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Did you know that God’s word gives us a glimpse into the freedom we’re meant to have around food? Keep reading to discover more!
God created food for so much more than tracking, obsession, and confusion. And when that’s all food is for us, we’re missing out on the best that God intended.
For so many women, food has become far more than just a source of nutrition to fuel their bodies. Food has become a source of anxiety for some, and comfort for others.
We can spend so much time analyzing every bite that goes into our mouths that food can even lose its enjoyment.
And if you look at scripture, this isn’t what God had in mind for us when he created food.
We were meant to have freedom around food. The same freedom we’re meant to have in all other areas of our lives. God designed us that way, and this freedom is God’s very best for you.
Having freedom around food can seem like a foreign concept to so many of us.
However, there are many examples of how we can have freedom around food in God’s word. Meditating on God’s intentions for food and its spiritual role in our lives can begin to shift our perspective.
My hope is that by examining food through the lens of scripture, you can start to break the chains that food has on you and live in the abundantly more that God intended.
So, if you’re ready to feel freedom around food, not bondage, keep reading!
Don’t Give Food a Foothold
Believe it or not, food can have control over us if we let it.
Maybe it’s because we’re afraid of eating certain foods in fear of being “unhealthy.” Or because we put too much emphasis on food and it starts to dominate our thoughts.
The power of food to control us is real, and it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past.
But, friend, we weren’t meant to live under the weight of anxiety and fear around food.
God made us beautifully in his image to live lives of acceptance, self-love, and contentment. This truth certainly applies to our relationship with food and how we view our bodies.
Here are just a few ways we can give food a foothold into the abundance God meant for us.
Using food as our main source of comfort and satisfaction
Only God can truly satisfy the longing of our souls. Whether it’s a longing for deeper emotional connection or satisfaction in our appearance, that’s something only God can provide.
However, many of us often look to food as the primary source of this comfort. We find ourselves eating, or not eating, to fill this void or to bring us joy.
And don’t get me wrong, food is meant to be pleasurable. But the pleasure and joy found in food are meant to point you to God, the one who created it.
Food isn’t meant to be what actually satisfies your spirit – only God can do that.
And unfortunately, when we do try to use it as our main source of comfort, it often leaves us feeling emptier than before.
Using food as a tool to alter our physical appearance
You are made in God’s image. Food cannot change that image, no matter what you see or don’t see in the mirror.
God made you the way you are for a reason. And constantly using food to try and manipulate your body and change your appearance won’t lead to freedom, but to bondage.
I’ve heard from so many women who aren’t satisfied with what they see in the mirror. They see flaw upon flaw, and are desperate to see something different. And the main way they try to alter the perception of what they see is through food.
But if they only knew that God created them as so much more than a body. That we were created for so much more than dissatisfaction with our physical selves.
Yes, feeling confident in your body is important. But it’s not what’s most important, especially in the eyes of God. And God didn’t create food as a tool to manipulate or change the body He knit together so perfectly before you were born.
Obsessing over the “perfect” healthy diet
God didn’t create food to be inherently good or bad. Food is food, nothing more.
Yes, certain foods are going to be more beneficial for you than others.
It’s healthy to focus on increasing whole foods and decreasing processed foods at the majority of our meals. But that doesn’t make spinach “good” and potato chips “bad”.
We can easily fall into the trap of obsessing over creating the “perfect” diet for ourselves, and giving food power it was never meant to have.
Maybe for you, it’s a diet free of animal products, lower in carbohydrates, or is described as Paleo. Whatever “perfect” diet you’ve subscribed to cannot satisfy you as only God can.
These diets that started out as something to improve your physical health can slowly start to degrade your spiritual and mental wellbeing.
There is no perfect diet. Nowhere in scripture does God tell us it’s healthier to eat one thing over another.
We have to trust that God knew what he was doing when he created food. And that we can let go of our desire to obsess over and control our food choices.
Making good food choices is important. God calls us to be good stewards of the body He’s given us.
But if the mindset you have around food is damaging to your mental and spiritual health, are you really stewarding well the body – and the life – that God’s given you?
Does This Sound Like You?
It may not be obvious at first glance that you fall into one of these categories. You might need to do some soul searching and ask God to reveal if you truly are giving food a foothold in your life.
But if any of these resonate with you, don’t worry. This doesn’t make you any less of a Christian, and certainly not any less of a human being.
God has given us the power to take control of what controls us. The power to overcome any stumbling blocks in the way of living in the abundantly more he meant for us to have.
If you’re struggling with your relationship with food, there is hope and freedom found in God’s Word.
Food Freedom Found in Scripture
1 Timothy 4:4 says that everything God created is good. And that includes food.
If you have a tumultuous relationship with food, it could be hard for you to believe God created it for your good. But it’s true, and there is evidence in the Bible to back it up.
God created food for so much more than just to fuel our bodies, although that is one purpose.
And he certainly created food as so much more than a stumbling block to you living a fearless, faith-filled life.
The following are examples from scripture that illustrate how God intended for us to use food.
