What’s Love Got To Do With It?

*This article originally appeared in the Christian Online Magazine, September 2013 Issue*

Temple Maintenance: What’s Love Got to do With It?

(The Fruit of the Spirit Diet–Part 2)

I love lasagna, spaghetti, cheese…and just about anything pasta or cheese related. What about you? What’s that one culinary cuisine that tickles your taste-buds? Would you say you eat what you truly love on a daily basis?

But wait a second, first let me clarify what I mean by love. You see, in the Greek language there are two forms of the word “love” used prominently in the New Testament: phileo andagape. If you’ve listened to a sermon or two, chances are you’re at least somewhat familiar with these terms.

Phileo is best described as an affectionate love. It’s what we feel as an emotion. We love our spouses—we are affectionate towards them. We usually love our friends in an affectionate, emotional way as well. While phileo love is more or less from the heart, agape love is from the head. It’s an act of the will, an intellectual love—so to speak. It’s a choice. When Jesus commands us to love our enemies, He uses the word agape not phileo. In fact, agape is the word most frequently used in the New Testament for love. Phileo love is easier because it’s a natural emotion. Agapelove is a much more difficult, because it’s a command Jesus gives us, and it is a type of love we must willfully choose.

For the most part we probably eat the foods we love (phileo). These are the foods we choose when we’re emotionally distressed (come on ladies, you know what I mean), when we’re celebrating, or when we’re craving something satisfying and delectable. I phileo-love lasagna; in fact I don’t have to think twice about eating it. “Me hungry, me eat lasagna now,” I growl in my best cookie-monster voice. But when it comes to taking care of my temple, I have to think a little harder about what I eat. Every day we’re faced with the choice to eat what we love (phileo) or eat out of love (agape).

“Let all that you do be done in love (agape).” 1 Corinthians 16:14

The Greek word for “all” in this verse is…well, ALL! All means everything. From the way we talk about or neighbors behind their backs, to the way we take care of our bodies (temple maintenance), all must be done out of love. This type of love can only be a choice, which means it won’t always be easy. Weagape-love Jesus, therefore we choose to obey His commands because we know He has designed the best plan for our lives—much greater than anything we could have dreamed up for ourselves. In the same way, to take care of our temples is to choose what we eat out of agape–love. We choose to obey God when it comes to gluttony, self-control, and healthy eating not necessarily because we always feel like it (phileo) but because we know it honors God and the temple he entrusted into our care. Being a good steward of our bodies is a testimony of our faith and how we view the sanctity of life.

“If you love (agape) Me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15

“But above all these things, put on love (agape).” Colossians 3:14

“Let love (agape) be without hypocrisy.”Romans 12:9

Truthfully, I’d rather eat lasagna every day for lunch, but if I did that (especially with the amount of cheese I use in my recipes) I’d have a serious coronary problem before long. So, rather than eating what I phileo-love every day, I eat out ofagape-love most days, so when I do indulge in the occasional treat, I know that I am not doing my body harm. God certainly wants us to enjoy food; otherwise He wouldn’t have given us taste-buds. But if that lust for food becomes unhealthy, we can easily take a good thing and turn it into a sinful thing.

We take care of our homes, cars, and personal possessions to show that we care about those things and their value. How much more should we show this agape-love to our own bodies? This is a choice that demonstrates not only respect for God’s creation, but agape-love for Him and His word.

What’s love got to do with it? Well, I’d say it’s got everything to do with it! What do you think?

© Rebecca Aarup

(To view other article in the series, “The Fruit of the Spirit Diet,” visit www.RebeccaAarup.com and click on “Temple Maintenance”.)

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Substitutions Encouraged

**Orginally published in The Christian Online Magazine, February 2013**

 

Many of you are already aware of the healthier options that exist in the culinary world, but just in case you need a refresher (because I know I forgot easily), I’ve decided to share a list of common food choices that have healthier alternatives. Browse through the list and see if there is anything new for you to try and let me know how those New Year’s Resolution recipes worked out for you (just click on “Temple Maintenance” to view past articles as well as leave your comments)!

