If We're Honest....Self Image
When you reflect upon your self image, what do you see? When you contemplate on your physical and spiritual self, are your thoughts positive or are they shaped by the world? As I continue this series of posts, I want each of us to be encouraged and our thoughts renewed after reading. I believe that self image is a struggle for most women in how we view ourselves. With advertisements of thin models or seductive suggestions even in food commercials, and society's pressure of perfect bodies, we can feel like we just don't measure up. I have struggled with this through the years as I am sure many of you have. I can remember looking in the mirror and wishing my skin was more clear, my nose smaller, my lips more full...shall I go on?
In a conversation with a friend one day, we were discussing an article written by a young woman feeling like she didn't measure up when her body didn't immediately return after childbirth and the pressure she felt from others. Being a new mom should carry the joys of the intimate times with a newborn in the midst of the demands of changing diapers, feeding, washing the third set of baby laundry for the day, etc., but society also adds in the pressure of getting back in shape immediately to fit in. For those of us who have crossed that glorious line of the age of 40 ( I won't say just how far) the pressures are also there. We begin to search for the miracle wrinkle creams and cellulite reducers. Need I say more?
In honor of all us, and all in humor, I have written a little encouragement that goes something like this: We are so hard on ourselves as women because of the pressure in society and the battle Satan wages in our minds about our self image, our bodies. I think we should start a new women's group called "Real Women." Our Motto: Love your areas of cellulite with all your heart, mind and soul. Lean not on the world's fantasy of skinny but trust in your own waist line with all your heart. A three fold thigh is not easily broken. Good things come to those without 29 inch waists. For I know the plans He has for me, plans to feed me and not harm me. O Lord, enlarge my hips so that I may be stable in you. I know that my body will work for good to my husband that loves it. If you seek crows feet, you shall find them. Blessed is the woman with a body that is full. Please let the acceptance of my body and confidence in my appeal be acceptable in my husband's sight. This is just me being silly but I think we should march to the beat of a "love my cellulite" drum.
Now, on a more serious note. Our self image should not be all consumed with our image of our physical appearance. It should be one of our spiritual, physical, emotional and total identity in who we are as Christ's daughters. I know this is easier said than done because we all suffer from insecurities and sometimes we battle them to no end. I don't think any woman is exempt from this and even more so as a daughter of Christ because Satan would love nothing more than to attack our self image. That image has to have Christ at the center, to believe in who we are and who He has created each of us to be with our unique gifts spiritually and varying shapes and sizes physically. I think of the woman in Judges 13:6 that ran to her husband and said "A man of God appeared to me." This woman was Samson's mother and believed the wonderful things God had spoken to her. Can we believe the wonderful things God speaks to our hearts as women? Can we believe that we are captivating, beautiful, sought after and not found wanting? We can believe in a self image which is a Christ image and a confidence in our whole image, not just our bodies. Begin to believe with me today and pray a prayer of honesty to God about your feelings and insecurities in this area as He speaks lovingly and softly to those insecurities as they fade...if we're honest.