“She does him good… all the days of her life.”
An Important Education for Women
Many studies have found that married men live longer than bachelors. Diet is a significant factor. One study showed that: ”Women traditionally take more responsibility for the home than men do, and, as a consequence, a woman’s education might be more important for the family lifestyle – for example, in terms of food habits…(which) could have a substantial influence on the health and mortality of the partner.”
Time to Wise-up!
My “education” commenced about 6 years ago, at the onset of ill-health. After discovering The Weston A. Price Foundation, which is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, I realized that I knew very little about nutrition.
These “nutrient-dense” foods, demonized by today’s diet gurus – butter, eggs, whole raw milk, cream, saturated fats, red meat, organ meats, etc. – God sanctioned for the human diet. 1 Timothy 4:3-4 elaborates “…foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good…”.
As these foods were prioritized in our diet, and all the processed so-called “health foods” (low-fat-this, cholesterol-free-that, etc.) were eliminated, our health improved dramatically. Within a few months many prescription drugs were eliminated (with our doctor’s guidance), whole foods having helped to resolve many problems (high blood pressure, for instance).
Helping My Husband
Putting nourishing foods on the table is a very real way I can assist my husband in regard to his physical well-being so that he can continue serving as God has called him. A longtime Bible teacher – in the pulpit (though he is not a pastor), at mid-week Bible study, to seminary students abroad, etc. – Robert and two other men will be conducting several Pastor’s conferences this June in the Southern Sudan. His health is crucial to these ministries. I want to do what I can to help him continue to minister God’s word for the good of His people and His glory.
As wives, we have the opportunity to help our husbands enjoy good health. Food should do what God intended – strengthen, build and repair our bodies, satisfy our taste buds and satiate our hunger. Only real whole foods can do that.
The Way to a Man’s Healthy Heart is Through His Stomach
At a routine doctor’s visit recently, Robert’s doctor commented about his blood pressure (123/72), “You are a rarity – the only man your age (63) that I’ve seen lately with such great readings – without medication.” Wow! I was there and heard this. I thought to myself, “If I told the doctor that it’s all those wonderful foods with saturated fat and cholesterol (along with all the good veggies and fruit), he’d never believe me!”
But even though I can make a positive difference, I mustn’t be smug. God is sovereign. He can and does use illness at times for our sanctification. Should God choose to use cancer (or another illness) for our spiritual growth, I know that it would be His sovereign and gracious design for our lives. I would also have confidence that I did what I could to prevent such an illness.
The Wisdom of the Ancients
We live in a world of convenience – everything in an instant, including food. A trip to the grocery store provides quick-fixes for meals in minutes. As a result, we’ve come to think that getting out of the kitchen in a flash improves our lives.
Women in the past knew better. They had a wisdom about food that has long since been lost to the younger generation. Wives were always on board to support their men with hearty, healthful meals three times everyday.
Proverbs 31:15 tells us that the excellent wife gets up “…while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens.” Notice here that nourishing her loved ones was such a priority that “Mrs. Far-Above-Rubies” did the cooking herself, not delegating it to her servants. She even served her maids breakfast!
My parents were savvy to the old ways. When Mom continued to make eggs for breakfast, after cold boxed cereal had made its way onto the grocery shelves, Dad told us three discontented kids that the health of our future children depended on our eating nutritious foods in the present, especially for breakfast which he proclaimed was the most important meal of the day. Knowing what I do now, I marvel at his wisdom, a “wisdom of the ancients” that was far superior to what we hear today from the food industry.
“She does him good… all the days of her life.”
But What if My Husband Objects?
This is not unusual and can be frustrating. I have found that submission, prayer and/or a respectful appeal (in order to come to an agreeable solution, if need be) always honor God, guards against frustration and often obtains an open-mindedness from my husband. Here are some typical and reasonable objections your husband might offer:
“I really don’t care to eat that stuff.”
Personally, I would love to serve seafood once a week, but Robert loathes anything out of the water. Knowing that the Omega 3’s that fish provide are vital to health, I put it before the Lord and the answer came – COD LIVER OIL. Can you believe that? My husband would rather go hungry than let one morsel of mackerel, etc. pass through his lips, yet he will gladly slurp down a spoonful of cod liver oil (lemon taste, not fishy) every morning.
