What if I told you that our eating struggles aren’t ultimately just about us—or food? What if binge eating or obsession with the latest diet were about so much more than eating habits? What if the problem of food struggles—and the solution—were so much bigger than we ever dreamed?
Author Geneen Roth was onto something when she published her brilliantly-titled book “Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.*” You see, as women, the way we eat can reveal a great deal about what is going on below the surface. It can show what is really happening in our deepest, truest selves rather than just the well-constructed facades we present to the world.
Because of this, struggles with food are really only a small part of an old, old story. It’s probably one you’ve heard before. But has anyone ever shown you where our food struggles fit into it?
The old, old story is the one of redemption—the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, in its four parts, it holds essential truths about who we are as women and what food can and should mean for us.
Creation teaches me that my soul is created to feast on God and that food is intended to nourish and delight my body.
The Fall teaches me that food can never satisfyingly fill my soul, and that every fiber of my being and of my world—including how I eat and food itself—are now tainted by death and decay.
Redemption teaches me the glorious news that Jesus died—paying the penalty for all my transgressions—and rose again so that my soul might once again feast on God and have the power to say “no” to misusing food.
Consummation teaches me that all is not yet as it will be when Christ returns, that glorious day when I will behold my soul’s true treasure and feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
As with so many things in life, context really does matter. As long as our eating issues exclusively center on ourselves and food, we’ll be missing the big picture. Only when we place our struggles within the context of the great redemption story do our problems, and the solution, truly begin to make sense.
*I don’t agree with everything that Geneen Roth has to say. But, man! Does she have great titles or what?!