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, 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 yourself 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, siblings, or schoolmates said terribly toxic things to you. Let’s go back in time in our minds and hearts and allow the 2015 you 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 seems to be epidemic among women today. This breaks my heart! We have believed so many lies that the enemy has fed us through family members, peers, and the media. This has to stop, my dear sisters! Are we listening to the enemy or are we listening to our Good Shepherd?
- 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” (Matt. 22:36-40) Jesus assumes that we love ourselves. But today, so many women do not love themselves. This is NOT God’s will for us at all!
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.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7)
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.
God requires us, as His daughters, to have thankful hearts, to think about things that are good, lovely, praiseworthy, and honorable (1 Thes. 5:18, Phil. 4:8). These commandments surely include what we think about ourselves. 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 also 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. God’s ways are always about balance and not going to one sinful extreme or the other.
WRITE IT DOWN IN YOUR JOURNAL: Let’s choose to tear out the lies by writing 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. Give yourself time to really carefully search your mind and heart for every negative statement you tell yourself. This part will be really painful! Have some tissues with you. Then use some of the verses in the links below to replace the negative thoughts and lies with God’s truth.
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 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. When you choose what to eat – choose what is healthy and best for your body as fuel rather than seeking to find emotional comfort or fulfillment through food.
- 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 your body 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!
If you are interested in learning about breaking sugar cravings and changing to a healthy diet, we can talk about that in the comments. Just let me know!
IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THIS – SOME SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP