Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Bible Verses About Body Image for a More Confident 2021

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Believers struggling with negative body image? Oh yes!! Negative body image is not something Christian women are immune to. Women of faith struggle with the same issues any woman does and body image is no different. Read on about own struggle with my body as well as Bible verses about body image that I will share to show you your beauty in the eyes of God! 

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Updated from 10/9/19

My Own Struggle With Body Image

I find myself standing yet again looking into my full-length mirror and I realize I am never satisfied. No matter what clothing I have on or how good my hair looks or if my makeup is on point, I am never satisfied.

Lately, it seems I never am. I may look younger than I am and I may get compliments on my hair, my makeup, my clothing…it didn’t matter. I wasn’t satisfied.

All my adult life, up until around age 35, I was THAT person. You know, the one who could eat anything she wanted and never gain an ounce? Yep, that was me.

And oh boy did I eat! I ate everything and anything that was bad for me too because, well, I just didn’t care. I wasn’t going to put on weight so why not enjoy it, right? I wasn’t yet at the point where health was a real concern so I just ate!

And yet there I was, this time after carrying 7 babies and now at age 55 and about that many pounds’ overweight. Now I looked at my body and despised myself.

I didn’t just despise the weight. I despised MYSELF!

I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I didn’t just despise the weight, I despised MYSELF! Click To Tweet

Negative Body Image Turned to Self-Hatred

I hated what I had done to myself. I hated my weakness. I hated that I let it define me and I hated that I was so undisciplined that I couldn’t even manage to go on a diet or workout and lose the weight.

Oh, I did from time to time but never stuck with it. The weight would come back and it would bring friends!!

But I had the answer!! Or at least I thought I did at the time! I thought I knew it all. I didn’t even stop and check for Bible verses about body image or try to get some idea of what God had to say about it.

No, I kept defining beauty by the world’s view instead of the Lord’s view.

So I knew (or believed I did) how to finally rid myself of it once and for all! I made the appointment and had liposuction!!

Yep, I had lipo! It is not something I am proud of now but it is the reality of how I was feeling at the time.

I had them remove as much fat as they could possibly medically and legally remove!! And wow, what a difference! I finally had a waist again and I was feeling great!

But it didn’t last. It didn’t last because it was the wrong solution.

An image of a black woman with long hair and in a green dress standing in a kitchen looking up and pointing with her two index fingers

Still Never Happy With Myself

Soon I looked in that mirror and realized, I wasn’t satisfied. After all of that and I was STILL not satisfied.

Except now I was picking apart the loose skin on my abdomen from multiple pregnancies. I was looking at the areas that I didn’t have lipo on and I was beating myself up over deciding not to do them.

I lost some weight but not a lot because lipo is for body shaping and not weight loss. And even though they had told me that, somehow my mind heard what it wanted and I thought I would be different and I WOULD lose more weight. But no, it wasn’t the case.

At the end of the day, I was still miserable with what I saw reflected back at me in that mirror. I still despised what I saw.

I Still Hated ME!

I still despised ME!

Not surprisingly, I gained weight again. Not in the areas where I had lipo but in the areas I didn’t. My inner thighs were growing larger and for the first time EVER, even though I gained all that weight before, I had no gap between them.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you and your thighs are fortunate indeed!

My arms for the first time got larger and flappier. The lipo didn’t do a thing for keeping weight off. It only changed where the weight went on.

I still had the same old bad habits and I was still miserable.

I was still defining myself by my appearance; by outwardly things.

I was still defining myself by my appearance…by outwardly things. Click To Tweet

Seeking Bible Verses About Body Image Instead of Seeking the World’s Opinions

You see, I was looking at myself in the mirror and I was judging myself by the world’s standards. I was constantly measuring myself up against other people.

If it wasn’t people around me, it was people on TV, people in magazines, people in my fitness groups. I let other people define for me what happiness was and what satisfaction was and what my worth was, and I was basing it on my appearance.

Too fat, too old, eyes too hooded, hair too curly, clothes not chic enough, teeth too gapped, the list went on and on.

The Bible tells us to be in the world, not of it but I was being OF it.


Israel's Finest at your Door

I Felt Weak

I was miserable because I felt weak. At the very core of my despair was my weakness.

I felt like I lacked the drive and determination and self-discipline to eat healthy and exercise.

I HATE exercise, I admit it. If you see me running you better run too because something is chasing me! That’s my feeling about exercise in a nutshell.

You see, Christian women are NOT immune to the temptation to judge ourselves by the world’s standards.

We are not immune to feeling less than enough. We feel inadequate at times, whether it’s in appearance, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, or like me, all of the above.

As long as I base my worth and my happiness on worldly standards, I am going to be miserable. And that is what I was.

Knowing Your Worth is Believing What GOD Says About You

There is always going to be someone thinner, someone younger, someone prettier, someone with more money, someone with a fancier car, a better handbag, a more popular blog.

As long as I rely on my own flesh, my own self-discipline, my own willpower, my own strength to get me to where I need to be then I will fail and I will be unhappy because I am not only striving on my own, I am striving to meet a standard the world has made me feel I need to meet and not on God’s standards.

