In Part 3, I did my best to lay out how I've come to understand that nutrition is a great thing, as long as it remains in its proper place and doesn’t consume us. (pun included but not intended!)
My baby, getting into the good stuff.
Here's the overview: I want to feed my family healthy, nourishing, wholesome foods. I think it's one way I can show them love. BUT...
IF necessary, I should be willing to give up perfect or ideal nutrition in order to love my kids, husband, and anyone else who eats my food, AS A WHOLE PERSON.
In some cases, it would be more loving to serve a quick meal or dessert, and invest the extra time some other way in the people I want to love.
- Like playing a board game with my kids.
- Or holding my 4-year-old for a while on the couch.
- Or gaining extra time with my hubby from an easy after-dinner cleanup.
- Or sitting down while kids are napping, undistracted, to help a young single friend through a rough time.
I bet someone who's reading this will disagree. Maybe it seems a stay-at-home mom should have time to do it all.
Well, Paul didn't. He wasn't a stay-at-home mom, but he had to pick and choose his priorities.
I think he chose love as his guiding, filtering principle:
As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger.(2 Cor. 6:5)
He certainly didn't let health be a defining line for him. In fact, he didn't seem to make it much of a priority at all, at least compared to service and love.
Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2Co 11:23-30)
And our best example of all, Jesus, who prioritized love over his health and well-being even to death:
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (I John 3:16)
If only, as mothers and wives, we would channel all our interests, talents, work, cooking, cleaning, organizing, researching…for the sake of love!
If only we would keep our priorities straight, as Paul and Jesus did!
If only we were more in love with the gospel ourselves, taken with the fact that Jesus lay down his own life and health for us!
Maybe we would be more likely to do the same.
Next week, I’ll close this series with the list of practical guidelines I've begun using for myself to maintain balance as I plan and cook.