on we find that not all meat is good. There are “clean” and “unclean” animals. Animals were broken into categories and there are express reasons on what to eat and why.
With hindsight, and years upon years of life to look back on its easy to see that God knew what he was doing when he gave out these simple rules on what to eat and what not to eat. He prevented the people from getting diseases through these unsafe foods. It wasn’t just because God wanted to give us another set of unrealistic regulations to try and follow. God set out to protect his creation, all of it.
How does this affect me?
I will be the first to admit that my food choices are made based on convenience and cost. I mean, lets be real, I am a seminary student. We live in student housing, paying rent, electricity, internet, tuition, and any number of other bills. The grocery budget isn’t what it used to be. Top that off with a complete inability to grow my own fruits and veggies, I am at the mercy of the grocery store and the clock. However, I will aslso be the first to admit that this is merely an excuse.
Why do I say that?
Easy. Because I have fed my family whole nutritious, and even sometimes organic foods on my tiny little grocery budget. But then life gets in the way, I get tired, busy, or fed up and I go back to my old ways of boxed meals and frozen foods.
The Bible talks a lot about how we are to keep the temple, where the holy of holies resides, clean and pure and fit for the Lord to dwell in. In the Old Testament the temple was a beautiful building, with lots of rules and regulations on who can go in, how they can go in, what worship practices are to take place, and so on and so forth. In the New Testament, after Jesus’ sacrifice, return, and ascension to heaven the temple became our personal bodies. Christ takes up his living space within us.
So doesn’t that mean we should be more careful with how we are treating our bodies? The dwelling place of the holy of holies? Shouldn’t we take more consideration into what we put into our bodies claiming it to be nourishment and care? And as the keeper of the home, shouldn’t I be concerned with the way I am treating my families bodies, also the temple of the Lord through the meals I am providing them?
All of these are questions that have struck me hard as I have studied through this lesson. The more I have studied and read the more I realized that through me not taking care of the place where my Lord and Savior resides is showing just where my priorities lie. Does this mean I am going to give up completely my “Western” diet? Probably not. But I am going to make sure to be making better food choices as well as doing everything I can to keep this temple healthy for as long as I can.
Join me next week when we jump into the lesson on clothing!