I am not only striving on my own, I am striving to meet a standard the world has made me feel I need to meet and not on God's standards. Click To Tweet

And as long as I find my satisfaction based on worldly standards then I will never be happy because as I said, there’s always going to be someone with bigger and better! Or in my case, it would be smaller and better! 

I was not only defining myself on worldly standards, but I was also trying to achieve everything with my own WILL and my own DETERMINATION.

I wasn’t seeking God in this. I wasn’t seeking what HE wanted for me. There are many Bible verses about body image but I was looking at the world to define me instead of God. I was using my own will to do things instead of HIS will. I was defining worth by the world and not by the Word.

So I can sit down and write this to you and logically say what I should and shouldn’t do or should or shouldn’t feel…and yet I still look in that mirror and have the same old feelings.  I am like Paul…

”For I don’t do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don’t want is what I do!”

Romans 7:19 CJB
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What Does the Bible Say About Body Image? – Knowing Who I Am in Messiah

Paul may have not meant exercise or losing weight but it is the same struggle nonetheless. The struggle to know what you SHOULD do but that you still DON’T do.

We all have our struggles and our imperfections. We all have things we need grace for every single day.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says,

that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,

that his compassion has not ended.

[On the contrary,] they are new every morning!

How great your faithfulness!

CJB

His mercy, His compassion, is new every morning! Good thing because I am sure I use up a good supply by bedtime!!

It is when we can recognize what our sin is, or what our struggle is, or what our temptation is that we can go to Him in prayer about it. It is only when we recognize we are trying to keep up with worldly standards that we can go to His Word and remind ourselves of HIS standards.

My Help Comes From the Lord

My happiness when I walk out the door should not be because I think I look acceptable for the world’s standard.

It should not be because I feel that one day I actually managed to work up enough willpower to do a workout.

However, it should be because I find my joy, my worth, my acceptance in HIM!

It should be because of what HE says about me, not what the world does. And we learn what He says about us in those Bible verses about body image that the Bible is rich with!

I should be happy because I don’t have to rely on my own willpower to eat healthy or exercise. I can go to Him, my ever present help! I can take my struggle and temptation to Him!  I don’t need to struggle on my own with these things. HE is there to take the burden from me! And He will take the burden from you.

So when I look in the mirror now in the morning I don’t just look at my appearance. I look at myself and I tell myself what HE has to say. I affirm my worth with HIS word.

I found some great Bible verses about body image and I would love to share a few favorites with you as well as my own video that discusses my personal experience with self-bullying.


4 Key Bible Verses About Body Image For Those Who Struggle 

Bible Verses About Body Image - What Does the Bible Say About Beauty?

Proverbs 31:30 TLV

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears Adonai will be praised."

Proverbs 16:31 TLV

"Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness."

1 Peter 3:3-4 TLV

"Don’t let your beauty be external—braiding the hair and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. Instead let it be in the hidden person of the heart, with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious."

Psalm 139:14 CJB

"I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders —I know this very well."

Ephesians 2:10 CJB

"For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do."

Genesis 1:26-27 TLV

"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness! Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the land.” God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 TLV

"Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Ruach ha-Kodesh who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body."

One of my favorites… 1 Samuel 16:7 CJB

"But Adonai said to Sh’mu’el, “Don’t pay attention to how he looks or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. Adonai doesn’t see the way humans see — humans look at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks at the heart.”"

What are some of your favorite Bible verses about body image? I would love for you to share in the comments!

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CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

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42 Comments

  1. It’s true! God wants to walk with us through every portion of our lives, not just the obviously spiritual sections. He wants all of us! It is a load of mercy and grace knowing he takes all of it on. I tend to separate the parts of my life out into God categories and Rachel categories. Thanks for this encouraging message on body image and the courage to say less of me, more of him!

    1. I have done that WAY too long…the God categories and Diane categories! Very well put Rachel!! Thank you!

  2. This is such a wonderful and important post! So many women struggle with body issues which can really affect their self-esteem their entire lives. God created us in HIS image and he doesn’t create ugly things! It’s so important that we learn to find our value in Him and not the physical aspects of our lives. Beauty really does come from within and a woman who finds her value through Jesus is the most beautiful woman around!

  3. Thank you for being so honest about your struggle. So many women and girls have these thoughts and feelings. Will be saving these versus as a reminder.

  4. Oh, boy. This post is something I soooo resonate with. I’ve always had issues with body image, even when I was a Skinny Minnie, but most of that stems from childhood trauma. When I was diagnosed with lupus and had kidney issues, I was put on high doses of steroids, chemotherapy, and immunosuppressant drugs — which made me gain 126 pounds. You read that right. So when I lost the weight? Yeah. Hanging skin. EVERYWHERE. In 2014, I had lipo and then a reduction, arm lift, and a tummy tuck. I’m very pleased with the results for the most part. I do still have my thighs to nip/tuck, and I’m very self-conscious of my legs, so I can totally understand what you’re saying here. I think as women, we are so bombarded with the “perfect” everything that is just a Hollywood standard that we feel we don’t measure up. It’s truly a journey learning to love your body from the inside out. Fantastic post! Thanks for being so transparent and so honest.

