“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” —1 Corinthians 6:19-20, TNIV
When I was in seventh grade, I noticed that I didn’t look like the other girls in my class. Most of them still had their fourth-grade figures, and, well, let’s just say I began getting attention from boys for reasons other than my charm and wit. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt objectified. I also felt fat.
At 12 years old, I developed an eating disorder, a condition I would battle for the next 10 years.
The pattern I developed was to starve myself for days on end, and then, when I had to eat, to purge my food as soon as possible. I remember skipping breakfast, counting out five unsalted crackers for lunch and then finding ways to clean off my dinner plate without putting more than one-tenth of its contents in my mouth.
The cruel irony about my behavior is that I never achieved my highly coveted, modelesque body. In fact, as I progressed into my teens, my clothing size grew more quickly than my social standing, and I grew more frustrated. What gives?
The hows and the whys are long and detailed, but I’m happy to tell you that today I’m free of my eating disorder. That’s not to say that I am now completely body confident. On the contrary, when I glance in the mirror, I try to avoid looking at my hips or thighs, because the sight of myself in jeans sometimes throws me into a frenzy. But you know what? God made me the way I am. He created me. He knew I would never have a body like Kate Moss or Jessica Simpson. And that’s OK.
It is my sincere belief that in order to be fully aligned with the Bible, we’re responsible for being good stewards of all that the Lord has given us—including our bodies. Think about it. The human body is more sacred than any temple built by man. Whether it’s maintaining sexual purity or working to develop a healthy lifestyle, the Bible is clear in its directive to honor the Lord with our bodies.
This is not my attempt to preach at anyone. To be quite honest, exercise and I are far from intimate acquaintances these days. However, God has been slowly but surely convicting me about the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. As a result, I’ve recently restricted my sugar intake—sugar, my weakness!—and begun exercising more to counteract my daily fatigue.
I am constantly learning and relearning to have body confidence, but I will never achieve it if every day I act like a glutton and give in to my laziness. I need to find my confidence God’s way.