The following article, “The Ten Commandments of Food”, is a guest post by Mack’s Mom, Cassandra McCarty. This is her second contribution to Mack the Maverick. You may check out her first post, “My Sweet Pea: 8 Lessons I Learned From Mothering A Maverick”, here.
I have a love affair with food and God. So I came up with this clever combination, my ten commandments of food.
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. And you know what my problem is? I love food!!! I like the smell, taste, and comfort of food. I’m thinking of the next meal before it happens. I anticipate how it will taste and make me feel. I center most of my activities around food. Thankfully I don’t have any major health problems nor am I morbidly obese. But is this truly the way to put food in its proper place in my life? Or is it ruling me or becoming my God? Put God first. Consult Him first about meals, activities, even treats. He’s a good God and won’t hog all the food or take away the fun.
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;”
Don’t make an idol out of someone else’s cooking. Let your cooking be as unique as you are. If you’re a soul food cook, great. If you like to cook vegan or vegetarian dishes, great. If you’re an experimenter and like to be creative, great. Let God use you in the kitchen and serve Him by serving others.
3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
Treat food with respect. Use its’ names properly. A snack is not a 2 piece chicken tender with fries and a biscuit. Dessert is not a cheesecake sampler. And an entree is not all the yeast rolls you can eat at Logan’s Roadhouse along with your salad, steak and loaded baked potato. Guilty as charged. (lol)
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Work six days and rest on the seventh. Most of us are very busy during the week with work, school, meetings, after school activities, church activities and the list goes on. If meals are prepared during the week, oftentimes they’re not eaten together as a family. I say worship, rest and keep the Sabbath by spending time with family and friends over a good meal. Or share your dinner with an elderly relative or neighbor. Some of my fondest memories as a child were our Sunday dinners with family and friends. We would laugh, talk and share the latest news over some baked chicken, turnip greens and macaroni and cheese; “mmm mmm good memories!”
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Treasure those old recipes your mama, grandmama, daddy, or grandaddy prepared. There’s always a favorite dish that they made and you wish you could make it the same way, but you don’t have the recipe. Well, get with your folks and write them down so they can be passed on to the next generation. Every time you make that potato salad or dressing or fire up the grill with that secret sauce, you’ll be honoring your parents even when they’re no longer with you.
6. “You shall not murder.”
Do not kill your family’s spirit with your food choices. Yes, it‘s good for the whole family to eat healthily, but do you have to subject your 8 and 10-year-old to the KETO diet, or no carbs, no sugar, no fat? And don’t physically kill them either by cooking everything in butter, covered with cheese and deep-fried! You get the picture.
7. “You shall not commit adultery.”
You’re probably wondering how in the world I’m going to relate this one to food. Well, it has been said that “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” In relationships, preparing food is often used to display cooking skills or even express love. And most men receive a homemade meal as an act of love. You can have the best of intentions, but be very careful when you’re taking dishes over the to help that recent widower or single parent. You don’t want to cook up the wrong thing, if you know what I mean.
8. “You shall not steal.”
This one’s kinda self-explanatory, right? Of course, don’t go and rob the Piggly Wiggly or Publix! What I’m talking about here is consistently going over your household budget for food. For example, eating out too much, refusing to eat leftovers, or not making a food budget at all. This is money that you’re wasting and “stealing” from your finances. Become resourceful and squeeze a dollar ’til it hollers! (I’ll be writing about this another time; stay tuned.)
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Now most of us might say, “I’m not going to lie on my neighbor, and certainly not about food.” But wait….Can’t “gossip” be a form of lying?. “Girl, have you seen her lately? She’s gained about 100 pounds. Now you know she doesn’t need those donuts. I’m always seeing him at Golden Corral, the last place he needs to be.” (You’re obviously there too.) You don’t know the real struggles with food people have unless you’ve been there, and done that (raises my hand). So let’s not be so quick to “bear false witness.”
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Have you ever decided that you’re going to start eating better and you go to a restaurant with family or friends, begin to look at the menu and start asking your table neighbors, “what are you gonna get?” Now, you’ve been strongly considering the grilled chicken salad with vinaigrette (best choice for you), but your friend says, “I’m ordering the rib, pulled pork and sausage platter with fries and baked beans.” You say, “I think I’m going to get that too.” What????? Now your blood pressure is gonna be through the roof and cholesterol off the charts. What you’ve just done my friend is “covet your neighbor’s plate.” Know your limits and don’t do it!
Well, those are my ten commandments of food that I’m trying to adhere to. I don’t always succeed, but I’m trying. As I am also trying to trust and obey God’s commandments, I hope you’ll do the same.
[Leaves the computer to go and get a snack (lol).]
Are there any food rules or commandments that you subscribe to? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
Cassandra McCarty lives in Pleasant Grove, AL with her husband of 34 years, Constine. Together they have three children and two grandchildren. She works from home as an independent contractor. Cassandra is a self-proclaimed “information junkie” and in her spare time, she likes to surf the internet, read, shop and of course write. Her greatest desire is to pass along what she’s learned along the way.