Is there an area of your home that you consider a “black hole”? At our house, it’s under the couch. The kids will be playing with something, maybe even their favorite toy at the time and eventually it makes it’s way under the couch. Rest in peace Paw Patrol toy.
I probably should make it a habit to clean under the couch more often. But life gets busy and sometime I just focus on what can be seen and try to forget about the places I can’t see. Most of the time things just get swept under there and we just forget about them.
This is how I feel like the church is handling the whole body image issue. We focus on the “bigger” issues that we can see and the ones that are unseen get swept under the couch.
I’ve followed a few “christian” based diets but in the end they become more than an obsession than providing what I actually need.
I need to know that God made me beautiful.
I need to know that the number on the scale doesn’t define me.
I need to know that my worth is found in Him, not in what others think of me.
The problem is that as Christian women, we long for this peace, but Satan keeps us from truly understanding our needs. We think we need to have legs like the girl at the gym or clothes like the lady online. We compare ourselves to each other and fixate on what we wish we had.
So how can we overcome this battle for perfection? How can we find freedom from this sin?
In Heather Creekmore’s new book: Compared to Who? She covers so many sensitive topics on this issue, but today I want to share with you what I feel like is the biggest problem. The one idol in our lives that is keeping us from experiencing a real, genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.
Self-love or Self-examination?
Okay so I’m about to move the couch and get real here. Are you ready?
Today in our culture, self-love is extremely popular. Many bloggers and youtubers are teaching others to practice this daily ritual in order to be free from stress and negative thoughts.
Self-love(n): regard for one’s own well-being and happiness
In one of my latest posts, I brought up where real joy and happiness should come from. The main point is that we will never be able to find true happiness within ourselves. Only through Christ can we find a joy that will satisfy us.
So am I saying it’s wrong to practice self-love?
Well, it depends. Maybe we should change the term to self-examination. As a mom of multiple little ones, it’s important for me to get away and have some alone time. But if I spend that time trying to escape my responsibilities and telling myself how much I deserve it, I’m focusing on myself.
Instead of being so concerned about what I deserve and how hard I’ve worked, maybe I should take the time to examine my heart. Even Jesus found time to get away and be still. But He spent that time in prayer and worshiping God. That’s our example. Not the latest worldly trends, but Christ.
What does this have to do with our body image?
“Idolatry is when you take something good or bad and make it a thing of ultimate value-something you can’t live without. The combination to clearing out the junk of our hearts and finding freedom is found in the gospel.” -Heather Creekmore, Compared to Who?
As Christian women, we know that we shouldn’t worship other gods, but sometimes we forget that we create our own gods. We worship our diets, our meal plans and ourselves.
In the last few weeks of pregnancy when I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable, I begin to plan. The challenge to find the right diet to help me get back into shape. I begin to research all the latest diet trends, or go back to the ones that I have experience with (Paleo, Trim Healthy Mama). This planning begins to consume all my thoughts.
I joke with my husband and say, “nothing motivates me more to lose weight than being pregnant”.
Carrying around the extra weight and outgrowing my clothes gives me motivation. I’m sure one of my most searched things on google is “how to lose the baby weight”. I want to believe that God loves me just the way I am, but I want more for myself. I want to feel “good” enough.
I begin to think if only I had a personal trainer or if only I had the money to spend on a special weight loss shake, then I could finally find what I’m looking for.
Often times we tell ourselves that we just want to be healthy and it seems okay. God wants me to be healthy, right? Well of course He does but when we are more focused on having a healthy body and ignore what’s going on in our hearts, we aren’t honoring Christ. We are justifying ourselves by saying that we are being healthy for God, but really we are creating idols and focusing on ourselves.
So loving our bodies really isn’t the answer to finally breaking from the chains of poor body image. Because worshiping ourselves will never bring contentment. Only through Jesus and His truth, His purpose, and His love can we finally find freedom.
No matter what size we are, we will never feel complete without Christ.
I encourage you all to read this book even if you think that you don’t struggle with this. Heather covers so much truth in every page and I promise this book will motivate you to focus on what really matters, Jesus.
For more encouragement on this topic, check out Heather’s website!