Food has been with us since the start of time. God creates Adam and Eve and then they bicker over fruit from a tree. We see from Scripture—like all other sins—gluttony kills. In this post, I'll examine the sin of gluttony, how it plays out as a dad and how you can eliminate it.
We wrote an entire book 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad eBook because there's a lot to cover for each sin. More than we can cram into a series of blog posts. But for now, let's look at gluttony.
What is gluttony?
Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink or wealth items. There’s a bigger idea at play here. There’s a desire for more, not unlike greed, that cannot be quench. The sin of gluttony has variations. But, the point is, food is a god for you. Small “g”.
How does gluttony show up in a dad’s life?
The disengaged dad says: “Are you gonna eat that?”
The disengaged dad is gluttonous. Let us be clear. We’re not talking about those with food allergies or other medical conditions. Please read with that in mind.
What does gluttony look like for the disengaged dad? Maybe you don’t eat enough. Maybe you eat too much. Maybe you don’t eat the right food for you to be healthy. With the disengaged dad, his kids see a unhealthy relationship with food.
It’s tough to talk about, but another way gluttony rears its ugly head is in our weight. Again, beyond allergies and medications or other medical conditions, if your weight is obese or morbidly obese, this is your sign that the sin of gluttony is present. No one told me this for years. I had to learn it from my doctor.
In 2013, God convicted me of the sin of gluttony. He used a Christian doctor named Augustine. You want your doctor's name to be Augustine, just sayin. Anyway, he tells me, “Hey, you’re young. You’re also 60 pounds overweight. You want to be around for your wife and kids? You need to lose 50 pounds, like yesterday.” I was 230+ and should be 170. The doctor’s words stopped me in my tracks. First, I was embarrassed. But, the truth hurt in a good way. Since that day, I've lost a lot of weight. More importantly, through the ebbs and flows, I've learned from experience how to live more healthy.
As Christians, I think it’s important that we consider our eating habits. We are an example to our kids—whether we want to be or not. Gluttony tends to be a "respectable sin" and it shouldn't be. Gluttony is not all that different from lust. So, let’s learn to eliminate it.
The disengaged dad says: “Are you gonna eat that?”
How can a dad eliminate the sin of gluttony?
Dad, this sin is one where your actions are seen and can be a great example for those close to you. Want to be the dad God intends? Learn to practice these ideas and you’ll be well on your way to eliminating the sin of gluttony:
1. Practice self-control. Learn to see the difference between hunger and thirst. In general, assuming you can eliminate the what part of eating. As in, you have a healthy meal prepared, then comes the test of portion control. Portion control is difficult, I know. You can have too much of a good thing.
2. Beyond self-control, understand it’s about God. Understand how you view and treat food is part of your relationship to God. It’s not just about your will power. Conversely, it’s about how you view God and His work in your life.
3. Be grateful. Gratitude covers many sins. Thank God before every meal daily. Seriously, if you are grateful to God for your next bite, understanding it’s a blessing and a test of stewardship, I promise it changes what you eat and how much of it you eat.
4. Take comfort in knowing that Christ died for gluttony too. I seriously think we don’t talk about gluttony enough. We talk about all the other sins and laugh this one off. But understand Christ died to give you freedom from your appetite.
When I’m at my best, I’m not only eating what I should, I’m eating the right amount. Content and sustained in Christ. Does that sound weird? In our Americanized lives, it can. We only know excess on so many levels. But to remind ourselves that even the food we eat comes from God is worth doing.
As we put off the sin of gluttony and overeating, let's put on self-control.
Scripture for eliminating gluttony
When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite; don’t desire his choice food, for that food is deceptive. —Proverbs 23:1-3
Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. —Luke 12:22-23
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. —1 Corinthians 10:13
Prayer for eliminating gluttony
God, please help me see where my appetite needs to be put in check. Help me rely on you and give me self-control based on my love for You over food and any other worldly thing. Amen.
All sin kills. What is gluttony killing in your life? Biblical fatherhood recognizes the sin of gluttony. Fight gluttony in your heart. Fight gluttony in your home. What your child sees in you will be replicated. Be the example that maybe you didn’t have growing up. Be a godly father for your child.
We dig deeper into the 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad in the full eBook.
The deadly sin of gluttony is there for the taking. But, so is God’s grace. You can be a godly father who leads without regrets.
Question > On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being, “I’m a specimen of good health.” And 10 being, “I eat buffets for every meal.” where would you rank yourself for the sin of gluttony? If you need to talk, email me or tweet @ManhoodJourney.
This post is part of an ongoing series based on the new eBook 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad.