Do You Struggle with Body Complaints?

When you look in the mirror or get dressed, what thoughts pass through your mind?  Most of my life I have complained about my body.  From as early as fourth grade I remember ranting about the size and shape of my thighs, and by the teen years, I was very unhappy with my curly hair. I never saw my complaints as a problem…I just accepted them as part of life.  Years later, and a mom now…still complaining about my body, it was my 9-year-old daughter who helped me realize how harmful this habit of complaining had become, and I knew I needed to make some serious changes.

Could Your Body Complaints be Negatively Affecting your Kids?

After years of carelessly expressing my dissatisfaction with my body, my daughter made a few comments that nearly knocked me off my feet.  My usual complaints were, “I am out-of-shape, I need to lose a few pounds, I don’t like my flabby skin, I am looking older, I have wrinkles and my hair is graying.”  I had no idea how it was affecting my daughter until she voiced some serious concerns.  It was two-fold. On one hand she reasoned that if I wasn’t happy with my body, then she shouldn’t be happy with hers either.  On the other hand, she worried that I was aging too fast and that meant I might not live much longer.  Ouch!!

Have you been there too?  Your child exposes a truth that is very difficult to face? That was me that day…like a deer caught in the headlights!

Complaining is Sin

Honestly, I was oblivious to my sin. Not only did I have a complaining spirit, but I was taking for granted the gift God had given me…my body.  And by spending so much time focusing on the few things I didn’t like, I couldn’t experience thankfulness for all the wonderful things my body did have.  I wondered, is it possible to make peace with my body’s imperfections and experience body acceptance?  How can I move from body complaining to thanksgiving? To answer these questions, I turned to God first to confess my sin, and then to seek wisdom in His Word.

Turning to God’s Word for Help

The scriptures have always been medicine to my soul. Sometimes harder to digest than other times. But God is kind, patient and faithful. I can always count on Him to reveal truth and this time was no exception.

  • First, God reminded me that He is the Master Creator of the human body and it is nothing short of a miracle.  I am His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
  • He made all my body parts and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13).
  • And, yes, my body is amazing, but it is also temporary, and though I long for a perfect body, it will fall short. But, one day in heaven I will get a perfect body (2 Corinthians 5:1-6).
  • God loves me (John 3:16).
  • God cares more about my inner character than my outward body (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • He wants me to be thankful for all things and that includes my body (I Thessalonians 5:18).
  • Without my body, I could not live.

As We Approach Swim Suit Season I am Tempted to Complain Again

In fact I already have…because, I remember those New Year’s resolution that didn’t happen…get in shape, tone my muscle, eat healthier and lose a few pounds.  Satan would like me and you to believe that we are failures and unlovable, but that is a lie because we are loved beyond measure!  Also, as I write this to you I am reminded that we have a choice: complain and stay stuck like the Israelites in the wilderness or give thanks for the gift of our bodies. But how can we give thanks?

Pray a “Body Thanks” Prayer

I’d like to share a “body thanks” prayer with you.  A prayer to remind me that my body is a blessing and with every complaint I could make about it there are 10x’s, 20x’s…no 100x’s more amazing things about my body to be thankful for.   This is the “body attitude” I want to model for my daughter. If you struggle in this way, would you pray alongside me today?  Together let’s fight the battle of body complaint by giving body thanks!

Dear Father, I am thankful for my legs so I can walk and move about this earth. I am thankful for my eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch…all of my five senses so I can experience life through them.  I am thankful for my arms and hands which can reach out to pick something up or give a hug to a friend in need.  I am thankful for my organs…my beating heart that sustains my life and my lungs that take in oxygen every single day.  I am thankful for my digestive system that works to keep my body alive with energy.  I am thankful for my brain…I can think, make a plan, remember things and exist because of it.  I am thankful that because I have a body, I can live on earth and have relationships as well as contribute to mankind.  I am thankful that I am not alone in my body imperfections and that I can connect with others on equal terms regardless of my imperfections.  I am thankful that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by YOU, and that my value and worth are not connected to my body.  My body is a tool, a temple of God to be cared for, not demeaned. Thank you, Father, for giving me my body and my life.  ~Amen

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- and how well I know it!”  Psalm 139:14 NLT

It takes courage to admit that complaining about our bodies is a sin. Remember that Chickening IN is never about the easy road…it’s about doing the brave, bold thing that God is calling us to. Will you join me and grow in thankfulness for the amazing miracle of our bodies? Let me know what part of your body you are most thankful!!

Live Courageous!

JJ @ Chickening IN

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