When “going green” and organic products first started becoming popular, I thought it was a wordly-hippie-waste of time. I thought, and still do think, that God is sovereign over this life and this world. The book of Revelation in Scripture clearly teaches that God will end the world on his time line (Matthew 24:36, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 21:1). Never again will the earth be destroyed by a flood (Genesis 9:8-17), but instead by fire will this life pass away and our new life will begin (2nd Peter 3:4-10). (Does this scare you? There is HOPE!)
It is not in our hands to control the fate of this world. I thought that was all the the “green” movement was about. Saving the environment. Or the panda’s or something. And besides, I don’t have money for all these expensive “green” and organic products. I thought you would have to be a millionaire to really eat and live that way. I just didn’t understand.
My eyes were opened
I thought we ate fairly “healthy”. We had protein bars as snacks. We didn’t eat red meat very often and didn’t have desserts all the time. And I even bought whole wheat bread! Sure we had boxed and canned foods mixed in with fresh foods…but we were “mostly” healthy and I really thought I was doing a decent job.
I thought this until we found out my husband’s cholesterol and blood pressure was way too high for a 25 year old! I knew that we didn’t want him on medicine the rest of this life so I began doing research. I started coming across articles and books that showed that maybe salt itself isn’t terrible. And red meat can have a place in your diet. And GASSP! Fats can be healthy?
My dietary world was turned upside down and I started researching everything I could! From eating healthy I started learning about toxins in other things such as my hand lotion, window cleaner, and laundry detergent. Slowly I have been converting our house into a healthy, non-toxic environment…or as much as I can that is in my control!
What does this have to do with being a christian?
Trying to live a healthy life and making many foods from scratch takes a lot of time, energy, and resources. Quickly I had to decide if this was worth my time and money. Should I be spending precious time and energy on making things from scratch?
After all, we have such a limited amount of time on this earth! As a Christian, I know I will one day account to God for the time I spend. I don’t want to stand before Him on the judgement day and have nothing to show for my life. I want to vibrantly serve Him and I want my life to be clear to others that I am following the One True God. So how does this all play in with living a healthy life?
We have a responsibility to care for our bodies
In Scripture, God tells us that our bodies are a temple and that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Because of that, we are not to defile the temple. Specifically, God tells us not to defile our body with sexual sin but in a similar way I think we are supposed to take care of our bodies through proper nutrition, exercise, and creating a toxic-free environment for our families. We need to glorify God with our bodies.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV, emphasis added.
When you are overweight, out of shape, and making poor nutrition choices you will not have as much energy, stamina, or brain power to serve the Lord. We are to be good stewards of what he has given us. And he has given us these bodies for a limited time. We need to care for them to the best of our ability.
We glorify God in our bodies when we take care of them in a way that we have the energy and stamina to serve him more fully. A healthy lifestyle promotes more energy and mental clarity to work hard at our jobs, take care of our home, diligently teach our children, love our husbands, and serve God’s church. And all of that is glorifying to God!
Our goal in healthy living should not be to lengthen our lives but rather be able to more fully serve God.
My responsibility as a Homemaker
As a homemaker, God has given me the special task of caring for my family! This is my primary ministry in life – loving, caring for, and serving my husband and children. As the Proverbs 31 woman was busy caring for her household, I want to be busy caring for and creating a healthy environment for my family to live in.
Ways that I can glorify God in my Homemaking while living healthy
1) Use resources wisely
We are not rich. I don’t have money laying around waiting for me to buy expensive organic and specialty food. We are on a tight budget and every penny counts.
That’s why learning how to cook nutritious food from scratch is so important because 9 times out of 10 it can be cheaper!
2) Cook good food!
I don’t know about your family, but my husband LOVES good food! He could never be content eating vegetarian meals or tofu lumps. The good news is that eating healthy can be delicious with just a little preparation and work! In the end I am serving my husband and family by providing food that is healthy and yummy.
3) Train up younger homemakers
Homemaking (& cooking from scratch) is largely a lost art today. Many women enter into marriage woefully unprepared. They stumble into marriage without the most basic of homemaking skills. By spending time learning how to be a healthy homemaker, I can practice the Titus 2 model and pass this down to younger homemakers (and sometimes older ones too)!
4) Allow my family to more fully serve
As I mentioned earlier, I started on my real food journey when we found out my husband had high blood pressure and cholesterol. But as I continued on my journey I realized that things like my constant headaches and tiredness were not normal or okay! By implementing a healthy lifestyle I am able to help my family overcome many of these problems (and help avoid future ones) and free us up to more fully serve God!
When my husband isn’t plagues by illness, fatigue, or headaches and has more energy and mental clarity, then he is more able to provide for his family and serve God in His areas of ministries. I am being a helpmate to my husband by providing nutritious (and delicious) food!
Don’t make an idol out of living healthy
Finally, I want to share a piece of my heart. Learning how to live a healthy lifestyle can quickly become an idol for many homemakers. We want so badly to create a safe, non-toxic, healthy household that we forget who is really in control. While I think we should create a healthy home for our family to the best of our ability (without sacrificing other areas of our life), we need to remember that God has numbered our days (Psalm 139:16) already and nothing we do will add a single hour to our life (Matthew 6:27).
“Some godly people who exercise regularly and eat well drop dead at every age. And some sedentary overeaters live to be ninety. Our days are set by God, not us. You won’t live a day longer or shorter than God decides. But keep in mind that some people have survived the plunge over Niagara Falls. That doesn’t make it wise.” ~ John Piper, Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why