By Kelsey Klepper
My body does not care that it’s small in the chest and large in the hips. It does not care if it’s in size “x” jeans. It does not care if it weighs more than what the world says is “healthy”. It does not care if it looks like her body to the left or to the right. It does not care if it has cellulite, acne, and/or stretch marks. It does not care if it eats cake and ice cream for enjoyment or as a coping mechanism for stress. My body does not care if it jiggles, squishes, or rolls. My body does not care if its appearance is similar to any other body. The world would want me to believe all those things to be a priority, but it’s not the truth.
My body may not care about cultural norms, but my body does care about me – my actual well-being, like my soul, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. My body cares about relationships, about actually living in the present moment. It cares about just enjoying a piece of food because it tastes good and gives me a snippet of happiness. My body cares about my experiences. It cares about love and living out kindness. It cares about interactions with others. My body cares about how I react to situations.
My relationship with my body parallels so incredibly well with my relationship with Jesus.
Hear me out. This may sound a little out there to say that, but I believe it to be true.
Jesus does not change (James 1:17). When my relationship with Jesus changes, it’s me who does the changing, never Him. I’m the one who thinks more about the world than Him and His truth. It’s me who wanders from Him. He is always there, unchanging. This is the same with my relationship with my body. My body still cares about what it always has, but the world skews what I believe my body really desires.
When I am leaning on Jesus’s truth, my relationship with Him thrives.
Likewise, when I am leaning on Jesus’s truth, my relationship with my body also thrives from the inside out.
But when I am distant from Him, I am distant from my body which causes me to seek what society says my body needs (smaller size, less food, more exercise).
Now reread the first two paragraphs and think about it in the context of what Jesus is concerned with. Spoiler alert. He’s just not very interested in paragraph 1 (our weight, dress size, fat rolls, etc.). Yes, He designed each and every one of us to be unique, intricate, beautiful women. That is the truth, but Jesus really cares about our heart and that it desires Him and his truth over our outward appearance.
A couple realizations I came across when I started seeing this parallel between my relationship with Jesus and my body:
- I wouldn’t let myself eat dessert at a social event because I was dieting and wanted to be thinner, but it put me in a crappy mood that I was restricting myself. Therefore, I was not enjoying the experience and the conversation around me. Jesus wants me to build relationship, not be focused on my dessert consumption or lack thereof.
- I overslept and missed my opportunity to go to the gym, which put me in a sour mood for the rest of the day. What I realize now is that I didn’t miss an opportunity to exercise, but rather an entire day to live for Him.
So, now that you may be starting to see how your relationship with Jesus parallels your relationship with your body, what does that looks like for you personally?