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with wise food choices–keeping your heart healthy and serving God by maintaining the temple He entrusted to you.

“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial…Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received of God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:12&19

Meals/Main Course Items:

First Choice: Ground Beef (Hamburgers, Sloppy Joes, Tacos…etc.)

Better Choice:Organic Grass-fed Beef (no fillers, hormones, or chemicals used)

Best Choice:Lentils and Black Beans (Veggie Burgers, Bean tacos, Sloppy Joes…etc.)

 

First Choice:Loaded Baked Potato

Better Choice:Mashed Potatoes

Best Choice:Mashed Steamed Cauliflower

 

First Choice:Traditional Pasta Noodles

Better Choice:Rice Noodles

Best Choice:Whole Wheat or Quinoa Noodles

 

First Choice:White Breads, Bagels, English Muffins, or Cereals

Better Choice:Whole Wheat Breads, Bagels, English Muffins, and Whole Grain Cereals

Best Choice:Sprouted Grain Breads, Bagels, English Muffins, and Cereals (i.e. Ezekiel™ brand)

 

First Choice:Flour Tortillas

Better Choice:Artisan Tortillas (Black Bean and Corn, Whole Wheat, Blue Corn and Flax…etc.)

Best Choice:Sprouted Grain Tortillas

 

First Choice:Jar Spaghetti Sauce

Better Choice:No Sugar Added Jar Spaghetti Sauce

Best Choice:Home Made Spaghetti Sauce (Organic Canned Tomato Sauce, Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Paste and Spices/Herbs)

 

Snacks Items:

First Choice:Cake (Chocolate, Devil’s Food, Yellow, Vanilla…etc.)

Better Choice:Fruit/Veggie Breads (Zucchini Bread, Carrot Cake, Banana Bread…etc.)

Best Choice:Fruit/Veggie Bread with Substitutions (see below)

 

First Choice:Apple Slices, Grapes, Iceberg Lettuce Salad

Better Choice:Oranges, Bananas, Carrots, Mixed Salad (Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce)

Best Choice:Tomatoes, Fresh Organic Berries, Organic Leafy Lettuces (Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Radicchio…etc.)

 

First Choice:Chips

Better Choice:Popcorn

Best Choice:Raw seeds or nuts

 

First Choice:Candy Bars

Better Choice:Fruit Snacks (i.e. gummy bears)

Best Choice:Dried Fruit (i.e. dried pomegranates)

 

First Choice:Soda

Better Choice:Sparkling 100% Fruit Juice

Best Choice:Sparkling Water

 

Ingredient Substitutions:

First Choice:Eggs

Better Choice:Egg substitute (i.e. Egg Beaters™)

Best Choice:Ground Flax Seeds and Water (1 Tbsp. ground flax to 3 Tbsp. water)

 

First Choice:Vegetable Oil

Better Choice:Coconut Oil

Best Choice:Applesauce

 

First Choice:Refined Sugar

Better Choice:Agave Nectar or Organic Raw Sugar

Best Choice:Stevia

 

First Choice:Chocolate Chips

Better Choice:Baking Nuts

Best Choice:Dried Fruit, Raw Nuts and Seeds

 

Dips/Dressings:

First Choice:Store-bought Creamy Dressings (Ranch…etc.)

Better Choice:Store bought Italian or Vinaigrette Dressings

Best Choice:Home-Made Italian or Vinaigrette Dressings (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vinegar and Spices…etc.)

 

First Choice:Ketchup, Mayonnaise

Better Choice:Reduced Fat Cream Cheese or Sour Cream

Best Choice:Mustard

 

First Choice:French-Onion Dip

Better Choice:Salsa

Best Choice:Home-made Guacamole Dip (Fresh Avocados, Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Lime)

© Rebecca Aarup

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is an author and freelance writer. She is a health columnist for The Christian Online Magazine, creater of S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Sisters online women’s ministry, and has written devotionals/studies/articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook.