Yesterday I wrote about several disordered eating patters that are common among young women. But just because a strained relationship with food is normal, it doesn’t mean it’s okay.
The Bible is far from silent on the issue of food. In fact, if we take a hard look at all that is written about food in God’s Word, it becomes very clear that our patterns of disordered eating should not be ignored. Christ cares about every nook and cranny of our lives. His Word offers guidance for daily living, and we can find many scriptures devoted to the topic of food.
Isn’t it interesting that the original sin centered around food (remember Eve and the fruit) or that Christ’s first miracle was food-and-drink related (water into wine)? Before He was arrested, Christ shared one last meal with His friends, and He used that evening to encourage us to use food as a reminder of His sacrifice through communion. When Christ reminds His followers in Revelation 3:20 of the intimate relationship He desires to have with us, He talks about dining together: "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come and eat with him, and he with me."
So food isn’t an area that God ignores, and it isn’t an area we should ignore. Here are four biblical principles to keep in mind about food.
Food is God’s provision.
It is easy for us to forget that God is our provider when we can go to the grocery store or a drive-thru any time hunger strikes. But God is the one who created our food sources; He is the Maker and Sustainer of all life.
He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth (Ps. 104:14).
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever (Ps. 111:5).
The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all He has made…. You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing (Ps. 145:13, 15–16).
God is willing and able to provide for our physical needs. All that we have is a gift from His hand. As part of retraining our thoughts and behaviors in the area of food, we must realize that our food is provided by God as evidence of His great love for us.
Food is good.
In our world of carb and calorie consciousness, it is easy to believe that food is our enemy. But that’s not what the Bible says.
Go, eat your bread with gladness … for it is now that God favors what you do (Eccles. 9:7).
"What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean’" (Matt. 15:11).
As one is who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself (Rom. 14:14).
The simple biblical reminder is this—food is good.
Food is not intended to be a source of worry.
Food is God’s provision, and as such, food is good. It seems like a waste of time and energy to allow ourselves to feel guilty and frustrated because of food. There is freedom in Christ available to us in this area.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matt. 6:25–27).
God calls you to self-control.
Galatians 5 lists self control-among the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives. This includes the practice of self-control in the way we treat food. Self-control is an important spiritual discipline, and learning to practice self-control in the area of food is significant as we embrace God’s authority in the area of our beauty.
Lord, as young women, we are in need of a heavy dose of Your truth when it comes to food. Thank You for always providing for us in this area. Help us to understand and apply Your plan for food, and teach us how to practice self-control.
Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s book on true beauty, Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves.