Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Is it appropriate to be proud of someone when they do what they ought to do?

I’m proud of my wife today because she was faithful. She’s been grappling with her weight problem for years, but recently the struggle has intensified. Like a lot of folks, she has used food to comfort her and has turned to it instead of turning to God. For the past six months she has been changing this relationship with food and has lost forty (plus) pounds without dieting, without demonizing fat, carbs or starch. She eats what she wants when she is hungry. She doesn’t eat when she isn’t hungry. She stops when she’s no longer hungry. She prays when tempted to eat for reasons other than hunger. Sadly, for the past week or two she hasn’t lost any weight. She’s plateaued. She’s felt a bit frustrated that folks other than me haven’t noticed the weight loss and she hasn’t seen much progress. You might think that now is not really a good time for her to “testify” to the goodness of God in this process.

While visiting the doctor with our baby girl today for vaccinations, the doctor noticed my wife’s weight-loss and asked how she did it. My wife told this Muslim woman about her problem with emotional eating and explained that she has been turning to God for comfort and not to food. She told her that as a Christian, we believe that God loves us and wants to be the one who comforts us. She also mentioned how she prays and reads Scripture for encouragement in this struggle. Another Muslim woman doctor noticed that my wife has lost weight and so she got to talk to her in the same way.

So here’s my wife, feeling frustrated by a lack of recent progress in changing her relationship with food, feeling discouraged because so few people have seen a difference in her shape and she’s basically being called upon to testify to God’s faithfulness. It would have been really easy for her to answer these two women glibly, “I’m eating less.” But instead, she opened up to them, confessed her weakness and told how God is changing her. This is what Christians are supposed to do.

I love my wife.

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