An Awesome Creation

   Written by on May 26, 2014 at 11:45 am

Lynn sat down at the kitchen table to call Cynthia about their monthly girls’ day out.   A display of this summer’s bathing suits caught Lynn’s eye; “Cynthia, I have a great idea for girls’ day out. Let’s go to the Mall and look at bathing suits.”  “Oh for goodness sake, I can’t think of anything more horrifying, please no!” squealed Cynthia.   “Why aren’t you happy with the body God gave you?”  Lynn questioned.  “No, when I get to heaven God and I will have a discussion about it,”  Cynthia emphatically responded.

logo - gowinOk, what about you?  Do you want to talk with God about the body He gave you?  Do you get angry just thinking about your hips in a swimsuit?  Does looking at new clothes give you a chance to thank God for being wonderfully made?  Or, do you get depressed at the mere thought of clothes shopping? How you answered these questions indicates whether you have a healthy body image.

What does it take to have a healthy body image?

First you need to respect your body as God’s creation.  David praised the Lord because he saw himself as being wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).   Note, David did not say: thanks for making me tall or good looking or for giving me rock hard abs.  No, he says: thanks, God, for making me the way I am made.

A healthy body image involves caring about what God thinks about your body and not caring about what the world thinks. God really doesn’t care if we don’t have the perfect Barbie figure, if we have a few wrinkles or the amount of gray in our hair. God cares that we serve him by being good parents. And, yes that may mean taking our kids to the beach.  It certainly means focusing on the things that matter.

Second, a healthy body image includes wanting to take care of your body.  We are told that our bodies are a temple to be used to honor God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Caring behavior would include eating healthy and a healthy level of exercise.  Uncaring behaviors, starving, crazy dieting, and obsessive exercise do not reflect a thankful attitude towards God’s gift. Your body is God’s creation. We should accept that gift as created with the understanding it is our responsibility to keep it as healthy as we can.

Third, a healthy perspective is a requirement for a healthy body image.  The average dress size of an American woman is size 14. The average model is 5’10”, 110 pounds and wears a size 2, with an eating disorder and is thinner than 98% of all American women.  Follow the Ten Commandments and don’t covet an unhealthy body shape.  When you look at yourself in the mirror, don’t have a picture of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model pinned up next to you.  Accept who you are. A 50-year-old woman with different bulges than you had at 20.  A 38-year-old mother whose muscle tone has changed with each kid.  A 20-something that looks great in a tankini.

The fourth step in developing a healthy body image is uncovering all the lies you tell yourself about your body.  We all develop a body image through our life’s experiences. What did your Mom, your Dad, your brothers, your sisters say to you about your body?  Did you have a teacher or coach who made comments that built negative thoughts?  Understanding the experiences that helped build those lies will allow you to forgive the people involved and rebuild your thought process to eliminate the lies.

Building a healthy body image will allow you to celebrate God’s goodness; to join with David in praising God for making you a wonderful creation.

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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