“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…” Titus 3:4-6 ESV
As I look in the mirror, my hand traces the stretch marks taking over the sides of my stomach and hips. What was once tight and fit is now stretched and loose. Tears well up in my eyes as I examine my features, cringing at the sight of weight gain, cellulite, and a bulging pregnant belly. In a society where so much pressure is on our shoulders to have the “perfect” body, it can almost feel as if that is our main goal in life—to be physically attractive. Unfortunately, following Christ does not exempt us from body shame or insecurities…but it does equip us with Gospel truths to combat the lies and temptations we face.
My body is constantly changing…even more so now that I’m pregnant. But even before I was pregnant, insecurities of low self-esteem and low body image were ever so present. The thought of my body being the problem was a solution that had to be fixed—workout more, eat better, do crunches, etc. But you see, our bodies are not the problem; God created our physical bodies and declared them good (Genesis 1:31). The problem is with our perspective—a perspective shot through with sin. We loathe our bodies because we are deceived by self-focus and pride. We have believed the societal lie that our bodies are at the highest and utmost value compared to our hearts.
Dear sister, you are more than your body. How attractive your body is does not equivalate your worth. God does not love us based on our looks—He loves us because of His free grace. He does not value us solely on our bodies…He values us because of who we are in His Son. Outward beauty is fleeting and superficial, but inner beauty is eternal and satisfying. Praise God we have a Savior who makes us beautiful in Him!
Father, I know my earthly body will fail me, but You will not. My appearance will constantly change—I will gain weight, lose weight, wrinkle, weaken, shrink, and bloat, but You are always steady and do not change. Help me to see my worth is in Your Son and not what society says. The state of my heart is way more important than the fleeting nature of physical beauty. Amen.
Do you look to your body to find your worth? Has this been your idol? Preach these truths to your heart: Psalm 139:14, Colossians 3:1-3, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 John 4:9-11, and Galatians 2:20.