Why does God care about what I eat or drink or who I sleep with? Is God a control freak?
Many people view God adversely because of the many rules, both small and large that religions teaches that God wants us to follow. Some ask, why would an all powerful deity/ God who manages the entire Universe and all that exists in it be concerned about what one human being of 7 billion people eats or drinks? For some, this is considered strange or overbearing, they view God as micro-managing their lives and thus God does not allow them to live freely. I understand how someone can reach such a conclusion, with so many rules to obey and follow it would seemingly be overbearing or too restrictive a lifestyle to live, if one can call that living at all.
This may be a lengthy topic, but I will try to explain the theological perspective on this issue in as simple terms as I can manage. From a theological perspective, we do not exist by random, we believe that God chose to create each and everyone of us. Therefore from our inception, God has a vested interest in each and everyone of us. We also believe that God created every individual for a purpose, whether big or small, we all have a purpose. Different religions offer varying answers as to our purpose in this life, but Islam teaches that God created us to worship Him out of freewill, see Qur’aan 51:56. Other faiths have a similar belief and consider our purpose of existence to be that we should serve God and or, to come to know/ be aware of God, see 1 John 4:16 or 1 John 5:13.
From this understanding, since our purpose of existence is to serve God, then our lives should be spent fulfilling this purpose. The theological perspective is that, if we do serve God, we will be at peace/ happiness in both this life and for the faiths which accept the afterlife, we will also be at peace/ happiness after death. If we do not fulfill our purpose, we can achieve some peace and success in this life, for this is the Islamic and Christian belief that God is merciful to all. However, while one may attain some peace and success in this life, God will hold them accountable for failing to fulfill their purpose in the afterlife. Due to such a belief, when we eat and drink according to what God has permitted, it shows self restraint and willing obedience to our Creator, thus we are fulfilling our purpose for existence. This belief also relates to our sexual acts. Theists believe that every act we do can either be permissible according to the laws of our Creator or impermissible. These acts range from eating, to sleeping, copulation, dress, decorum and more.
We do not consider God to be overbearing or that following God restricts us from living, because theists genuinely believe they are fulfilling the will of their Creator, we derive purpose, pleasure and comfort from obeying these rules and laws. We live and are happy to serve God, we do not feel restricted, but we do feel a sense of serenity and self-fulfillment in committing ourselves to God. I do believe that those who disbelieve in God’s existence do not necessarily understand how anyone can derive pleasure and comfort from restricting themselves from certain foods or acts. From a theist’s perspective a food or act can only be enjoyable if it is pleasing/ permissible according to God. Therefore not eating pork is isn’t seen as missing out on the fun, it’s seen as missing out on sin and temporary pleasure as the case may be. From sin, we will feel remorse and guilt, therefore we do not derive pleasure but negative feelings and emotions from doing acts or consuming foods prohibited by God.
Humans naturally derive pleasure from different things. I for one may enjoy eating mangoes, you may not and thus in a sense you “restrict” yourself from them, you don’t believe that you are missing out on the fun; I may think that you are, but to you that won’t be the case and I’d be very wrong. It is my hope that this has answered your question, or that it has enlightened you somewhat in regard to a theist’s perspective.
and God knows best.