Food for God’s Design : Hope for Better Nutrition

Erin Young and her family

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to welcome Erin Young to the Soiree table today as a guest blogger! Erin is a wife, mom, and daughter of the Most High King! She has a passion to walk alongside women to encourage them to find freedom in Christ from the bondage of food choices. As owner of Bread by Design, she loves sharing about clean, whole food, whole grain nutrition, and bread baking in an effort to equip others to prepare and enjoy health promoting food that works to optimize God’s design.Erin will be serving as a breakout session leader for Mom Weekend at Camp Carl on September 9th. To sign up for this great retreat, click the link here. Deadline for sign-up is THIS FRIDAY, August 25th.

Have you come to the realization that your food choices, like every area of your life, need to come into submission to the Lord? “Move away from poor food choices and the ebb and flow of dieting towards wise food choices that optimize God’s extraordinary design, a change that starts in your heart.” This is the description of the breakout session I’m hosting for Mom Weekend at Camp Carl. I plan to share practical tips to help purge your pantry of damaging foods, build up and maintain a clean, whole food pantry (with good, better, and best options to meet your season of life!), so you can incorporate those foods into your daily routine for you and your family.

For now, I hope all the practical ideas are beneficial. I know I needed help when I first began to care about what I was putting into my body. My real hope is to make known the most important (and the hardest) part of this journey to master – our hearts and motivation to make the changes.

When we live under the freedom of Christ and His saving grace, we then begin to want to live like He is Lord of our lives. We live under His authority and obey His commands out of worship. We have nothing to gain in Him, because it’s already been done through Jesus. We grow in trusting that He has so graciously designed a way for us to live out life, and that His ways are for our good, as well as His glory. He does indeed give a prescription for how to live (think the Ten Commandments and the Law) but we have read in His Word about what happens when we either make too light or too much of His prescribed ways (think every fallen human being in the Bible and the legalistic Pharisees and Sadducees). The unbalance is unhealthy on either end. Herein lies the tension of what one of my favorite pastors, Paul Tripp, describes as “living between the already and the not yet.”

I have experienced both extremes in the area of food and nutrition. I have felt the conviction to be obedient to His command to steward our bodies well (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but have lived on either side of the spectrum, in apathy or rigidity. Sometimes all within a 24-hour period! Both lead me to slavery. I have days (or seasons!) I give into every little temptation and feel the truth of Paul’s lament in Romans 7 – for I do what I don’t want to do! Other days, I find myself walking the rigid road, not assessing a situation (or season!) that could use grace. Sigh…

And if our hearts weren’t enough to try to master, let’s not discount the ways the world enters into our prescribed way of life and muddies and confuses things. How the spiritual battle rages and plays out also in every area of our lives and on the earth, including food and nutrition. We live in a society full of mixed messages of what is best for our bodies and a food system that provides ease and convenience for our busy lives, all while taking away beneficial nutrients and nutrition in the process. Add to that the fact that we have WAY too many choices by way of products in our grocery stores and we depend on an industry for our food. Isn’t it just like the enemy to confuse and distort, making the simple things harder to understand and live out, all under the mask of ease and convenience? This might be part of the curse being on our food and food production from the fall of man! (Genesis 3:17-19)

So, where’s the hope in all of this? I go back to the FREEDOM of living in and for Christ. Like the Sermon on the Mount reminds me, Jesus cared more about the hearts of people than the behaviors. He stood on truth and never compromised God’s Word, but He always landed on the inner workings of men and women.

Anything done without faith is sin (Romans 14:23b). May we walk out our health and nutrition journey in FAITH and commit to trust Him and desire to please Him with what we put into our bodies, as well as what we serve our families and friends. After all, as it is with Jesus, it’s about worship-motivated stewardship, not perfection.

Please join us for Mom’s Weekend! I hope this breakout session will provide helpful and practical tips and guidelines for your health journey, and yet provide freedom for where you are on it!

— Erin Young (c) August 2023

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