This is the final installment of the Mary and Martha Moment series covering the Four Pillars of Kitchen Stewardship:
Since we can’t take our bodies with us for eternity, and our personal nutrition doesn’t directly affect others like our treatment of the environment, why is it important? Is nutrition important in the eyes of God?
God asks us to take care of all of His gifts, our bodies included. The Bible is peppered with teachings about the sanctity of the body and how we ought to respect it. People are punished for hurting others’ bodies, and we are commanded to take care of our own.
- The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19) God, dwelling with in us, deserves great respect. You would clean your home for an important visitor to make a good impression and show respect; should we do any less for our Lord who wishes to reside in our hearts? Of course, the spiritual state of our soul is the much more important side of “cleanliness”, but we still need to take care of the ol’ house in which the soul resides.
- The body is a gift from God. He who cares about food for sparrows and counts the hairs on our heads surely wishes us to care about our food and physical well-being. (Luke 12)
- If the body didn’t matter, could gluttony be a sin? A virtue is the opposite of a sin, so if the opposite of pride, for example, is humility, is the opposite of gluttony moderation, or even nourishing, wholesome food habits? Let us seek the virtues, including those that involve food.
- Christ suffered and saved us with His Body, thus sanctifying and glorifying the human body. He continues to give us His Body and Blood, thus emphasizing the importance of the flesh. If His mortal body could be used for the salvation of the world, shouldn’t ours at least be respected enough to be honored and kept healthy by our choices? In the same sense, Christ teaches us to let go of our earthly bodies and trust in the promise of Heaven. We must be stewards, but not fanatics.
As we work hard on nutrition, learn about health and safety, and toil to give the best to our kids, (often with a little worry thrown in for good measure), we must first remember Soul First, Body Second – our goal isn’t to live forever in these bodies, it’s to live forever in Heaven. We’ll leave the bodies behind, and although they’ll be resurrected and perfected in the end, we still need to care for them while we are here.
- Learn about nutrition, vitamins, personal care products, cleaning products, and the chemicals so rampant in our world. In other words, know what goes on and in your body and your children’s bodies. (Kitchen Stewardship is a good place to start!)
- Learn how to read ingredient labels. (One item to watch out for: trans fats. One item to seek out: whole grains)
- Understand the hazards of what your food is stored in. (We’ve covered drinking containers and food storage so far.)
- Find foods that pack a punch nutritionally, and learn how to incorporate them into your diet.
- Plan meals that are nourishing, both for body and spirit.
- Cook for your family – try not to let factories do it for you.
- How you prepare foods counts, too: vegetables and microwaves
- Avoid cleaning with hazardous chemicals. (We’ll tackle this subject in depth in August or September; we’ve already covered hand soap and dishwashers.)
- Teach your children to respect their bodies and care about what goes into their mouths. My son has gotten into the habit lately of asking, “Is this food healthy for my body? Is it a super food?” He likes to make sure he’s eating what Dr. Sears calls “growing foods” so he gets big and strong! Find terminology that works for your kids’ ages and make mealtime a teachable moment. (Would you like to hear more about this topic? Let me know in the comments section.)
Take good care of your bodies today. First, prayer. Then, healthy foods. Make your soul and body a wholesome place for Christ to dwell. God be with you!