By Karen Smith
Have you ever asked the question, How can I learn to love my body? Probably not out loud, but from a place of hope inside? Here’s encouragement for you.
Learning to Love My Body
I cannot believe I am writing to you today about learning to love your body. If you know any of my story, you know I am a busy mom. I have a disabled husband that requires much hands-on care, and taking care of me has been the last priority in my life.
Taking care of me was so low on the to-do list that I became deathly ill with an eating disorder. I hit rock bottom before I would even entertain the thought of taking care of myself. Hopefully, you don’t have an eating disorder, but I bet you can identify areas of your life where others are put first and care for yourself takes the back seat.
Maybe even the word self-care seems selfish; it did to me. I desired to love others well, not myself. After all, Jesus says in the New Testament, the two greatest commandments are to love Him and love others.
When I approached the idea of caring and loving myself, a spiritual wrestling season ensued.
Your Body is God’s Sanctuary
One day as I was reading my Bible, I came across this verse. Psalm 26:1 says, “I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.”
I stopped and reread it again and again. At this point, the dots began to connect. My body is the residing place for the Spirit of God. I am his sanctuary. His presence dwells in me, but I did not love this sanctuary.
How could I learn to love this sanctuary with all my body deprecation, anxious thoughts, and spiritual wrestling going on inside of me?
With some counseling and truth pouring into me, I developed some steps to start loving this body, this sanctuary.
How You Can Learn to Love Your Body
If you are struggling to love your body, use the following tips and allow God to help you love your body, which is his sanctuary.
- Give yourself space.
We need quiet in our lives. Pouring so much into loving others, we rarely take time to allow God to saturate us with His presence. Practice a quiet time. Not like a quiet time reading your Bible or devotional, but a time of silence in addition to these times..
- Journal your anxious thoughts and spiritual struggles.
Tell God exactly what it is you don’t like about your body. Is it your wide hips? Round tummy? Flabby arms? Write it all down, sister!
- Show appreciation.
Even if you don’t love your body, try giving your body some appreciation. Examples: “These hips helped me birth three babies.” “My strong arms allow me to carry a toddler on one hip and a baby on the other.”
- Care for your body.
Provide it with the nutrition that will energize you. Try pampering it with a long hot bath. Treat yourself to a manicure or new hairdo.
The more we appreciate and care for our bodies, the more love we will develop for his sanctuary. By providing ourselves quiet time, we allow God to work in our hearts and change our thoughts to match His. For me, having a record of the truths God gives me to dispel the lies I believe about myself helps me keep the enemy’s influence at bay.
We are wonderfully made, and when God looks at His work, He says, “It is good.” (Ps. 139:13-14) Allow that thought to soak into your soul. Allow your soul to embrace the wonderfulness of the body God created for you.
Wife Step: Choose one tip to start working on in your life so that you will be able to love your body, God’s sanctuary.
Karen lives in Madison, Alabama with her husband and three children. Karen has served as Preschool and Children’s Pastor and has been involved in women’s ministry for many years leading small groups, making hospital visits, organizing retreats, and encouraging the hearts of women. What started out as a way to communicate medical facts has become a place where Karen uses life experiences to encourage others in their life journey. When she’s not busy caring for her family or writing, you might find her cooking or crafting.
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