Society puts a great deal of value on outward appearance and physical beauty. The media bombards us with pictures of models, trendy fashions, and needed accessories. People, especially women, but men included, are lured in by the promise that if they can attain a certain size or look they will be happy, loved, and fulfilled. For this reason, people spend billions of dollars each year on health foods, beauty products and cosmetic procedures to help them feel better about themselves. It is no wonder that eating disorders are at an all-time high as people are willing to take extreme measures to attain “beauty”. However, in the end, most are left feeling frustrated, disappointed and unsatisfied. After all of the money spent, time invested, and calories counted, there is still a void left unfilled.
God knows man’s tendency to focus on the external and warns “do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” (1Peter 3:3-4). Man tends to focus on outward appearance “but the Lord looks on the heart” (1Samuel 16:7). Our bodies are not meant to be a means of personal gain or fulfillment, they are intended to be vessels through which we serve and worship the Lord. It is this truth that sets us free from putting too much focus on, and at times even idolizing, our physical bodies. It sets us free from the bondage of having to conform to the world’s standard of beauty. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) beings specifically designed for a unique purpose and plan-God does not make mistakes!
Although it can be challenging to accept who we are and how God created us, it is possible! In certain cases the guidance of a professional counselor may be necessary.
- Beautiful You, by Rosie Molinary
- Health at Every Size, by Linda Bacon
- Women, Food, & God, by Geneen Roth
If you would like more information about how to make this change and the available resources