As women it is very common for us to be caught up in society’s perception of what is attractive. The physical body and appearance is known to be one of the major causes for a woman’s low self esteem. You may notice that weight loss products are one of the most profitable retail markets in the United States and it should come as no surprise that one of the top consumers for weight loss products are women. That is a sure indication of how the physical appearance is of great concern amongst women! Another harsh reality is that when some women have failed in dieting or weight loss attempts, they may resort to more extreme measures such as binging and purging. This commonly develops into eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia. Emotionally, this can be very detrimental leading to severe insecurities and not to mention possible depression. We can trace this type of behavior all the way back from childhood. As little girls the term “pretty” was associated to ones physical appearance. The desire to be complimented was instilled in us at an early age. This gave us validation and enhanced our self-esteem.
Eventually we grew into young women, seeking the same validation from not only family and friends, but other people as well. Ultimately this can affect current and future relationships amongst men and women. Females of every age, race, political, economical, and religious background have been a victim of self esteem issues pertaining to physical appearance. Why is this issue so big? If we were created in the image of Christ, why are we battling ourselves to appease man? Truthfully, this topic is rarely addressed. Between the things we see on television, hear on the radio, or learn from our peers it is obvious that are self-image is not a reflection of us, but of other human beings. We fail to realize that God is just as concerned about our physical appearance as we are. He expresses this through His word in the bible, advising us to steer clear of any harm to our body (our temple). Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). He continuously reminds us not to be slothful, actively working and producing throughout the land. These are a few of the many things that God has said to encourage us to take pride in ourselves and our appearances. The question is: How do we remind ourselves that we are made in His image and should strive to live in His image?
We are all Spiritual beings that were created in the image of Christ. Genesis 1:26, 27 says, then God said, let us make a man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, and over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. These two verses alone show us how highly God thinks of us. He delegated us some of his authority to rule responsibly over the Earth itself and the creatures on the Earth. He also gave us some of His characteristics. The image of Christ has very little to do with the physical body. God the Father has no physical body so the internal characteristics that God displays is what’s important. Since Christ is our father, we carry His spiritual DNA. What are some of the characteristics of Christ? Love, patience, forgiveness, faithfulness, and greatness are just a few. Since God is Supreme and without fault or flaw, we will never be able to reach perfection but we can strive to be great and reflect his characteristics in our lives. Now notice that no physical traits have been mentioned. This is because God does not determine human worth based in external factors or characteristics. Although our physical being wants to look at the outward appearance, Christ does not look at the things man looks at, but looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Now this is not to say that we as women can’t keep ourselves up and looking nice! We are to maintain a sense of pride in our appearance but that by any means can’t be all there is to us. Now the devil will try to cause us to devalue ourselves and the greatness our lives hold. We find this in who we give our bodies too, the way we carry ourselves, relationships we entertain (romantic or otherwise), our lifestyle (what we put in our body, what we let come out of our mouths, the way we carry ourselves) etc., the list is endless. We as women may beat ourselves up and not think that we are good enough. Well this just criticizes what God has made because he sees us as “perfect” creatures and I’m sure we don’t want to do that. We are princesses of The King and because we bear God’s image we are priceless! So remember that when you start beating yourself up about your physical characteristics, remember that your spiritual body is what God sees!