A friend of mine tried numerous times in numerous ways to introduce unrefined coconut oil to her husband, but he disliked it and detected it no matter how she disguised it in his food. Finally she relented and put her gallon of coconut oil to rest.
Subsequently, one evening after retiring for bed, her husband, attempting to kiss her goodnight, gagged and then lamented, “I cannot even give my wife a kiss goodnight without tasting that stuff!” Since she was no longer using coconut oil in the kitchen, she had begun using it as a skin moisturizer.
But here’s the clincher. My Bible study group met at this lady’s house. When it was my turn for snack, I made popcorn – popped in coconut oil and slathered with butter. After study, her husband waltzed in and ask for something to nibble on. Not remembering the coconut oil debacle, I handed him a bag of popcorn. He gobbled it down with absolute relish, savoring every bite. Realizing this, it was all I could do to keep a straight face.
The Lord often manifests His sense of humor in providing answers and encouragement!
“We cannot afford organic.”
This is where it really pays to know your stuff. If you’ve educated yourself, you can respectfully appeal to your husband. Pray first, then approach him with ideas to make whole food work within your budget. Following is a sampling of what you might present:
- Buying toxin-free conventionally raised produce such as thick-skinned fruit (citrus, melons, avocados, bananas and more) and also many vegetables.
- Growing your own produce organically.
- Serving economy meals – soups, legumes, etc.
- Eliminating expensive convenience faux-foods/not eating out as often.
- Making cleaning and beauty products from common household ingredients.
- Planning a menu.
- Learning from experienced women how to economize.
Assure your husband that you will pray as Jesus instructed, “Give us this day our daily bread”, and believe He will. Robert and I live on a meager income and have never had to compromise at the grocery store because God has faithfully provided for us. We have not been disappointed and have found that our “thankfulness quotient” has skyrocketed.
“I’m happy with the way we’ve always eaten.”
If this is your situation and your husband will not be persuaded otherwise, and if it concerns his tastes rather than the budget, there are many things that you can do to make his meals more nutritious. Here are some ideas:
- Switch from toxic fats and oils to those that are nourishing.
- Switch from processed sugar to healthy alternatives.
- Make your own salad dressings (the ones your hubby really likes) and mayonnaise.
- Buy bacon and wieners, etc. that do not contain nitrites and nitrates.
- Make hamburgers from grass-fed beef instead of conventional beef.
- Buy snacks your husband prefers (potato chips for instance) that are made with cold-pressed monounsaturated oils instead of polyunsaturated heat-extracted oils.
- Make healthy alternatives of the processed foods he’s used to – for instance, stuffing made from scratch that mimics (no, it tastes better than) the mix you make on top of the stove.
“What about desert?”
Your husband may fear that his sweet tooth will be starved (actually, that’s not a bad thing). Assure him that you will make his sweets from scratch (perhaps this is yet another way to budget for whole foods), using healthy alternative sweeteners – palm sugar, organic maple syrup, Rapadura, stevia. (Follow this link to learn why agave is even worse than HFCS.)
Since I have never baked much, our sweet treats include puddings, baked apples, parfaits, homemade ice cream, fresh peaches (or other fruit) with cream (yum!). These sweets offer less carbs than baked goods and also some nutrition in the form of eggs, cream and milk. Still, these types of foods should be served only occasionally since they still contain sugars. Alternatively, try serving salty treats such as popcorn, popped as mentioned above, peanut or almond butter on celery or salty nuts prepared for optimum nutrition.
Some Practical Ways to Nourish Your Husband
- Make breakfast. After fasting 10 hours or more and with a full day ahead, breakfast is vital for energy and general health. “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”
- Pack a lunch if your husband eats away from home while working.
- If your husband fills up on the main course and neglects his salad, serve the salad as a first course along with his favorite (healthy homemade) dressing.
- Provide plenty of good fat with each meal; it satiates hunger better than carbs or protein. Your husband will go longer without needing snacks. Slather cooked veggies in butter (fat also assists in the delivery and metabolizing of nutrients in your body).
God is Honored
When it is your desire to “do your husband good” in this fashion God is glorified. He will provide in ways that you never dreamed of. Pray about any difficulties you encounter, continue your education, plan your menu, go to bed earlier, listen to your husband, and eat as many meals together as possible at the table. Go ahead…do him good!
What other snack and economizing ideas can you offer? How has your husband responded to your “doing him good” in this way? How do you view your role as your husband’s helper when it comes to his health and what he eats?