Sure, God cares about every detail of your life, but does He really care about what you eat?
This morning, I came home from my run to find that my family had saved me the middle piece (the best piece of all the pieces!) of the most amazing omelet I’ve ever tasted with a side of fresh cranberry scones. Yes, the food tasted incredible, but the eggs, cheese, and kale are not the reasons I’m going to remember that meal for a long time to come.
I’m going to remember it because of the thoughtfulness, because they went out of their way to make it special just for me.
This time of year, food really gets a bad rap. As everyone decides they want to start new diet and exercise programs in an effort to get healthy, they say goodbye to all of their favorite foods and start force-feeding themselves the foods they are “supposed” to like. They start talking about food as “fuel” and how eating is only necessary to satisfy their hunger. Somehow, the food that tastes good is followed by a side of guilt.
I’ve been there. I used to do it every year. I’d fill my freezer with vegetables and throw out my beloved Nutty Bars and my meals would become incredibly boring…until I just gave up on it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about healthy living! By all means, eat more vegetables and less processed food!
But realize that food is more than just food.
It’s more than just fuel and it’s more than just something to reach for to fill your stomach. It’s comfort, nourishment, and pleasure.
Food Is A Love Language
We celebrate birthdays with cake, share cookies and donuts at church, meet friends for special dinners, bring meals to new mothers and grieving families. Where people get together, there is usually food involved.
I feel so loved when people remember my favorite foods and make special things just for me.
Food quirks are kind of a thing of mine. I have a specific order in which I eat french fries, I very strategically try to get the middle piece every single time (ask me to dish out lasagna sometime…you’ll never see it coming!), and don’t expect me to buy you bananas because even just touching them completely grosses me out.
But when people pay attention and remember those crazy idiosyncrasies and cut out the middle piece just for me? It is so meaningful to me. It’s not them handing me a plate of fuel. It’s them saying, “I care about you” without words.
And it goes both ways. The more I love you, the more time, effort, and creativity I put into cooking for you. Investing time into kneading the dough and forming homemade pretzel rolls for my sister, hand-shredding carrots for my mom’s birthday carrot cake, scooping out quinoa bites for my niece’s lunch, or even just picking up a candy bar at the store I know you like.
It’s not just to fill their stomachs, it’s to fill their hearts.
But Does God Care About What I Eat?
You better believe He does!
It never used to occur to me to consider God in my food choices. My stomach was always my guide, so when my cravings screamed, “chocolate!” I willingly obeyed.
The closer I’ve drawn to God over the years, the more I’ve realized that He is woven into every detail of my life, even if I don’t always acknowledge Him. That includes my eating.
Now, I’m not talking about a God who is hovering over your shoulder, judging you every time you reach for a treat, wishing He could smack your hand as you reach for the chip bowl.
I’m talking about a God who loves you more than you could possibly fathom, who is constantly working for your good, who is thrilled to be providing you foods that will not only sustain you but also bring pleasure to you.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:31
There are certainly verses in the Bible that encourage you to eat your vegetables for good health, but there are also verses talking about the sweet decadence of honey. There’s a balance there to be found, but one thing is certainly true:
Food is a gift to us, a tangible expression of His love.
“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:7
How to Glorify God in Your Eating
Making food choices that glorify God is much more about relationship, with Him and others, than it is about the food itself.
Just like in every other relationship in our lives, it is important to lay down healthy boundaries with food.
You can eat too much of anything, whether it is french fries or carrot sticks. Gluttony is just as much of a sin as drunkenness, but not one that is talked about nearly as often.
It’s not about how much you weigh and it’s not a punishment that chocolate has more calories than celery. Those boundaries are there for our good.
The fact is, too much food harms our bodies. Like it or not, food affects your energy, your emotions, and your stress levels. What we eat and how much matters.
You were created with a purpose and it sure is difficult to live that out when you have no energy or stamina. It’s about treating your body, your unique gift from God, with care and respect.
No, it’s not easy. Yes, it takes self-control. But finding those boundaries is life-changing.
A Thankful Heart
Saying grace is one of those things that was a staple in our house growing up. I never really gave it much thought because it was just something we did. Now, I have been much more intentional about grace. It’s not about speaking obligatory words before meals or a matter of being polite.
It’s a way to remind myself that He is the reason I have food on my table. He is the source of all good things and taking the time to stop and thank Him for them deepens my relationship with Him.
It helps me to appreciate His gifts all that much more and to use them appropriately – not for overindulgence but for His glory.
Mindfulness of Others
How you eat affects the people around you. I eat more vegetables around certain people and more junk food around others. My niece is in a stage where she mimics a lot of my eating habits and it’s something to be conscientious of.
So much of our connecting with others happens while we eat, making it a community activity.
Because of that, being mindful of others is so important. I never want my food choices to hinder my relationships with people. If it is going to offend someone if I drink alcohol or eat meat, then I don’t do it around them. One of my greatest purposes in life is to encourage and my eating can reflect that.
I have friends who are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, counting calories, sugar-free, and just about everything in between. My friend Laurie is a pastor’s wife, so she hosts a lot of things at her house and she is the absolute best at making sure she always has something for everyone coming to eat.
It’s not about the food. It’s about taking care of people. That kind of thoughtfulness, respect, and intentionality is so meaningful.
Yes, friends. God does care about what you eat, along with every other detail of your life. Not because of your weight or your appearance, but because He cares about you.
Is there anything you need to change about your diet?
How can you honor God best in your eating?