Life is one of those things that we don’t appreciate until we are actually forced to appreciate it. Healthy living is usually not prioritized until one’s health gets taken away. When disease, sickness and pain are knocking on our door, we either accept it as the new normal or it begs us to begin asking questions. Why did this happen? Can I get things back to how they were? How do I fix this?
All around us, whether we like it or not, there are laws that govern the smooth operation of things. There are laws in the natural world, laws for our country, traffic laws, even the ten commandments given to us by God Himself. Laws are not to be seen as something to get in the way of what we want to do, but rather they are a guiding fence that prevent us from veering off a cliff.
God has given a conscience to realize the sacred claims of the divine law, and a heart capable of loving it as holy, just, and good; and of man prompt and perfect obedience is required. Yet God does not compel him to obey; he is left a free moral agent. 1SM 216.2
God has made us free moral agents (big words, I know!) which basically means we are free to make our own choices. However He is our Creator. He has designed us from the inside out and if we would like to live happy fulfilling lives, it would do us good to choose to work with and obey these laws.
It’s the same with raising children! My husband always used to say to my girls, “If you want to be a happy girl, you need to obey your Mommy“. As parents, we know what is best for our children and we expect them to trust and obey. If they choose to not obey, consequences from their choice follow. And so it is with us. We can choose to work with and keep the laws around us and life runs relatively smoothly. But when we choose to go against one of these laws, we should naturally expect that the wheels are going to start falling off.
The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord’s wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God’s law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. CD 172
Our bodies have been intelligently, uniquely and spectacularly designed. Did you notice in the previous quote where it mentioned that God pledged to keep things running smoothly in our human bodies? What an amazing promise! But look again – it’s a conditional promise – in order to have good health we have to do our part of obeying His laws and working with Him.
It is the duty of every person, for his own sake, and for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organisms, the human body. They should understand the functions of the various organs and the dependence of one upon another for the healthy action of all. MH 128.1
If we are to thrive, we need to find out what these laws are by studying for ourselves and taking ownership of our health. We need to educate ourselves on how our body works so that we can understand these laws. And … (the hard part!) we need to start obeying these laws.
We cannot be too often reminded that health does not depend on chance. It is a result of obedience to law. MH 128.2
…health is the reward of obedience to the laws of God. CD121.1
Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health. CH 90.1
Disease never comes without a cause. The way is prepared, and disease invited, by disregard of the laws of health. Many suffer in consequence of the transgression of their parents. While they are not responsible for what their parents have done, it is nevertheless their duty to ascertain what are and what are not violations of the laws of health. They should avoid the wrong habits of their parents and, by correct living, place themselves in better conditions. MH 234.1
Health doesn’t happen by chance and disease doesn’t happen by chance. Even hereditary illnesses can, for the most part, be reversed. If we get sick, what are we to do? Take a careful look at which laws we are breaking and start making changes to correct our lifestyle. Yup, it’s all about lifestyle – our every day choices, our habits. We need to have good habits and make better choices! If we have bad habits and make bad choices, we are, in fact, inviting disease.
So, what are these natural laws of health then?
Well, let’s start with a few basics.
In order to have good health, we must have good blood; for the blood is the current of life. It repairs waste and nourishes the body. When supplied with the proper food elements and when cleansed and vitalized by contact with pure air, it carries life and vigor to every part of the system. The more perfect the circulation, the better will this work be accomplished. MH 271.2
Life is in the blood. Good blood leads to a healthy, long life. This is a basic law of health. In order to fulfill this law, we need to learn how to build good blood (what our diet should be) and how to keep our blood clean (fresh, clean, oxygenated air breathed in and impurities breathed out).
At every pulsation of the heart the blood should make its way quickly and easily to all parts of the body. Its circulation should not be hindered by tight clothing or bands, or by insufficient clothing of the extremities. Whatever hinders the circulation forces the blood back to the vital organs, producing congestion. Headache, cough, palpitation of the heart, or indigestion is often the result. MH 271.3
For the blood to provide life, nutrition and oxygen to all parts of our body, it must be able to circulate freely. We need to learn about how our clothing actually affects our blood circulation(!) Exercise (or the lack of it!) also affects our blood circulation.
Inactivity is a fruitful cause of disease. Exercise quickens and equalizes the circulation of the blood, but in idleness the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in it, so necessary to life and health, do not take place. MH 238.1
Fresh, clean water is another important requirement for a healthy life. It is a blood purifier and helps the body to flush out toxins. We need to educate ourselves about how much water we should be drinking, when in the day we should be drinking water and when we shouldn’t.
In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease. MH237.1
Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. Te 101.1
Anyone who has been without sleep (ahem, mothers) knows how essential it is for the proper functioning of our bodies. When we violate this natural law, we usually feel immediate consequences!
Since the work of building up the body takes place during the hours of rest, it is essential, especially in youth, that sleep should be regular and abundant. Ed 205.4
Good hygiene principles and the need for sunlight are more important health laws we need to educate ourselves on.
Perfect cleanliness, plenty of sunlight, careful attention to sanitation in every detail of the home life, are essential to freedom from disease and to the cheerfulness and vigor of the inmates of the home. MH 276.5
All of these health laws rely heavily on our ability to develop self-control (also known as temperance). We need to learn, with God’s help to overcome our bad habits and replace them with good ones.
In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary…. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth. CG 396.2
Lastly, we need to build our trust in God. He is our Creator and He knows what is best for us.
We must have less trust in what we ourselves can do, and more trust in what the Lord can do for and through us. You are not engaged in your own work; you are doing the work of God. Surrender your will and way to Him. Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Know what it is to be free in Christ. MH 513.4
He whose trust is in God will with Paul be able to say, “I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. Whatever the mistakes or failures of the past, we may, with the help of God, rise above them. With the apostle we may say: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14
Walk continually in the light of God. Meditate day and night upon His character. Then you will see His beauty and rejoice in His goodness. Your heart will glow with a sense of His love. You will be uplifted as if borne by everlasting arms. With the power and light that God imparts, you can comprehend more and accomplish more than you ever before deemed possible. MH 514.3
Remember, God has not set a standard that is impossible to reach.
There is a lot to learn and, as parents, we are responsible to educate our children on these natural laws of life. If we don’t, Satan is waiting to lead them astray and sickness and disease will be a sure result. Look at the world today. 🙁
A lot of these laws can seem almost too simple and feel like ‘common sense’. But when it comes to actually putting them in to practice, we suddenly realize a new struggle. Remember, change doesnt happen overnight. Start by taking ownership of your health and the health of your family. Begin educating yourself and choose to live a better lifestyle. Make better choices. Create better habits and, day by day. set your standards higher.
My dear young friends, advance step by step, until all your habits shall be in harmony with the laws of life and health. SD 172.6
If men and women perseveringly live in accordance with the laws of life and of health, they will realize the blessed results of an entire health reform. Te 163.1
“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. Yes, we are God’s property, and the path of obedience to nature’s laws is the direct path to heaven. CH 221.4