A new year stretches before you filled with numerous opportunities to deepen your relationship with your heavenly Father and to increase your ability to fulfill the special plan He has just for you! Kelsey’s Korner probes a significant question that aligns with a portion of that plan. As you consider her insight, you will have a better opportunity to fulfill that plan if you are spiritually and physically fit. Are you approaching the year with a solid understanding of the nutritional requirements necessary for spiritual and physical vitality or are you randomly starting it without a deliberate dietary plan?
Physically you know that your body has specific nutritional requirements in order to function properly. When you stand on the scale and observe the weight that it records your response may be, “I surely have more than fulfilled those requirements during the holidays, and now it is time for me to consider a diet—a revised plan for my nutritional intake”!
A quick review of nutrition is a reminder that a variety of foods are necessary to nourish you—meats, eggs, grain foods (breads, cereals, pastas), fruits, vegetables, dairy products as well as fats, oils, and sugars in moderate amounts. No one food is more or less important than others; they are all needed and they all help one another nourish you (Genesis 1 as a reminder that each act of creation concludes with the statement, “And God saw that it was good”).
Meats and eggs supply the protein necessary to build strong bodies and maintain body tissue. They are also a rich source of iron needed for rich red blood and the prevention of anemia, as well as the essential B vitamins. The word protein comes from the Greek for “first” and should be the first criteria when planning meals. The grain foods supply vigor and energy because of the carbohydrates, sugars, and starches they contain as well as significant amounts of the B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.
Our gracious heavenly Father packaged some of our best cosmetics in the fruits and vegetables He created. Rather than beauty coming from jars, tubes, and fancy bottles, a healthy glow from within, the source of true beauty, is the result of a diet that abounds in the beauty foods—fruits and vegetables. A healthy body silhouette is a combination of balancing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates with plenty of low-calorie fruits and vegetables complemented with exercise.
Dairy products build and maintain bones and teeth; as well, the calcium and phosphorus contained in milk helps calm the nerves. Their protein helps maintain body tissue while the fat supplies energy and vitamin A for sound growth and general health. Vitamin D fortified milk supplements the “sunshine vitamin” which the body produces when exposed to the sun.
Fats, oils, and sugars are the “plus” foods—while they are to be used in moderation, each does contribute some nutritive value to our diets. Fats and oils provide the body with energy, bring some of the important fat-soluble vitamins into our system, aid in digestion of essential foods, and endow our meals with full-bodied flavor. Sugar provides quick energy and helps the body utilize other nutrients, although its most obvious contribution is its taste, which makes many foods more appetizing.
An intentional spiritual dietary plan is as essential to your spiritual growth as a deliberate dietary plan is fundamental to your physical well-being. First Peter 2:2-3 teaches that spiritual growth is marked by a craving and a delight in God’s Word with the intensity with which a baby craves milk. A maturing Christian woman develops an appetite for the truth of God’s Word by:
- remembering her life’s source (“the word of the LORD endures forever”—1 Peter 1:25).
- eliminating sin from her life (“laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy, and envy and all slander”—1 Peter 2:1).
- admitting her need for God’s truth (“as newborn babes”—1 Peter 2:2).
- pursuing spiritual growth (“that you may grow thereby” —1 Peter 2:2).
- surveying her blessings ( “Lord is gracious”—1 Peter 2:3).”
When you make sound nutritional choices you have the opportunity to dramatically reduce your risk for many health challenges. The same is true in your spiritual life—when you decide to ingest a regular diet of God’s Word, spiritual vitality results. Psalm 119 is an excellent Spiritual Nutrition Guide. Will you consider studying it in detail this month to develop a “Personal Spiritual Nutritional Plan” to guide you through the year? Begin it by stating: God’s Word is . . . I provided you with several statements to get you started:
GOD’S WORD IS A . . .
source of blessing (vs. 1-8).
challenge to holiness (vs. 9-16).
teacher (vs. 17-24).
source of strength and renewal (vs.25-32).
It is my prayer that you will prayerfully consider Kelsey’s insight and that through our Lord’s strength you will seek to improve your physical, spiritual nutritional habits, and your choice to consistently apply Titus 2:3-5 to your life!
The 21st century woman has less domestic expectations and more freedom than women of any period in history. It is now socially acceptable to say “no thanks” to many of the traditional homemaking skills , including the art of cooking family meals each night. Since they have more discretionary time, why are so many women on a cooking strike? Bluntly stated, priorities have shifted from the home and family to other areas. Rowan Pelling in her article “Could Cook, Won’t Cook…And Don’t Care Who Knows It” expresses this change of priorities: “It just seems bizarre that we should judge women in the 21st century by the output of their Kenwood mixer rather than their professional acumen. Does it not occur to anyone that there’s a direct correlation between women neglecting cuisine and having a stellar career?…I even attribute my humble career in journalism to a lack of domestic competence”. As Pelling points out, domesticity and careers do not successfully go hand in hand. Regrettably, many Christian women place “cooking” on the back burner in order to prioritize other pursuits and passions. But what should our priorities be as Christians?
Paul, in the book of Titus, instructs Titus to choose elders for the church of Crete (1:5) that will “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (2:1) in the midst of the crooked Cretan culture (1:10-13). Paul’s desire for the Christians in Crete were for them to be models of good works (2:7), adorning the doctrine of God with their actions and faith (2:10). So what instructions “in accordance to sound doctrine” were given to women of the church?
Titus is told to encourage older women “to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Out of all the things that could have been stressed, Paul teaches this. But why?? Are these instructions really important enough that they “adorn the doctrine of God” (2:10) and if left undone, cause the Word of God to be reviled (2:5)?
These instructions given by Paul reveal our Father’s will: God considers family important—an utmost priority and a worthy pursuit! The more we read God’s word and examine His emphasis on the family, the more obvious it becomes that our priorities have already been established for us by God from creation (Gen. 2, 3:16) and confirmed for us throughout Scripture (1 Cor. 11:2-12; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; Tit. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). For married women and/or mothers, our priorities fall on our family—whatever that may entail. Rejecting the family’s needs to pursue our own is in direct disobedience to our created purpose and instructions. Likewise, single women should develop the skills described in Titus 2:3-5 so that they enjoy a fulfilled unmarried lifestyle and are prepared should their heavenly Father choose to change their marital status.
Although our role is difficult and can sometimes seem unrealistic, God has given us a very important job—one that cannot be left undone or put at the bottom of our priority list. Through our work in the home, loving our husbands and children through our actions, we are adorning the gospel of God (Titus 2:10), and we create a home of rest and fulfillment that points others to their eternal home that is being prepared (John 14:3). How could our job seem unfulfilling or plain when that is the job title?? Daily we are given the opportunity to display the selfless love of God, preparing a home that reflects our heavenly home to come.
So we have one more big question to answer. Do I have to cook?? As helpers to our husbands, lovers of our families, and members of the body of Christ, we happily do anything that’s needed. So ask yourself honestly: “Should I cook? Would it be a help to my husband and a benefit to my family or others?” If the answer is yes, then cook we must. For some of us, our husbands prefer to cook—there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But our hearts must be willing and joyful to assume any role required to support our family. So, if cooking is the need, then with gladness, creativity, and servitude we dust off our spatulas, tie on our aprons, and cook.
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the judge is standing at the door” (James 5:7-9).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “I am to picture every prayer as a seed planted in God’s will. As I wait, I should picture them ripening, trusting in God’s perfect harvest time.”