(This post was originally published in March of 2016. It seemed to have been a popular post back then, so I’m updating it and republishing for those of you who haven’t read or just need some encouragement!)
Ok, so I really hope this doesn’t come off harsh, because I don’t mean it to be. I’m thankful that I don’t have to have a bikini body. Why? I’m also doubly glad that so many bloggers and other eating disorder recovery warriors are boldly declaring that there is no such thing as a ‘bikini body.’ I’y.’ ve never wanted to sport a bikini body, but I want to delve deep into the pressure that every woman feels to have that type of ‘bod
It makes me sad that our culture objectifies women’s bodies. I’m not talking about specific people, but the ‘modeling’, magazine, celebrity ‘industry’ makes an object, not a living, breathing, human soul out of women’s bodies. And human trafficking breaks my heart. I am SO thankful that our police force and others are ACTIVELY battling this out and FREEING captives everyday. Isn’t that an amazing picture of what God did to us when He released us from our sin?
We aren’t just bodies. When God breathed life into the frame of Adam, He breathed life into a man, made in His image, with a soul destined for glory with Him.
People are souls. I am a soul, spirit, mind, and body, not separate from one another, but beautifully mixed together in the image of God. And even though the world wants us to sell our bodies, cheaply, for a ‘small price’ in the eyes of a man, I can’t do that.
To me, I can’t get away from the fact that a ‘bikini body’ objectifies my body, makes it something that everyone can look at, and it just makes me uncomfortable, completely apart from all my struggles with an eating disorder. Even my body is special, set apart, to be a living image of Him.
You didn’t come from an animal. You aren’t an animal, and bodies, precious human beings shouldn’t be treated or looked at like animals.
I’ve also had a lot of conversations with men that I respect and love, and they have shared vulnerably, that it is stumbling and difficult for them when a woman exposes more of her body than normal, because we live in an age where it’s so normal.
Romans 12:1 says, ‘I beseech you therefore brethren that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service… And be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’
Right now, I’m thankful that I can preserve my body, most of all for Jesus Christ and, Lord willing, for a future husband some day.
Do men have a responsibility before God as to where they puts their eyes? Of course, but I don’t want to purposely focus their mind on the objectified idea of a woman’s body for pleasure. I have responsibility before God to present my body to God, holy and acceptable for His service, not willingly defiled by me or any other person. What is God’s will for me? I’m so often off track on this one, but I’m THANKFUL that even my ignorance of God’s will or sin against God’s will is not what makes or breaks my salvation. It is His grace alone that saves me, and His love alone that constrains me.
My body isn’t an object for others to gaze at or comment about, and I know that’s what a bikini would become for me, especially after having struggled with an eating disorder. My body is special, because it’s God’s. Is that something that makes me special? God made each person in His image, and every person in His image is His special and divine creation. My body is my Heavenly Daddy’s. I can’t do with it what I want anymore, and the culture has NO right to define what my body must or mustn’t be by demanding that I wear certain things or fit into certain molds to be pretty or accepted. Can I prove this to you? Not 100% logically, but I do believe it, because it’s my hope and my joy, and I hope that this is an encouragement to you. My body doesn’t have to be a certain number on the scale. I don’t have to look ‘thin’ in my winter coat. I don’t have to have the ‘right body’ to be accepted, because I am accepted in the eyes of God, accepted by Him and called holy because of His Son.
My last encouragement is, ‘Don’t let the culture define what your body should look like. God doesn’t take us at face value like the culture does. God looks at our hearts. His approval is what we need, what we crave, what we were made for, and His LOVE is the best.’
Most of all, I’m praying that this verse would someday describe me more than any clothes I wear or how stylish/unstylish I may be on a particular day… Proverbs 31:25, ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.’
I would love to hear your thoughts on this..
What do you think about our culture objectifying women’s bodies?
How should we combat that?