    1. Kristi I am sorry you had health issues to battle with!! I know, illness can cause so many weight problems (amongst the other issues)!! And you’re right…Hollywood does give us an next to impossible standard that women feel we have to live up to. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for visiting!!

  5. I think of 1 Peter 3: 3-4 when I start complaining that I don’t have time to do my hair anymore or put on makeup. It’s hard to stay focused that these things aren’t important even though the world places so much emphasis on it. Thanks for sharing these verses!

    1. I love those verses!! The world is really such a distraction from the things that are most important isn’t it?

  6. Oh girl you are so right on here! I have been trying to focus on eating healthier and trying to push through the pain to exercise. But as I read what you wrote, I realized we can put effort into improving ourselves (which is a good thing) and even when others notice and try to encourage us, we still feel it’s not enough. I need to put more effort to my inside and growing in who I am in Christ. TY for this beautiful post! ❤

  7. This is such a battleground for me. I started carefully watching my food intake as a teen and decades later it’s still an issue. I have managed to stay thin but age shows up in so many ways and in a society that is all about youth and beauty … I’m constantly trying to beat down discouraging thoughts. So, thank you for this. I needed it! Blessings and hugs!

    1. I am so glad it encouraged you! I know exactly what you mean about age…I admit thats an area I struggle with too! Thank you so much for sharing!! HUGS!

  8. I am so glad that my worth and beauty comes from Jesus and from the fact that my Creator fashioned me. I don’t have to worry. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to have a positive body image all the time, but it does mean I have a foundation for it!

  9. Thanks for posting this and sharing so honestly. Your testimony of your experiences are helpful for others. I think it’s also men who struggle with body image as well as women. We all find something we’re not happy about ourselves. We also look through distorted lenses. It’s probably more of an internal thing that is going on than just pure physical appearance. Even if we looked objectively perfect, we would still likely not be happy. The enemy whispers in our ears and tells us we’re not worthy, and we buy into that instead of believing God’s word about us.

  10. Diane, this is a fantastic post – honest and transparent. I really appreciate it! I have chosen it for my Grace & Truth feature this week. Pop on by tomorrow to get the “I Was Featured” button.

  11. What a fantastic post, Diane! A message that resonates deeply. So deeply, it is the heart of the ministry behind my blog. Knowing how valuable we are as a child of God, is relevant to every single thing we do in our lives. Our relationships, our peace, our joy, and our purpose. When we see ourselves as a reflection of the Father instead of in the reflection of the world, life gets stable, joyful, and purpose-driven!

    Thank you so much for joining me for the #MomentsofHope Link-Up, too. You are my featured writer/post for this week! Stop by and grab your button♥

    Blessings,
    Lori

  12. Girl, you are speaking to my heart! I have struggled with body image since I can remember and God has definitely been trying to change my heart. I love that you said, “My happiness when I walk out the door should not be because I think I look acceptable for the world’s standard.” There are so many mornings that result in tears because I hate how I look and my husband is always so confused but hugs me anyway. Our worth and value are in Christ not in what the world says. I try to replace the lies the world tells me with those Biblical truths. Thank you for the encouraging reminder.

    1. I so get what you mean Haley! I can remember changing my clothes five times before going out because this one makes my stomach look big, this one feels too tight, and so on. And yet thank the Lord for husbands who see our beauty regardless of what the mirror screams at us! Thank you so much and I am so glad you found it encouraging!

  13. It’s so hard, isn’t it, Diane! We can know all those things on one level and still struggle with them. Your post made me think of the women in Exodus 38 about whom it says: “He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Oh that we could consistently give our struggles over to worship instead.

  14. So many people struggle with this–I think because that perfect body we think other people have is just an illusion. Yet I always wish I had it. I’m so glad God loves me just as I am yet works with me to grow and change.

  15. Hey Diane, I know Aimee featured this on Grace & Truth last year when it was originally posted, but I am still going to feature it this Friday because I love it. Thanks for linking up.

  16. Diane, thank you so much for sharing. I was struck by your statement that said as long as I base my worth on the world’s standards that I will always be miserable. This truth applies to every area of our lives and can be so subtle in its lure. I have knowingly struggled with my body image, sensibilities, and relationship skills since I was 11 years old. Now, over 50 years later, I have been convicted to surrender these burdens to the Lord. Why now? I don’t know, but I trust in his timing. What I get now is It’s about accepting our true identity, worth, and make up. Who do we choose to believe? The Lord or the world? I choose the Lord. His promises are true! Just as he beckons in Jeremiah 33:3. I choose to listen to him daily and let him transform me as his Word states in Romans 12:1-2. Stay encouraged and continue to be used by God to edify and encourage according to his Truth. He will continue to supply all your needs. Blessings to you. Again, thank you.