I’m writing this on a holiday known for its scariness, Halloween; but for many women every holiday can send them into a panic – and what they fear is themselves!
When “goodies” are “baddies” in your mind, having them around, as they are on most holidays – from Valentine’s Day through New Year’s Eve – can result in the fear of falling to temptation (eating “bad” foods and overeating). But if you live your life without food rules (see Colossians 2:20-23 and 1 Peter 4:1-4 for why food rules don’t “work”), then knowing you can eat any “goodie” out there at any time means never having to eat a whole lot of holiday food right now. The pressure women feel to overeat special foods on special occasions springs from knowing they will not allow themselves to eat anything scrumptious again anytime soon. (But they do end up overindulging again much sooner than they told themselves they would! See Romans 7:7-8 for why that is.)
Since I gave up dieting in 1984, the specialness of holidays for me has been found in the meaning and symbolism of the event, the people with whom I’m celebrating, the sights and sounds unique to that particular day, and sometimes the presence of a food that isn’t as available at other times of the year. But, knowing I can always have a “goodie” if I really want one means no longer needing to overindulge in any “scary” holiday foods.
Afraid of the holidays? Ask God to guide you by His Word and His Spirit into a new understanding of how He has designed you to relate to food, and His love will cast out your fear (1 John 4:18).