4 Tested Ways to Grow in Faith – Embrace Your Physical Body

Do you like your body? I mean, really like it? No one can see you through the computer, be honest. Do you embrace your body?

I’m not talking about certain features- like your eyes. I mean your whole body, from head to toe.

After five pregnancies, I’m really struggling to accept my midlife body. My body has rolls, loose skin, and my weight won’t budge, no matter what I do. 

I look in the mirror, and my eyes zoom in on all the parts I dislike and I definitely don’t embrace my body.  Acceptance is hard when it comes to our bodies, isn’t it?

I want to change my physique, so I start exercising in earnest, but I fall off the bandwagon. Or I get sick and I’m thrown off my new habit- that’s not my fault, but I make excuses getting back into the new healthy routine.

I’ve even considered plastic surgery in the future, although the pain scares me too much. Does that make me vain? How do we make a decision such as this when our body is a temple of God?

Embracing Your Uniqueness

When I want a bouquet of flowers, I don’t want the same flower, but many different ones-big, small, blue, purple. The more flowers I have, the better the bouquet.

Look at trees or anything else in nature, and we can be assured that God loves variety. Have you ever noticed how many backyard birds species exist?

Don’t you think God embraces differences and variety?

Something as simple as a mushroom, who knew all the varieties God has created.

Have you ever realized in the Bible, physical characteristics have very little mention? We hear about Esau being hairy with red hair. Samson and Absalom having long hair. Saul was tall, and Zacchaeus was short. David was considered having a fine appearance and handsome features.

So when I searched for their height in inches, weight or shoe sizes, none of it is mentioned in the Bible. Obviously, these details aren’t as important to God (now don’t get me wrong, God loves and cares about the little details of us, but those details don’t help others grow or come to faith.)

So, why are we obsessed with physical characteristics? What does God say about our bodies?

Growing in Faith

When I spend so much time wishing I had a better body, I discredit what God has given me.

My faulty self-image affects all areas of my life.

  • My intimacy in my marriage
  • Friendships
  • Family

A negative self-image is when I accept what others say about me, or see images of how I should look (thank you Victoria Secret). This negativity will never result in a healthy body.

This wrong self-image also leads me to have difficulty trusting God.

What God says to me is the standard for a good self-image. Read through the Bible and see how He values and loves us more than we can imagine.

I become wrapped up on the want, instead of the wholeness I have in Christ.

Our Body is Not What God Focuses on

The Bible says Jesus had nothing in his appearance that would make us desire Him.

Say what? Was Jesus unattractive? (if you don’t believe me check out Isaiah 53:2)

Obviously, God wanted us to fall in love with the heart and character of Jesus, not his physique. God wanted us to come to faith in who He was, not how He looked.

The same is true of us. God wants to develop our heart and character, not our appearance. Click To Tweet

4 Ways to Grow in Faith When You Embrace your Body. Not liking our physical bodies can keep us from growing in faith. God loves us just as we are. Could embracing our bodies be the beginning of better faith?

 

How can I embrace my body?

  • Center my view on God’s love for me, by intentionally getting closer to God. His love is unwavering and unchanging.

 

  • Focus on my position in God’s family, not my physical appearance, God gave my body to me for my specific role in His kingdom. It’s important for me to realize: my body has birthed five kids and will be different from someone who hasn’t.

 

  • I will drop my pride and take on a humble side. When I think I deserve better aka pride, I willingly discredit the gift of my body. Therefore, I will instead adopt the attitude of God being more concerned about my heart.

 

  • God’s ways aren’t the culture’s ways. Admit to yourself, God doesn’t want us to focus on our appearance, but on our heart and a relationship with Him. Even if we got the chance to make our body the way we wanted to, if our heart isn’t right it would make no difference.

Ever Changing Bodies in Christ

Remember we are works-in-progress. Any change happens through time, not quick fixes. Lasting change is what we are aiming for, aren’t we?

Let me clarify something: God wants us to care for our physical bodies and keep them in good working order; He just doesn’t want us wishing or wanting parts of our human bodies away.

Figure out where the lies about our bodies come from, discredit them and replace them with God’s view.

How does God consider beauty? It’s not a size O figure or super slim thighs, but rather the heart and faith of His children. We are able to embrace our bodies when we realize how beautiful they are to God.

Look up bible verses about the human body, if you’d like to learn more.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God (1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT).

This post is shared here: , #HeartEncouragement ,   #ChasingCommunity ,   #TuneInThursday ,   #GraceMoments , #MomentsofHope  , #InspireMeMonday , #PartyonthePorch

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34 thoughts on “4 Tested Ways to Grow in Faith – Embrace Your Physical Body

  1. Thank you , Julie, for this encouragement! I’m heading out in a few minutes to workout and I am constantly struggling to keep these things in the proper perspective. They are important for our health, but focusing too much sends me into a tailspin. It is a constant battle for me and I suspect it will be something I will struggle with my whole life.

  2. Ahhhh…. this is a struggle with so many. And it’s mine, too. I am envious of women who can take selfies and share their photos on social media. I’m too embarrassed. I could write all the words of your post… but to put them all into practice. That is another story. Transferring all that understanding of God and his love to my heart… there’s a disconnect. Thanks for the nudge today to let go….

