Dear Momma who advocates Real Food,
I totally know where you’re coming from. You want the best of the best for your family, and you want to promote healthy living. You’ve seen great results from focusing on eating nutrition-dense foods and organic or farm fresh when possible. You focus on “preventative care,” namely taking care of our bodies to avoid trips to the doctor and unnecessary illnesses. It makes all the sense in the world.
In your passion and enthusiasm, please be mindful that you traveled a journey to arrive where you are. You weren’t born knowing healthy eating habits; you may or may not have been trained in them. You are constantly learning new things and attempting to implement them for the good of you and your family. Not all of us have traveled that journey yet.
You will find some mommas who are interested in what you have learned. They want to learn from you and begin research on their own. That’s great! It’s fun to pass on knowledge to others who are eager. But, of course, you will also find mommas who are at their wits end or attempting to deal with difficult life seasons, and in so doing, they are doing the best they can to keep their family fed. Maybe someday soon they’ll also be interested in what you’ve learned. Don’t be offended if they seem disinterested for now; they probably have other things going on that are absorbing much of their physical and emotional energy. Look for opportunities to encourage, not divide.
Dear Momma who Does What She Can,
I know where you are right now. You look at the mouths you have to feed and your incredibly tight food money and wonder how the two will meet in the middle… or if they even will. You pick up the Blue Box macaroni and a couple packages of hot dogs to supplement the rest of your meals, knowing that by the end of this pay period, the pickins will be slim around your place.
You see blog post titles about nourishing little ones and scroll past them. You’ve read enough of them previously that you think they, too, will advocate the ideal world of organic, non-GMO expensive-ness… and it discourages you. You get so overwhelmed by all you “should” do that you ignore what you’ve read and hope that someday… someday you will be able to be supermom.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to be supermom. If the LORD is able to provide enough for your Blue Box and hot dogs, He can sustain you and your family through whatever life season you’re dealing with. Maybe you can make a few meals from scratch, or maybe you don’t have time or energy for such an endeavor. God doesn’t call you to be what your neighbors are; He calls you to live for Him in this moment. So keep doing the best you can. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn and implement small changes, but you don’t need to overwhelm yourself to the point of inaction. And don’t segregate yourself from the “real food” mommas. Strive to encourage, not divide.
How this relates to the Gospel
In a world of food allergens and processed foods, it can be hard to find balance when you’re on either side of the spectrum. Maybe you’re eating real foods out of necessity — you just can’t physically handle processed goods. Maybe you’re eating on a tight food budget because you got hit with a major financial emergency and needed to cut somewhere — and food was the “easiest” place to cut. Each of us makes the choice we do based on our life season and the good of our family — the best we can do at the time. Does that mean we should compare and contrast our life seasons to see who it handling theirs “better?” How would that glorify Christ?
Apparently food has been an issue within the Body of Christ since the early church. Paul talked about abstaining from food offered to idols if that would be a struggle for you or a stumbling block for those around you. For some, it was no big deal. For others, it spelled compromise and something like syncretism. So what are we to do in that situation?
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
1 Cor. 8:5-13 (emphasis added)
The LORD is our provider, whether we eat real food or do the best we can. We are called to unity as the Body, whether we eat real food or do the best we can. Take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) in whatever way you can during this life season, doing so with the intention to honor God (1 Cor. 10:31) and make for peace with each other (Rom. 14:19).
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Cor. 10:31
Your turn: How have you been encouraged by other believers as you strive to feed your family?