Recently, I had the privilege to speak with some special ladies at one of our local women’s shelters. The director (after I told her I am not a licensed nutritionist) asked me to share from my heart what God has taught me about eating and being healthy.
As an American woman, I know that in our culture there is a particular body image that women strive for. Also, as a mother of four girls, I am constantly praying that God will help me to be a good example of healthy living for them. After having many conversations this week with different women about keeping health, helping our children to eat well, and body image, I decided I would share on my blog what I shared with the ladies at the women’s shelter. I pray that God will use these lessons God has taught me to help you in some way. After all, this is an important practice of faith.
A Living Sacrifice: God and Your Body
“Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice
was like sweet perfume to him.” Ephesians 5:1-2
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:1-3 (NLT)
- We are created in God’s image. God has a purpose for us, and God has called us to lay down our lives for Him. We are to be different and set apart (holy) from the world and culture.
- God gave us a body. We should honor God with our bodies. We have a responsibility to take care and nurture the body God gave us so that we can serve God in whatever way God has called us to.
- We are most joyful and completely fulfilled when we are in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and following God’s plan for our lives.
- You are not your own. You are God’s child. You belong to God. God will always desire the best for you: in health, in relationships, in everything. God’s best is not the world’s best.
- Start each day offering your life to God as you wake. Ask God to lead and guide you in all that you do.
“For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the
Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are.
And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, ‘Awake O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’ So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:8-17
- Destroying your body to create a certain image is a sin and often done in secret. God desires you to care for your body and take care to be strong and
healthy for God’s purposes.
- If you are most concerned with image or how you look, then your focus is not God.
- Exposing your sin to the light means confessing your sin, asking God for forgiveness, and creating an environment of accountability.
- Body image (the way you feel about your body) must begin with how God sees you. God created you, loves you, and will never leave you. You have total acceptance with God.
- The world values appearance and image above most things. This is a twisted view of beauty and image. It is nice to feel good about your appearance and it is fun to look cute, but this cannot be the focus of your life or even where you begin with your body care.
Daily Practical Help
- Begin every day with prayer. Ask God to change your perception of your appearance. Ask God to help you see you correctly. Ask God to change your concept of beauty to match His. Commit to make God the very center of your life and let all decisions you make honor God. Ask God to help you feel God’s complete and perfect love for you.
- Surround yourself with Scripture. Use post-it notes, index cards, dry erase markers on your mirror, Bible on CD/Mp3. Use Eph. 5:11-17, 1 Tim. 2:9-10, Gen. 24:15-16, 1 Peter 1:24, 3:3-4, Proverbs 31
- Create accountability. If this is difficult for you, limit eating alone. Keep an eating log/diary, and share it with someone you trust daily or weekly. Find an exercise friend.
- Drink WATER.
- Ask for help. If you mess up, tell someone. Get professional help when you need it.
- Don’t mess around with chemicals, drugs, laxatives, diet pills, etc. YOU COULD DIE.
- Eat Well and Keep Moving.
- Make sure you are getting enough healthy food every day. Exercise three times a week. Lead an active lifestyle. Take the stairs. Walk when you could ride. Make holidays about others things than food. Celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, etc with an active event.
Your greatest resource for staying healthy is God. You have some control over what you eat and how active you are, but God is in control of your life. You will be fulfilled and joyful when you decide to make God the center of your life, your attentions and your focus. Pray, pray, pray.
Use common sense. Drink lots of water. Know what a healthy weight is for your height and age. This is different for everyone. No one looks like people in
magazines…not even the people in the magazines. For them there is always airbrushing, photoshop, personal trainers, plastic surgery, etc. This is not
reality nor should it be a goal for anyone.
Being healthy and strong is a good goal and focus for your body, but most of all giving your all to God and asking God to lead you in life is the only way. All other ways lead to a destructive lifestyle and sometimes even death.
Nutrition for Life by Lisa Hark
& Dr. Deen
The Family Nutrition Book by Sears and
Beauty by the Book by Nancy
More With Less by Doris Janzen
Extending the Table by Joetta
Simply in Season by Cathleen
Horn of the Moon by Ginny Callan