Use these verses as a foundation for starting to unravel the narrative you’ve created about food. Start speaking these over yourself as the truth God gives us about food and its true role in our lives.
Food for Nourishment of Our Bodies
Psalm 104:14-15 – He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.
God created food to nourish the human body. He specifically created plants and animals that would sustain our energy, build our physical structure, and help our bodies thrive.
God even went as far as to rain manna (bread) down from heaven for his weary and downtrodden people to eat and find nourishment.
When the Israelites were on a four-year journey through the wilderness, Nehemiah 9:15 says, “You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst…”.
Time and time again, God has provided food to nourish and sustain his people when they needed it most. And the same can be said for you and me.
God created food for our nourishment – to give our bodies strength, energy, and vitality.
And when we treat it as anything less than this, we’re missing out on this amazing gift to nourish the body God has given us.
Nourishment of our Souls
God didn’t just have our bodies in mind when he talks about nourishment in scripture.
He is also concerned with the nourishment of our souls.
John 6:35 tells us that Jesus is the bread of life, and whoever believes in him will never go hungry.
Now, I don’t think this means that believing in Jesus will keep you from physical hunger without eating. God created food to do that. But Jesus, like food is for physical life, is essential for eternal, spiritual life.
Only Jesus can sustain us through the trials and storms we may face in this life.
When we’re physically hungry we eat. So when you find that you’re spiritually in need of nourishment, try spending some time with God, and you will find your fill.
Food for Building Community
Acts – 27:35 After he [Jesus] said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.
Throughout scripture, Jesus uses food as a gathering place to create community.
Jesus uses food to gather people so they can hear what he has to say. Whether it’s at the Last Supper, with his disciples after he was raised from the dead, or with the local tax collector, he used food to help point people to him.
Food is one commonality that we all share. Everyone needs to eat. And eating together gives us a reason to sit down and spend time with one another.
When we’re too concerned with what we should or shouldn’t eat, we can miss out on this gift of community that God created food for.
We’re not meant to walk through life alone. Building community with a group of like-minded women is one of the most important things we can do for our spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing.
And one way to do this, as outlined in scripture, is to share a meal together.
Don’t let your fear of food dictate your ability to use it to foster community as God intended.
Instead, use this God-given ability to create community around food as a way to start living in the freedom that is available to you.
Food for Our Enjoyment
Ecclesiastes 9:7 – Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart.
Yes, God intended for food to be something that we enjoy.
The book of Ecclesiastes shows us that life is fleeting. And that the things we often worry about day-to-day are really insignificant in light of eternity.
This verse specifically implores us to enjoy food simply as a gift from God, just because he gave it to us to enjoy.
It shows us that sometimes all we need to do to find joy is to sit and eat. And all of our striving and hustling for worthiness pales in comparison to this simple gift God has given us.
When food becomes a source of anxiety and worry, rather than a means to enjoy more of God and His creation, we’re undermining the very reason God gave us food in the first place.
Enjoyment of food and enjoyment of God can be one and the same. And allowing yourself to find freedom around food is one way to get there.
Finding Food Freedom
You were created for so much more than frustration and fear around food.
God created food to fuel our bodies, foster lasting friendships, and even for our pleasure.
He never intended for us to use food to control our bodies, preoccupy our minds, and wear down our souls.
Shifting your mindset around food to one that’s aligned with God’s word will bring so much freedom and peace.
There is no one perfect diet.
No food will bring you to complete satisfaction with your body and how you feel in it.
But there is one perfect God who can do all the things food – and our relationship with it – cannot.
God is the only one who can truly satisfy that longing we so often run to food to fill. And continuing to run to food instead of God will only continue to bring emptiness where there should be everlasting peace.
Chasing physical perfection through controlling our food intake cannot provide everlasting joy.
In God’s eyes, you are already perfect and whole. Chasing and hustling for what God has already made you to be is only drawing you further from him and the abundant, purposeful life he has in store for you.
Beginning to find freedom from food can be as simple as trusting your worth and self-image to God. He’s the one who already says you’re good enough just the way you are.
Help in Making This Mindset Shift
I know from experience that this isn’t an easy mindset shift to make. And changing your mindset around food certainly won’t happen overnight.
But I challenge you to spend some time examining your relationship with food from a faith-filled lens.
- Do your thoughts around food line up with how God intended it to be used?
- Are you searching for your self-worth in how your body looks and feels?
- Are you confident that you are enough simply because God says you are, no matter what you eat and how you look?
I know that you can find freedom from food, and whatever else is holding you back from living your most vibrant, purpose-filled life.
This can be an intimidating change to make. But I promise it will be life-changing if you open yourself up to the possibility of God changing your heart.
To help you take that first big step in making this mindset shift, I’ve created a FREE training for you: The 5 Secrets of Fearlessly Healthy Women of Faith.
This video covers the five most important shifts you must make in order to become truly healthy and free from fear around your health decisions.
If you’re ready to get started on this road to freedom, this video is for you!
After reading this article, how would you describe your relationship with food? What is going to be your next step to finding true freedom around food the way God intended?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!