What the Bible Says About Body Image - A beautiful black woman looking into a mirror smiling with a heart drawn in lipstick around her image

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Christians struggling with negative body image? Oh yes!! Negative body image is not something Christian women are immune to. Here I will share my own struggle as well as Bible verses about beauty in God’s eyes and who you are in Christ.

 

What the Bible Says About Body Image - A beautiful black woman looking into a mirror smiling with a heart drawn in lipstick around her image

What Does the Bible Say About Body Image? – My Own Struggle

I am finding 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, 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? Yeah, 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 52 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!

 

 

 

Negative Body Image Turned to Self Hatred

I hated what I had done to myself. 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 and that I had no need to go seek out Bible verses about beauty and what God says about it.

 

I kept defining beauty by the world’s view instead of God’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.

 

Negative Body Image – Still Never Happy

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

 

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.

 

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 Myself

I still despised ME.

 

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.

 

 

Seeking Bible Verses About Beauty- Be in the World But Not Of It

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.

 


 

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.

 

Seeking Bible Verses About Beauty – Knowing Your Worth

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.

 

 

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 beauty 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.

 

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 do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:19  NIV

 

 


 

What Does the Bible Say About Body Image? – Know Who I Am in Christ

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,

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.” NIV

Bible Verses About Beauty - What Does the Bible Say About Body Image? 2

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.

 


 

Seeking Bible Verses About Beauty – 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 beauty 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 beauty and I would love to share a few favorites with you!

 

4 Bible Verses About Beauty For Those Who Struggle With Negative Body Image

 

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

Proverbs 31:30 says,

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” ESV

1 Peter 3:3-4 says,

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” ESV

Psalm 139:14 says,

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” ESV

And one of my favorites… 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NIV

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

 

Some other posts like ‘Bible Verses About Beauty – What Does the Bible Say About Body Image’ you might enjoy:

KNOWING WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST – LOSING YOUR IDENTITY

GOD WANTS TO USE YOU – ENCOURAGING OTHERS

COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

GOD USES THE WEAK – 4 REASONS GOD USES BROKEN PEOPLE

 

 

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved

 

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Diane is a wife and mom, a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) and yes, a blogger. In addition to owning Worth Beyond Rubies, she also co-owns other sites such as Faithful CEOs which helps Christian bloggers and businesses, Hot Flashy Faith which is a site for women over 40 and everything important to them, and Women of Worth Café another site for Christian women with Bible studies, devotions and the Jewish roots of the faith. Diane lives in BEAUTIFUL Northwestern Connecticut and when she is not blogging, you will find her spending time with her husband and kiddos out on their little mini-farm.

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    Heather HartTiffany MontgomeryBarbara HarperDonna ReidlandHeather Hart | Books, Faith, and Coffee Recent comment authors

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    Rachel Mayew
    Guest

    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!

    LeeAnn @ Girl Bosses Rock
    Guest

    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!

    candy
    Guest
    candy

    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.

    Lauren Sparks
    Guest

    From someone who has struggled all her life with body image, I must say, that’ll preach! Visiting you today from the faith n friends link up. laurensparks.net

    Amy @ Orison Orchards
    Guest

    This describes me to a ‘t’, except that I’ve never been able to eat and not gain weight! The scripture verses are beautiful and helpful — I need to work on this.

    Kristi McAllister
    Guest

    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.… Read more »

    Tiffany
    Guest
    Tiffany

    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!

    Donna Miller
    Guest

    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! ❤

    Deb Wolf
    Guest

    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!

    Kristin Cook
    Guest

    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!

    Robert
    Guest

    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.

    Aimee Imbeau
    Guest

    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.

    Lori Schumaker
    Guest

    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… Read more »

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    […] Christians & Body Image: 4 Verses to Help Those Who Struggle […]

    Haley
    Guest

    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… Read more »

    Heather Hart | Books, Faith, and Coffee
    Guest
    Heather Hart | Books, Faith, and Coffee

    I can so relate to this! Thanks for sharing these verses.

    Donna Reidland
    Guest

    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.

    Lauren Sparks
    Guest

    I resonated with everything you said, friend. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. laurensparks.net

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    Barbara Harper
    Guest

    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.