    1. Diane- so glad to meet you! I usually take my selfies from the neck up and I laser-focus on my wrinkles on my neck:( Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. I used to think I was more immune to pride than I am, but as I get older, I see that I have more pride than I ever dreamed of. An aging body will make us humble. 🙂 This is an excellent point in this discussion: “The Bible says Jesus had nothing in his appearance that would make us desire Him.” I’m not sure I’ve thought of it relating to my own struggle with accepting my body, but it’s definitely an encouraging thought to remember. Thanks, Julie.

    1. Lisa- Yep, a lot of pride here also. You’re right about age making us humble as I see in my parents. I’m glad you commented:)

  4. This is beautiful. It is so true that our concern about our bodies is based on worldly values and often not on God’s values. True beauty is within!

  5. “God wants to develop our heart and character, not our appearance.” What will it matter if we get our bodies right but neglect our hearts? Such an important truth, Julie! Thank you for words that encourage my heart, sweet friend.

  6. I hear ya, Julie. I’m in need of this encouragement today, friend. I feel like when you’re thinner, you can’t really get away with talking about weight, but I’m petite (5’1″) so every little crumb I eat shows up on me. Now, post-menopause, I’m finding the truth in what I’ve always heard–it takes longer and you have to do more. It’s a mixture of health and vanity for me, but nonetheless, it takes more work than it used to. — Great tips today, friend. And, I think you look great. I’d never know you had five children. We’re hardest always on ourselves, aren’t we? ((Hug))

    1. Brenda- so glad it encouraged you:) My problem is I want to eat what I want to eat. You’re right it takes longer and more intention to get rid of the pesky pounds and flabby muscles.
      Thank you for your encouragement and kind words!

  7. Julie,
    Yes, this is so good! As I was reading your post Proverbs 31:30 came to mind, it says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” God looks at the heart and is concerned with what goes on inside of us because he knows external beauty is fleeting. Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Blessings, Misty #ChasingCommunity

  8. WOW! Did I need this!!! I so struggle with my body and have since I was a teen. I am 69 now. That is far too long to have this between me and my Lord. I too have tried to change things yet I am still the same. I am so grateful you are my neighbor at Susan’s because God knew I needed to remember just Who my Creator is and that He loves me as I am. Praising God for you and for His love for us no matter what we look like.

  9. Julie,
    You must have been listening to a conversation with my friend the other day!! I was telling her about the struggle to not judge myself AND to not worry about my paper white flabby arms in a sleeveless shirt! I tend to know that “others” were created in His image but quickly forget when I’m thinking about myself. The struggle is real!!

    Blessings!

  10. My arms…I wish they looked better in a tank top. But I also really love M&Ms, so I can’t blame others for the extra lbs. 😉 But God has also been reminding me that I need to love the way He has made me and practice self-discipline in the areas He wants to refine me. Love this reminder that we need to embrace and care for what God has provided. Pinning this, Julie!

    1. Tiffany – I love peanut butter M&Ms and chocolate and sweet tea. The struggle is hard 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  11. I’ve accepted that I’m beautiful to those that truly love me, AND I’ve found an eating lifestyle that works for me…have you heard of THM? The food is yummy and you can still lose weight. Blessings to you Julie, visiting from the journeysingrace #gracemoments linkup.

    1. Liz- so glad you’ve found this insight! No, I haven’t heard about that! I’m glad it’s working for you!

  12. I always struggle with this concept because of a body broken by chronic illness. I often find my identity in what my body cannot do. There is so much encouragement here! I’m so glad I stopped by. I love this: God gave my body to me for my specific role in His kingdom. So much truth to fight the lies that Satan has planted! Thank you!!

    1. Nicole- God has you right where you’re supposed to be, even with your chronic illness! You are doing great things for Him:)

  13. Great advice, Julie! I gained a horrible amount of weight during Pedro’s illness, and it took a year of really hard work to ungain it. I’ve managed to keep (most of) it off for the past ten years. As I grow older, I have to add variety to my exercise and eating routines because what worked before, doesn’t work now. Maybe we’re created this way so that we are reminded that we need to get out of our rut and avoid complacency.

  14. Great post, Julie! I tend to not like my body because of all of the pain that it brings me because of my connective tissue disorder … but as I continue to learn how to live with all of the health problems I have, I’m noticing that embracing the unique way God made me allows me to not feel like I’m a “mistake.” He didn’t mess up when He made my body. I’m perfect in His eyes, even though my medical file says I’m a mess.

    1. Lauren- I’m so sorry about your disorder, but I’m glad you’re accepting a new perspective! God is using you!

  15. So. Real. This is such an issue for me. The shame that comes when falling off my exercise, or gaining weight. The looking in the mirror thing – ugh! God loves us. That’s it. No measurements, no conditions. We are loved. Thanks for the reminder!

  16. So many good points here, Julie! You KNOW this topic is so close to my heart ♥ Who we are in Him is so much more important than how we look compared to the world’s standards. It’s a battle us women fight every single day. I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking good care of ourselves and trying to look our best, but when that becomes more important than the quality of our hearts, we have definitely gone astray!

    Thanks so much for sharing this hope with us at #MomentsofHope ♥
    Lori

    1. Lori- thank you! Yes, we do battle it every day. It must pain God so much to see how focused we are on what really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and how little we work on the everlasting things.
      I appreciate you!

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