As women, let’s face it, we’ll sit and talk about a lot of different topics. Anything from paint colors to the new recipe we tried out on the guinea pigs (family) at home! We share tips about cleaning marker off the furniture and which stores offer the best deals this week. But, there is one area in particular that we tend to shy away from–being good stewards of our bodies, especially concerning our weight. It can really be a touchy subject to bring up, even with close friends.
What does the Word have to say about this? 1 Corinthians 4:2 tells us, “…it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” We all have been given the breath of life by our incredible God, and we are told in Psalm 139:14 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Are we to use this time on earth in destroying the body that we have been given? The opposite should be true for the Christian. We should strive to find a balance in our life where we can be a good example to others around us, and truly reflect godly beauty. In finding this balance, we learn not to obsess about our weight, being either too thin or too heavy, and putting our focus in the right places.
Just having watched some of the grueling winter Olympic events take place, I sat and marveled at the terrific shape of the athletes. Most of them have very little body fat percentages, and muscle tone is amazingly well-defined. How do these athletes get this way? Essentially, they are slaves of their sports. They train daily for hours on end to be the best at what they do. Their minds dwell on their next performance, and how they can improve at it. We however, are slaves of the Most High God, and so our minds should be dwelling on how we can be better stewards of His. 1 Corinthians 9:27 says to, “buffet my body and make it my slave.” Notice that WE are to control our body, and not the other way around. This is another area where Christian women should teach the younger generation by our example. By not taking care of our bodies properly, we can send the wrong messages out concerning what we are slaves of.
It would be so easy if we were born with a little stamp on the bottom of our foot that said exactly what our weight should be when we are full grown! But, we don’t get this. What we do have, is free will from God. We get to make the call, do we live for Him or trudge our own path? Once we decide to be His child, each decision from then on should be based on pleasing Him. Does being a drunkard please Him? How about choosing to be a fornicator? (Please reference 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Nobody can look at you and say what your exact weight should be. Doctors can give us guidelines, but still the bottom line stops with you and your mindset. Some questions to ponder if you feel that you are overweight have been listed below. Please have an open mind as you read over them, and pray that God will give you the strength to make adjustments if you need to.
1. Is your physical health being affected by your weight? Have you developed high blood pressure or maybe even diabetes? If you are overweight, your heart and vital organs have to work harder for you. This can lead to a shorter life expectancy also.
2. If you are married, is your sex life affected by your weight? Have a heart-to-heart with your spouse and ask him. Be open and honest with each other. No relationship on this earth is closer than the one with your hubby. You want to please him, so ask him! (See 1 Corinthians 7:4)
3. Are the activities you love to do hindered, or even stopped by your weight? Have you had to give up something because of it? If you are a mother, can you play and have fun with your children? We are not expected to be a triathlete, but we are to teach and train our children by example (See Deuteronomy 6:7). Can we really expect our children to be good stewards of their bodies if we are not? How many times do we see young people who smoke, or are overweight, etc, even though they may have seen their parent suffer from the effects of these choices? As a mother whose youngest child will soon be eighteen, let me encourage you to do what you can about your weight so you can be active with your kids. They will quickly outgrow your home and start families of their own. Don’t let their early years be filled with regret of not doing more with them.
The book of 1 Timothy gives us more insight into being good stewards of our bodies also. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 states, “On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” The point being made is that bodily discipline has its benefits, but our number one focus is godliness–becoming more and more like our Savior. As women of God, our lives reflect God’s beauty by living disciplined lives. There should be nothing that has control over us, whether it be food, alcohol, substances, etc. God is encouraging us here through Paul’s letter to Timothy, to let our minds be concerned with the life that comes after this one, because that is where our hope lies. We want to be examples while we are still here, so that others will seek after the Lord we serve, hopefully because they see what truly motivates us.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
By Robin Martin
Robin and her husband, Randy, work with the South Twin Cities congregation in Rosemount, Minnesota. She is thankful to God for her children and grandchildren, and His amazing grace that has been poured out!