Help for Eating Disorders

When I meet with women seeking help for their eating or food problems I am consistently surprised at the number who think and expect that I have something magical to offer them.  They think I have some special pixie dust or wand that I wave over them and suddenly the problems are solved and life is better.

The reality is I have no black hat, no new magic or spectacular chant that will relieve their sorrow or troubles. What I do have is the Word of God that contains life and hope and the promise for lasting change.

But there is no instant solution! What brings a person to the point of wanting or needing counseling/discipleship did often not materialize overnight, nor will the issues resolve overnight! What I am speaking of when I disciple/counsel biblically is the need for heart level change.  It is the same for those who struggle with food issues. Too fat, too thin, too much too little it all begins in the heart.

Many who persist with disordered eating believe that for the favor of God to rest upon them they must "be good" or not participate in their sinful eating habits. This places the grace of God in the realm of a payment to us, and that clearly cannot be! "Grace" by its very definition is unmerited favor, and this means that I cannot earn it by being "good." Besides, there is no way any of us could ever be good enough anyway to earn God's favor since the standard is sinless perfection.

But sadly I have meet with women who truly believe that if they could just control their food intake that God would be pleased with them.

God is already pleased with every believer because of Christ! Because that abiding relationship with Christ never changes, God's love and acceptance of us never changes either.

When you binge, purge or starve yourself you are most certainly sinning, and God does hate that sin- but God will never hate you or turn you away; you are one of His children.  You will reap consequences for your sin with eating just like you do for any other sin, and that is proof of your sonship (Hebrews 12:11).  Each one of the eating disorders we looked at in the past week carries its own inherent demerits, natural and unpleasant consequences that God by His grace brings and allows to change us.

Some of those consequences are found in the unwanted weight gain of the over eater. This puts stress on the body's frame and organs that it is not designed to take.  Purging reverses the natural manner of digestion and the acids intended to break down the food are brought up the esophagus and burn it, and the throat and the acids eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Purging also deprives the body of essential vitamins and minerals.  Starving yourself withholds all basic nutrition from your body causing it to steal nutrients from your muscles, including your heart. Exercising excessively while withholding food is a double insult to the body and can lead to heart failure and a host of other medical problems.

The disordered eater has at their core the same issues that the rest of us "ordinary sinners" do. Some try and describe it as a compulsion and looking at the biblical definition of a compulsion I would agree!

Compulsion: desire, strong habitual desires that are carried out without thought, sometimes neglecting the love of God or others.

Desire: a desire, craving, or longing, mostly of evil desires, frequently translated lust.

Scripture instructs us to put aside lust.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 1 Peter 1:14 (NASB)

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11 (NASB)

This is an act of your will. You have to begin to desire to honor God with your body more than you desire to satisfy your sinful lusts and desires.