Psalm 139: 13-14
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
Valentine’s Day….that romantic day of the year spent with our significant other and/or family, eating by candle light, roses, chocolate! Well, that’s a nice idea and has its place, but on this ‘Day of Love’, I am going to talk about another kind of love…loving yourself. YES! Let’s talk about it. You may be a person who has a healthy love for yourself and that is awesome. Or you struggle with me, maybe not feeling good enough to love yourself. Let’s dig a little deeper…
Guys, hang in there with us for a minute. You need to hear this. Women and girls are bombarded with images, lyrics and messages everyday based on what society says is beautiful and worthwhile for a female. From early on, some girls develop major body image issues thinking… ‘I can never look like that’. Many of us have been there. Somewhere we are deceived that this image determines our value…our ‘loveliness’. I am not saying guys don’t have their issues to deal with-that’s for another blog! We should all take care of outward appearance and physical health as it says in Romans 12:1 I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. However, that does not mean that our value is determined by how we look. We should take good care of our ‘temple’, that is part of loving yourself and loving our Creator who designed each of our bodies unique.
I know it is easy to say, just love yourself the way you are…I am working on it, too! I was one of those young girls. And that was before internet existed! Yes, that long ago. It started with mononucleosis. I was in eighth grade and missed almost 2 months of school. I was ‘normal’ size before my illness but I had lost almost 20 pounds. My first day back to school, my very good friend proclaimed how “good” I looked. I think something clicked in my young, developing brain…ok, good looking=very thin. And the battle began. Now, I have a daughter. And my mission is to teach her that she is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. To love herself, her gifts and talents, her personality and keep her body healthy. Dads…you can really help your daughters here. Tell them they are beautiful and you love them, but be sure to point out their great qualities that are not necessarily physical ones. And for those of you who are not parents, you can make a huge impact on people just by paying them a nice compliment!
So, what do we do with all of our ‘imperfections’? I embrace my stretch marks…those are from growing three children! I don’t want to erase those. And, yes, I have cellulite. Surprise! Although I am not sure that’s exactly what it is… my sweet and supportive mom once said, “oh honey, that’s not cellulite, those are protein deposits!” What are protein deposits?? Thanks mom, nice try! My sisters and I still get a good laugh out of that one. My body is not perfect. But I try to take care of it. We owe that to God. We were bought with a price. WE don’t really own our bodies! They are rented. Let’s love the bodies we were blessed with, protein deposits and all! I think if we have that healthy love for ourselves, we can love others better. Truly loving who we were “knit together” to be. If we don’t, it’s like God giving us a gift and saying…”Do you like it?”… and we say “NO, I’d rather have _____”…we would not say that! But we kind of do when we don’t see ourselves as loveable masterpieces made by God. I am talking to myself here…it’s a daily battle for me, too. Let’s try to focus on what God says-1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God! We were each uniquely designed by the God of the Universe! Who are we to say he made a mistake?? Let’s accept his love. Let’s love our temples and use our gifts to bless others. He says he loves us over and over in his living word. Let it sink in. Dwell on it. So this Valentine’s Day, show your love for God…love YOU!
Dear Father God,
Forgive us for not loving your creation sometimes…ourselves. Help us to focus on you and your word that says you love us with an indescribable love. You made us each special and beautiful. Help us to accept that and love the temple you have let us borrow, so we can love others as you have commanded. Amen