Daily Bible Reading: Genesis 3: 1 – 8
You knew I was going to go back to the woman who started all our issues with food, didn’t you? That’s right. Today, we’re going to talk about Eve.
God gave Adam and Eve everything they could ever dream of. They were in a beautiful garden, no mortgage payments, no stress of any kind… except when it came to that one beautiful fruit tree.
God had told them they could eat of any tree in the entire garden. Any tree except for one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did eat of it, they would die.
The cynical side of me wants to say, “God was totally just setting them up to fail. He knew they couldn’t resist, and He put that tree in the garden anyway.” But, that’s not the case at all. The reason God put that tree in the garden was to give Adam and Eve free will. They were the ones that had to make the choice whether to obey God and not eat from the tree or disobey Him and eat the fruit.He gives us lots of choices in our own lives as well. The choice to accept Him as our personal Savior or reject His free gift of salvation. The choice to follow His plan for our life or do our own thing. The choice to seek His word daily or to sleep in a little longer. Even the choice to eat better foods or grab the junk that’s lurking in the pantry. He loves us so much, He doesn’t want to force His will on us, He wants us to want Him, to choose Him over everything else we might think we want instead.We all know how the story of Adam and Eve ends. The serpent convinces Eve that she will not die if she eats the fruit, but instead will become as a god. Not only does Eve eat the fruit, but she convinces her husband he should eat it too.Because we never want to be guilty of something on our own, right? And we’re never, ever the ones at fault. Adam blames the woman, the woman blames the serpent, and the serpent just laughs, knowing exactly what he has done.My husband is my enabler. His days off are the hardest days I have when it comes to eating right. He is really good at getting me to eat.When Gene and I first met, I was at the lowest point of my life. I had dropped to 90 pounds and I was consumed by anorexia and bulimia. I hardly ever ate, but when I did, it all came back up. I was in therapy, trying desperately to get help. I was under the care of a doctor, and I remember stuffing my pockets full of rocks and wearing layers and layers of clothes so that the scale would say a number that the doctor wouldn’t give me grief about. My fiance had broken up with me, and I found out he had been sleeping with several of the women he was working with because I wouldn’t sleep with him. My life was a shambles. And then I met Gene. We started dating, and I instantly knew he was different from every other guy I had ever met. I knew that he would love me no matter what. Before I knew it, I had dropped out of therapy and had even packed on enough pounds to get me to a healthier weight. Gene and I started dating in November of 2001. By the time we married in September of 2002, I was up to 125 pound and a size 4. And he still thought I was beautiful. Now, almost 13 years later, this man has seen me at my heaviest… and he loved me anyway. He has gained weight and lost it right along with me. He has been my biggest cheerleader, and people at his work always tell me that he is always showing off pictures of me. I got blessed with a good man.At the same time, though, like I mentioned above, this man can get me to eat like even the highest paid doctors and therapists couldn’t. And he can still do it to me. On his days off, he snacks all day long. I can usually resist the snacks, but if I can’t, I’ll stick to celery or cucumbers. If we go out somewhere, though, like an actual date night in a restaurant, he can always talk me into cleaning my plate or ordering dessert. (Or both!! SIGH.) He uses phrases like, “You can just start over tomorrow.” or “One hot fudge brownie sundae is not going to undo everything you’ve done.” or my absolute least favorite one, “You deserve this.” That phrase gets me to do bad things every time, and I’m no better than Eve standing in front of the tree with the fruit in her hand.I don’t deserve it. I like to think that I do, but I don’t. Because what is that sundae going to do to me? It’s going to make me feel guilty, it’s going to make me beat myself up, and it could cause me to think I deserve something else the next day – and the next day – and the next day, and before I know it, I’m back to my old habits of eating all the junk I don’t need.
I have to learn to control myself when he is home. This is where my biggest battle lies right now, just because he will “reward” me by bringing me Starbucks or a bag of peanut butter M&M’s, or he will talk me into that second pork chop when I’ve already cleaned my plate.
I must learn to say NO. To stop eating when I am full. To stay away from the junk food and dessert. I can’t do it by my strength, I have to draw from the strength of my Savior. I have to learn to turn to Him not just when I’m having an in-the-moment craving, but at all times, and in all situations.
Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Temptations will always be there. Always. But God always gives us another choice. Cookies or carrot sticks. Which one will benefit me more? Dessert, or ask for the bill? There’s always another option. Let’s do our best to start making the right choice even when those around us aren’t. It will be worth it in the end!
1. Do you have an “enabler” in your life? I’m not saying they are Satan, I’m just saying they can talk you into eating things you know you shouldn’t. (If you are keeping a journal or writing down your answers to these questions, feel free to write as much as you’d like about your relationship with your enabler.)
2. During and after this challenge, how do you want to be able to respond when someone tries to tempt you with food you know you shouldn’t eat?
Workout at least 30 minutes and drink at least 8 glasses of water.
To print out today’s copy of the God Before Goodies Challenge, click here.