Updated: Oct 9, 2020
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No religion preaches that you must be beautiful to live. Nor that you must be attractive to make a difference in the world or live a purpose-filled life. Being a size two isn’t written in the stars. Science did not conclude that only those with symmetrical faces could breathe life. No matter what you believe in, your body wasn’t meant to be beautiful.
And that’s okay!
The body was meant to fulfill so many other purposes. For Christians, God destined the body to be his vessel. The body was designed to interact with the world, make future generations, and carry your soul, the essence of who you are. I firmly believe every human was born with a specific task to complete and the correct body to help them.
Your body was meant to be a vessel.
If your ultimate purpose is Christianity, you know what this statement means. God created human beings to be His vessels in this world. This principle has many meanings, but the one we will focus on is from 2 Corinthians 4 entitled, “Treasure in Jars of Clay.”
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” - 2 Cor. 4: 6-7, NIV
The NIV Study Bible says the treasure in this passage refers to the Gospel. The notes explain that “treasures were concealed in clay jars, which had little value or beauty and did not attract attention to themselves and their contents.”
When commenting on this passage, Rev. Joseph Benson says, “In frail, feeble, perishing bodies, formed out of the dust of the earth, and, because of sin, returning to it; mean, vile, compassed about with infirmity, and liable to be broken in pieces daily. Even the whole man, the soul as well as body, is but a vessel, in which the treasure is lodged, and upon which it confers a value and dignity, but from which it receives none, but is rather disgraced and injured, by being deposited in such a mean and impure vessel.”
Other passages to check out: Isaiah 64: 8. 2 Timothy 2: 21. Rom. 9: 21-23.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to be attractive, thin, or perfect to be God’s vessel. God knows these bodies are frail and temporary, but He uses us anyway. He didn’t create bodies to last, but to function in this world for as long as we are needed.
Your body was meant to process the world around you.
The sensory organs in our bodies allow us to interact with the world around us on a physical level. I’m not only referring to our five senses, taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing, but also pain, pressure, and temperature. When triggered, each sends a signal to our brains, and our brain responds in some way.
Each serves a role in our daily lives. Our body enables us to hear people speak. To process information. To feel the sun on our skin. To see God’s creation. To taste wonderful food. To sense someone’s touch. Our senses protect us from harm, enable us to experience joy or pain, and allows us to make memories.
If we didn’t have these senses, we wouldn’t be able to experience this world. We wouldn’t know what a freshly baked apple pie smells like or the joy of a warm embrace. Without our bodies, we couldn’t encounter the simple pleasures of life.
Your body was meant to make connections.
“No man is an island.” - John Donne
Humans need other humans, whether it be for companionship, romance, or business. It would be impossible to connect with other people if not for the body. Try meeting someone for coffee without feet to get you there or a mouth to drink the hot liquid.
Studies found that the majority of communication is nonverbal. What is nonverbal communication? It includes facial expression, eye contact, gestures, tone of voice, physical touch, and appearance. Let’s go back to the meeting-someone-for-coffee example. It would help if you had eyes to interpret facial expressions and a mouth to contribute to the conversation. A body is required to interact with other humans.
More often than not, that physical body isn’t magazine-cover pretty when it does these tasks. For the most part, people could care less about what you look like as long as you are physically and mentally there for them. My husband doesn’t wait to say “I love you” until I have my makeup and hair done; he says it always and often. Your loved ones do the same!
Your body was meant to have children.
One of the most phenomenal parts of the body is the reproductive system. If you have never studied how a baby develops, I would recommend checking out these videos! The first details how the sperm fertilizes the egg. The second and third is how a fertilized egg develops into a baby.
As you can see, reproduction is incredibly complicated and risky. As much stuff can go right as it can go wrong. Our bodies, male and female, were designed in such a way that we can MAKE another human being.
And you don’t have to wear makeup to do it. You don’t have to eat salad for every meal to make a baby. You don’t have to be beautiful to fulfill this life purpose. The body was designed to reproduce no matter it’s outside appearance.
Your body was meant to enable you to live.
You wouldn’t be able to exist on earth without your body. God designed it to digest food, breathe air, transport nutrients, contract muscles, etc. The body serves a specific purpose in that it gets us from point A to point B, whether that be from food to nutrients or bedroom to bathroom.
Nowhere in science does it say we have to be attractive, thin, or perfect to poop.
Your body was meant to carry our soul.
If you have ever heard the famous quote from George MacDonald, you know what I’m talking about with this statement. The passage goes, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” The body was meant to carry the soul.
Your soul is who you are, your personality, goals, and dreams - the essence of who you are. We need our body, but the soul is more important. The soul is what pushes us forward and gives us purpose. Our soul uses the body to move through this world so it can express our deepest desires.
In Christianity, we get a new body when Jesus comes back. Our soul never dies after our body dies, and in heaven, we get new bodies for our soul. These bodies will not decay, nor will they be weak or frail. Little is known about these perfect bodies, but what we do know is the bodies we have now are not the bodies we were meant to have.
In many ways, it’s reassuring. If you have diabetes, endometriosis, or even heartburn, you don’t have it in heaven. No one will suffer from cancer or gallstones. There will be no pain or disease.
I speculate that something else will not be in heaven; that is just as important. There will be no comparison. No airbrushed celebrities on the cover of magazines to pick apart. No mirrors to pick apart the dark circles and wrinkles under your eyes. No cousins with chiseled abs for you to be jealous. Everyone will be content with what they have.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take care of your body. I’m saying that you don’t have to be a size two to live a fruitful, fulfilling life. It has nothing to do with drinking enough water every day or sleeping eight hours every night. It has everything to do with how you see yourself.
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