A Healthy Appetite

Mum encouraged us to have a ‘healthy appetite’. We had three meals each day. We were expected to come hungry, thank the Good Lord for our meal, eat all that we were given, and leave nothing on our plates. This was a healthy appetite.

Visitors were often judged by whether they had a healthy appetite….

Appetites aren’t always healthy. Mum said that if I ate sweets before a meal it would spoil my appetite. As a child I was never convinced, but it was wisdom that I passed on to my children… my grandchildren seem to take as little notice of it as I took from my Mum…

However an unhealthy or spoiled appetite can lead to obesity, sickness, eating disorders…

A ‘healthy appetite’ isn’t just about food. My addict friends would talk about unhealthy and destructive appetites for alcohol or drugs…

Reading Proverbs chapter 5… Wise King Solomon gives fatherly advice to young people on sexual appetites is in dramatic and graphic terms: ‘For the lips of the adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is as bitter as gall, sharp as a double edged sword…’

Society says much about food and healthy eating, appetites, diets; often it’s judgemental – ‘unhealthy eaters’ feel judged.

Society talks a lot about a sexual appetite; it seems far less clear about what a ‘healthy’ sexual appetite is and how it should be satisfied. It’s scared of being judgmental.

Church talks a lot about theology and activities – believing things and doing stuff. When it talks about living – in this case ‘a healthy appetite’ for food or sex, it’s either remote and judgemental, superficial and ignorant, or silent.

Solomon speaks clearly and directly in pictures of faithfulness sexual relationships: ‘Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well…’

I smiled at: ‘May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.’ After 49 years…

4 thoughts on “A Healthy Appetite

  1. Wonder how many generations that saying goes back ? I and my brothers were often told off if we tried to have a crafty biscuit, or two at least, before dinner. Or the one, If you don’t eat up all your Greens, you will not grow big and strong. No doubt between us we could think of a few more. Much rather have a few biscuits !!!!


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