Antidotes to Body-Shaming: 8 Bible Verses

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"Antidotes to Body-Shaming: 8 Bible Verses" by Kelly Guest

Sandro Botticelli [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I noticed earlier this spring that my summer clothes were fitting a bit snug. So I pulled out the scale and timidly stepped on it. Apparently, my new-found fondness of lattes and cappuccinos (made readily available by my new coffee machine) has stuck with me — literally!

“Oh no! I have to get my body ready for bathing suit weather!” I declared, “I don’t want to scare anyone at the beach.” I said this in front of my teenage girls. The same girls who are constantly battling the bombardment of the “perfect” body that society holds out to them.

I guess even moms can fall prey to the temptation of desiring the perfect beach body.

So I sat down with my girls and we looked up Bible verses about beauty in God’s eyes — true beauty. Here are some of our favorites.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30. Even the woman with perfect skin, perfect hair, and the perfect body will, in time, discover wrinkles, greyness, and flab. It is only natural. Instead, we should strive for supernatural perfection which truly last forever.

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works.” -Psalm 139:14. It is important to remind ourselves that our bodies are a gift from God, and that is what makes it perfect – big bones, little boobs, long toes, sharp nose, pimples, freckles, bad hair day and all!

“While physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for  the present and future.” -1 Tim. 4:8. Since our bodies are a gift, we ought to eat right and exercise, taking care of the wonderful gift God has given us. Still, it is more important to care of our souls devoting time to its needs, and of others devoting time to their needs.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” -1Cor. 10:31. This verse helps keep dieting (and what we choose to wear) in check.

“Your adornment should not be an external one; braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.” -1 Peter 3:3-4. True beauty comes from our disposition, not our appearance; it’s inside, not outside. If we spend more time in the morning getting dress and putting on make-up than we do in prayer, then maybe we need to reevaluate.

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Rom 12:1-2. In other words, do not let the world dictate to you the purpose of your body; let God show you. You will be surprised by the grace of God what your body, mind, and soul can accomplish!

“You are beautiful in every way, my friend, there is no flaw in you!” -Song of Songs 4:7. This is how God sees you! These are God’s very words to you. Is there any greater compliment?

Finally, “He will change our lowly bodies to conform with His glorified body by the power that enables Him to also bring all things into subjection to Himself.” -Phil 3:21. God promises we will have the perfect body – for all eternity! No diet or work-outs necessary. Yay!

"Antidotes to Body-Shaming: 8 Bible Verses" by Kelly Guest

Copyright 2017 Kelly Guest. All rights reserved.

So, my family went on vacation to the beach. We had a lovely time together. I didn’t scare anyone, nor did anyone even seem to notice or care that my pouch was poking out. The sun was out, the waves were rolling, and we were all together having fun. That’s all that really mattered.

Copyright 2017 Kelly Guest

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About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities’ program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com.

3 Comments

  1. At less than a week post-partum, this is a great reminder of what’s important. Thanks for the quotes! I’m going to bookmark this page.

  2. Carmen, Congratulations! Another wonderful example of why and how are bodies are so glorious – our bodies protect, nourish, and cradle a whole new body for the first nine months of his/her existence. This does, though, take a toll on our bodies. In time, our bodies may go back to as they were. Maybe not quite. My grandmother got varicose veins from pregnancy. After baby number 6, she said they never went away. I admired her because instead of bemoaning them, she called them her “love lines!” Enjoy your new blessing! They grow fast.

  3. This was great! I am printing these bible verses out to keep in my journal so I can refer to them easily. Thanks for writing this!

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