Our Motives for Healthier Living
As Christians who desire to live more healthfully, naturally, sustainably, you-fill-in-the-blank, I think our motivation is such an important area to discuss. I would definitely agree with this guest poster and her conclusion as to why we should even care about or do any of these things at all. But I’ll let her tell you more about it… 🙂
Guest Post by Babychaser
We’ve taken the plunge to healthier living… but why? This is a question I have to ask myself from time to time… mostly when I’m focusing a little too much on the specifics.
It’s easy to get wrapped up on making sure we are eating healthy and not being exposed to dangerous chemicals… and when we get too wrapped up in it, it can become an idol.
On the far, far other side of that is my inclination to be lazy and just let it go when it gets to be too much.
So why have we made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle? I think the answer to that helps to keep me in check. Stewardship.
Most of the time we think of stewardship as being in reference to finances. We are to be good stewards of our money… all that God gives us. We are also to be good stewards of everything else God has and will give us… including our bodies and our family’s bodies.
Upon learning more and more of the crazy things we’ve implemented in our lives, one friend smiled and said, “I’d love to know how you guys are going to die.” I had to laugh because the truth is; we are all going to die. Even if we take all the chemicals and harmful substances out of our lives, we will still die. But God gave us these bodies to live in (note: we are not our bodies, but merely live in our bodies while we reside on earth.) He gave them to us and it is up to us to be good stewards of them.
Good stewardship may look different from one family to another. I do not hold myself above those who have not chosen to make the food and chemical choices we have just like I hope those in better physical shape are not looking down on us for failing to exercise as I know we should. None on this earth is perfect, but as I have learned about the harm so many of the foods, etc. available to us are to our bodies, I’ve felt the need to make changes in order to be a better steward of my family’s health.
Let me give a couple examples:
• Refined sugars lower our immune systems as well as a ton of other things.
• BPA affects our bodies in a number of ways, including its links to breast cancer and fertility problems.
• Pasteurization depletes most (or all) of the healthful aspects of milk and is linked to a number of allergies and health problems.
As I work to be a good steward of our health, it only makes sense to me to cut as much refined sugar as possible, to remove BPA from our home and to switch to raw milk.
I’ll be the first to admit that we are are not die hard on these things. From time to time my kids can be found playing with bad plastics or our family will get ice cream from one of the yummy places around town, but we are on a road to being healthier and getting closer and closer every day.
You can learn more of our journey to healthier living beginning with this post.
What motivates you to live healthier? Do you agree that it’s an issue of stewardship?
Babychaser is the wife to her Beloved and mommy to Tornado and Sweet Pea. You can read about the “Adventures of the Babychaser” at her blog, Stay at Home Mommy. Blogging anonymously, Babychaser writes about raising healthy children, training her children, day to day happenings, and anything else tickling her fingertips.
Absolutely, I agree that this is a question of stewardship. As you mentioned, though, it is always important to recognize that we are limited in terms of our finances, availability of certain products, etc. and so it is important not to judge others or even be too hard on ourselves. We must do the best we can with what we have. Changing our health habits is also a very personal issue for me, having lost four family members to cancer, including my beloved mama. I want to live a long, satisfied life and be here for my kids and husband. I want this body of mine to be fruitful and productive on this earth and of course, I want the same for my children. I have a ton of adult-onset allergies and other health issues that I don’t want my kids to experience, either, so I take responsiblity for learning and growing, and trusting that God will direct us towards the changes we need to make in our lives. It is easy to become overwhelmed or discouraged in our desire to make healthy change. I like that you mentioned that we will all die anyways- it is always helpful for me to remind myself that I am not ultimately in control of the length of my days; that it is good to move forward but not lose the joy and peace of today in my pursuit of change.
I’ve made many of these changes as well. Someone gave me a little cake for my BD last spring, & on top of the container was a list of the ingredients. I was horrified by the things that were in it. I cannot eat it, anyway, because i’m gluten intolerant (but i so appreciated the thoughtfulness of the folks who got it for me). Seriously, tho, i have to question how anyone could buy something with such a list of chemicals on it. ??? I am assuming that most folks don’t read labels &/or have gotten so accustomed to seeing long lists of non-pronounceable items that it has become normal.
The truth is i have a number of physical/medical issues that i’m fighting & the large majority i believe to be caused by poor choices i made when i was younger. I’m not too worried about how long that i live, but i want to be as healthy as i can be while i’m living it.
On stewardship – Yes!
Many years ago when i was in college i had a friend from church who was “crazy” over environmental issues. He taught a Bible Study class on it, & it got to the point that it was hard to talk to him about it. (And his stand on the environment was rather over the top; his argument started with original sin which, when taken to its logical conclusion – his argument – we should all go out & kill ourselves in the most environmentally conscious way possible.) But i told him it came down to a matter of being responsible stewards of the earth & & our families, bodies, & choices. He did not like the word “stewardship” because it has been twisted so that most folks only think about money when the word is used. He felt that using the word stewardship let folks side-step responsibilities.
But i think we need to take back the true meaning of stewardship. It means to be responsible in all aspects of our lives & choices.
I agree that the focus of living a healthful lifestyle should always be stewardship. The way I look at it is that we’re only given one body and a few decades of life on this earth. It seems to make sense that we should take the best care of the bodies and the environment we’ve been blessed with. Like anything else, it is possible to become obsessive and even prideful about our dedication to good health. The goal should never be to prove that we’re “better” than others or to be so obsessed with ideal health that we can’t simply enjoy life.
WHat is BPA?
I LOVE the idea of considering our bodies as the Lord’s, and we are stewards. My family is in the process of making some lifestyle changes because we are more and more thinking in this way.
However, my main prayer in all of this has been that it would not become my “gospel”. It is a topic that has a passionate following, and can thus become our main focus, if we let it. If someone goes out of their way to offer me some food that I may not choose to eat on my own, I will accept if I feel like it would love that person and encourage them to know Jesus. THAT is my first goal…that people would love the Lord. If making my own cleaner or food has to slide because of a relational priority, then so be it. I will trust God for my body’s health in that instance, and make pursuing someone for the gospel my first goal.
That said, I’m really excited about taking baby steps towards taking better care of my family’s health!!