Biblical Concepts of Restoration as a Foundation for Lifestyle Change
The Bible is filled with rich images of healing and restoration—it is a consistent and persistent theme in both the Old and New Testaments. Examples from Genesis, the Law of God, the Sanctuary, the story of Daniel, the New Covenant, the Gospels, Paul’s writings, and the book of Revelation are provided. This understanding of restoration and God’s role as the Master Restorer stands in sharp contrast to many historical and contemporary perspectives. It sets lifestyle change into a context and is fundamental to developing a wholistic and comprehensive approach to lifestyle medicine. One significant role of an advanced practice nurse (APN) in promoting healthy behaviors is to approach lifestyle change with a Biblical foundation, particularly for people of the Christian faith. Using the Disconnected Values Intervention Model and a Biblical foundation for lifestyle change, APNs can appropriately integrate spirituality into patient care and help patients see the link between Scriptural messages of restoration and a strong commitment to making healthy lifestyle choices. Biblical aspects of restoration are examined in the context of teaching four Doctorate of Nursing courses taught at Southern Adventist University (SAU) that emphasize a lifestyle approach to disease prevention and management. The positive impact of teaching these courses from a Biblical foundation can be seen in student survey responses. In addition, student course evaluations were high. Preliminary research findings from a pilot study to evaluate the impact of this course design model on student perception of Biblical worldview are also positive. It is concluded that the four lifestyle courses in SAU’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice program provide many opportunities to guide students in discussion about the Biblical underpinnings of the Christian worldview as it relates to lifestyle change and equips them to apply their faith in the role of an advanced practice nurse.