Part 2 of the assignment about body image we started the other day:
Now, my dear sisters – once you have written a letter to a young girl about what you would want her to know about how she thinks about her body and her appearance and lovability. Take that same letter and change the name to your name. Read the letter you wrote to a young girl and imagine that the you now is reading it to you when you were 8-12 years old or so and absorb the message of love, acceptance, strength, and gratitude that you would share with another young girl for yourself. Maybe your mom or siblings or schoolmates said terribly toxic things to you. But let’s go back in time in our minds and hearts and allow the you right now to share truth with yourself as a young girl. How would that change the way you think today?
Self-loathing and self-hatred toward our bodies and appearance seems to be epidemic among women today. This breaks my heart! We have believed so many lies that family members, peers, or the media have fed us. This has to stop, my dear sisters!
God made our bodies. Our bodies are good. They are precious gifts for which we are to be thankful and we are to be good stewards.
The second greatest commandment is that we are to “love others as yourself.” Jesus assumes that we love ourselves. But today, so many women do not love themselves.
How can we give away what we don’t have?
The things some of us say to ourselves are AWFUL! Dreadful! We are feeding our minds with toxic poison and it affects our relationship with God, with ourselves, and with other people, including our men.
Do you find yourself saying things to yourself in your mind like:
- You are so ugly.
- You are not a real woman.
- You don’t measure up.
- You are too thin/fat/pale/dark. No guy would ever be attracted to you.
- You are worthless.
- I hate my body.
- I can’t stand to see pictures of myself or to see myself in the mirror.
- No one could love me.
- I am hideous. Everyone thinks so.
Do you realize where these statements originate? They come from the accuser, from the enemy of our souls. Not from God.
If we treat ourselves with contempt, disrespect, a critical spirit, condemnation, and hatred – how will we treat other people? How can we love others and give away something we have not embraced for ourselves? We must be able to fully love and respect ourselves before we can properly love and respect others. This is a given in the Christian life.
It is destructive sin to hate our bodies and to be ungrateful for what God has given to us.
God requires us, as His daughters, to have thankful hearts, to think about things that are good, lovely, praiseworthy, and honorable. Why do we think that it is okay for us to hate the bodies God gave us, to complain about them, to envy others’ bodies, and to be discontent? Scripture commands us as believers not to complain or grumble about anything (Phil. 2:14-16).
We CAN learn to be thankful for our bodies and to take good care of ourselves in a healthy way. No, we don’t want to worship our bodies or be prideful. But the opposite extreme – hating our bodies – is also terribly destructive.
WRITE IT DOWN IN YOUR JOURNAL: Let’s choose to tear out the lies by writing them all down – all of the negative things we say to ourselves about our bodies and how people view us – and then let’s purposely reject the negative, toxic statements and replace them with the truth of Scripture.
- For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18
- give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
You have a responsibility not to follow the enemy’s voice – and he is speaking through her sometimes, so be very careful! You belong to Christ. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him alone.
- the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. John 10:3-5
Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. For many of you, he has stolen your joy. He has stolen your thanksgiving to God. He has stolen your ability to give and receive love. He has stolen your intimacy with God. He has stolen so much from you about how you think about yourself and your worth. No more, my friend!
You don’t have to allow Him to steal the good gifts God has given to you one more day!
In Christ, the truth will set you free!
- You can walk past a mirror and think, “Thank You, God, for my body!”
- You can put on a beautiful outfit and think, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”
- You can walk across a room with confidence in who you are in Christ and confidence in your skin – seeking to be a blessing to those who are there, rather than being paralyzed with fear about what they are thinking about your body. Their opinions don’t really matter. You are just seeking to please God. And your goal is to love and bless them. You know that God has made you and that He has loved you with an unfailing love. You know who you are in Christ and you can have all of the confidence of heaven radiating from your face and heart.
- You can receive the attention, love, affection, and attraction of a godly man. You don’t have to earn a man’s love. It IS possible for a good man to be attracted to you physically, emotionally, and spiritually as you allow God to transform your heart, life, mind, and soul.
- You can take good care of your body and treat it well, being a good and faithful steward of this priceless gift. You can choose to feed it nourishing, healthy food rather than eating junk food to find comfort. You can find your comfort in Christ. Food can’t comfort us or bring contentment and joy! Jesus does that.
- You can be whole on your own in Christ. And then you can receive the love and attention of a godly man graciously, with joy, without fear, and without doubt about his motives and intentions.
- You can practice thanking God for every part of your body, for your health, for the miracle that you are.
- You can rejoice in this body God has given to you.
- You can be thankful that you have it as a tool to empower you to do God’s will and to serve Christ in His kingdom and to bless and love people.
If you need help breaking a food addiction or looking to food for comfort, please let me know. I will be glad to share some spiritually and physically healthy strategies with you.
Much love to each of you!