Of Course!

A woman who had recently become engaged to marry her longtime boyfriend told me, “Since we’re committed to postponing sex until we’re married, of course, we’re eating out of frustration.”  Yes, of course.

Another woman whose child was hospitalized after a tragic accident told me, “Of course, all this stress is making me eat.”  Yes, of course.

When I hear “of course,” I translate that as, “This is what I believe to be natural and expected.” And I can certainly understand why turning to food would be considered only natural and expected in the face of…
stress
sexual desire that is not being fulfilled
guilt or shame you want to push out of your mind
boredom
disappointment

But even though our culture expects women to cope with their emotions by eating, is it really natural to do so? Is it natural because we find ourselves eating reflexively in certain circumstances?

Well, yes and no.

Eating as a coping mechanism is natural for “the flesh,” for the human nature that copes with life as best as it can without God. But any so-called “compulsive” or “addictive” behavior to which we turn in order to cope with life’s problems is not natural to our original design and not natural to a new creation in Christ, who has been given a new nature that deeply desires to find its wholeness in God alone.

Turning to food is not “of course” for the Christian. It is just returning to an “old self” habit when the “new self” longs to turn to Jesus Christ.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.  Heb. 4:15-16, NAS

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