Do you, a grown Christian woman, have Childlike Faith? If not, this may be the very reason why you struggle to lose weight.
So, what on earth could connecting with your inner kindergartner have to do with faith-based weight loss?
Today, I’d like to share how embracing a childlike faith can help you reach your health and weight-loss goals. Plus, I have three tips to help you get started right away.
THE PERFECT LOVE OF A FATHER
First, I want to share something super important with you. Not everyone who’s reading this will have had the best childhood experience. You may hear verses that speak about God’s never-ending love and His grace and His compassion on us, and not be able to relate whatsoever.
If that’s you, I wish I could give you a hug while I tell you that God’s love is perfect. Your life experience has tarnished what God really offers you. As hard as it is, I’m going to ask you to set that aside for just a moment in order to look at this with fresh eyes.
THE FAITH OF A CHILD
I love these verses in Matthew 18:2-4 ESV “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus loves the little children, we say. And there’s a good reason. Their childlike faith allows them to receive from Him in a way that adults with difficult experiences cannot. As we move into their space, we’re going to be able to approach life in a much more wondrous way.
TRUSTING HIM WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Children trust that their parents have their best interests in mind.
Knowing that God has our best interests in mind can allow us to move forward in our health and weight loss.
Have you noticed this?
I often find that I have an easier time trusting Him with the bigger things…
Maybe you long to get married, or pregnant, or you’re praying for a new job. Are you able to place those “larger” things at the foot of the cross a little more easily than you can the “smaller” things that live in your daily life?
Just as God does not reveal the end results of those major life longings to us, He also wants us to walk step-by-step in our health and nutrition with Him.
Say that you long to find a husband because this feels like an empty space in your life. In order to persevere, you trust Him day by day by day.
Some days are better than others. Some days are a bit harder. But you know that ultimately He has your best interests in mind.
It’s the same with our health and fitness.
In order to be contented, we need to reach out to our Heavenly Father on a daily basis regardless of how well our eating is going AND trust He will guide and direct our steps.
We can open the refrigerator and actually pray for guidance, knowing that God has our well-being in mind.
Let’s say that your goals are to be healthier, to lose weight, to look “better” and to be around to see your grandchildren grow up–He sees those goals, and He’s able to sift through your wants, to find your heart’s desire.
He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He cares even more deeply for us than we do.
Next, we’re going to look at 3 ways childlike faith can be our guide in faith-based weight loss:
1. RUN TO HIM, NO MATTER WHAT.
My daughter is a bit clumsy at this age. I counted the bruises on her legs recently and tallied up 19 little black and blue marks.
She’s constantly walking into things and banging up her little shins. Sometimes, her boo-boos are a result of disobedience.
But, even when she makes a choice that is contrary to some really great advice that I’ve given her (like not climbing on the couch), she still runs to me when she falls and gets hurt.
She knows that I’m going to accept and love her regardless of the poor choice she had made. My arms are always open and my heart is always broken when she’s hurting.
In the same way, we can run to God no. matter. what. EVEN if it’s our fault we’re injured.
If you’re hurting because of something that another person had done to you, you can run to God. Like a perfect Father, He will wrap you up and He will defend you.
If you’re hurting because of a choice that you made–maybe a poor food choice that snowballed into something out of control–He still reaches out those welcome and loving arms. He doesn’t despise you because you had a diet failure.
Be warned though. He’ll probably look at that choice and remind you of why you don’t climb on the back of the couch.
But, our loving Papa is not going to rub your face in the fact that you blew your diet. He’s going to pick you up, dust you off, and show you the path of life.
2. ASK WITH CONFIDENCE.
Children ask liberally and with confidence, fully aware that a “no” may come their way. They don’t care if they’ve already eaten half of their Halloween candy. They’re still going to ask for more.
Kids know and they trust that their parent has their best interests in mind.
In the same way, it’s okay to go to God with crazy requests. He knows what’s in your heart already. He’s acquainted with what you long for. None of it surprises Him.
But…we go with open hands.
3. BRING YOUR QUESTIONS TO HIM.
When my daughter was about two, she would poke around the front yard looking for something new or interesting to her, like a leaf or an acorn. As soon as she picked it up, she would bring it to me and ask, “What’s this, Mama?”
In the same way, we can come to our Lord with any question we may have.
We can approach Him and honestly say, “God, this is a desire that I have, and I’m asking you to grant it to me. But, what is ‘it’? What is it that I really want? I’m trusting you, God, to grant me the desires of my heart because you are a good, good Father.”
Childlike faith allows us to come to him, and pour out whatever we’re experiencing. Thoughts, feelings, emotions–a messy spaghetti knot of contrasting wants and desires. It doesn’t matter.
And, He’s there to help. He will pick out that needle in a haystack that’s truly for your goodness, and that’s what He will deliver to you.
Bring those desires to God.
Tell Him, “I want to eat an entire pan of brownies right now, Lord.”
And expect Him to help you work through it in a way that is for your good.
COME FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
How do parents encourage their children?
Our daughter is almost four years old, and she’s learning how to swim. I was giggling the other day at how ridiculously excited we get over even the most pathetic attempt at doing something new.
She’ll try to swim and barely make it to the wall, and we’re cheering and clapping and jumping up and down because of her efforts.
And she thrives. She tries more. She tries again. And she feels encouraged.
This is how our Heavenly Father wants to interact with us.
He’s not pointing out the fact that you weren’t paddling your hands and your feet at the same time, or that you did something that wasn’t at all right. He’s applauding your efforts because He is the perfect Father.
In the same way, we can encourage ourselves in the Lord.
Celebrate those small changes you make no matter how tiny they are– because that is exactly what you need to keep moving forward.
If you beat yourself up over every mistake that you make–you’re probably going to be a bit gun-shy to try again.
What if my daughter attempted a new swimming stunt and she did a terrible job? What if I greeted her attempts with a speech about all her flaws?
I can guarantee you, she’s not going to try it again. Probably for quite some time.
But, when I applaud her and affirm her for her efforts, that makes all the difference in the world. And… she’s learning to swim because of that!
And you, too, will learn to “swim” when you encourage yourself by the wins that you have. That is a great place to jump off for us.
Try asking yourself:
On those days when I’m feeling hopeless, how can I have childlike faith to move forward?
How can I run to God with my goals and my dreams and trust that He has my best interests in mind?
How can I go to Him after a really bad day, when it feels like everything is crumbling apart and I’m never going to get this?
How can I ask liberally (even when I doubt my own desires) and allow Him to help me process those thoughts and feelings?
And finally, how can I encourage myself in the same way that He would encourage me?
How do you imagine a child interacting with their parent in a way that could relate to this area of food, faith, fitness, and freedom?
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Author, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.