Have you ever loved someone who behaved as though they didn’t love themselves? It hurts.
I remember when our kids went through their angsty teens. My heart pinched every time I saw evidence that they believed the lie that they were less than who God said they were.
Lately, God has been reminding me of an area in my own life in which I make His heart pinch.
My self-care stinks.
I bought into the lie that everyone else’s needs superseded my own. Logic like that can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. One of the most detrimental for me has been that I gave up taking care of my body.
I don’t struggle with weight, but when a girl can live on bread and chocolate, and her pants still fit, guess what? She eats bread and chocolate. Newsflash. Carbs and cocoa don’t keep a body healthy. Chronic migraines and recurrent sinus infections party down when I don’t eat right.
And then there’s the whole “exercise thing.” I stop and start. Pause and re-start. Quit and not start. Or start half-hearted and make a half-hearted commitment. GAH!
It’s easy to rationalize an inconsistent routine when you have the noble task of caring for others. But in the past nine months, I’ve been learning something:The promises I repeatedly break to myself not only hurt me—they hurt God. Click To Tweet
I was reminded of this when I read today’s scripture:
“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple” (1 Corinthians 13:16-17, MSG).
Fun fact. Things like waking up with bedhead and coffee-stained teeth make me forget that my body is a temple. A TEMPLE!God’s temple is sacred, and you and I are His temples. Click To Tweet
God’s Old Testament temple was cherished and revered. God views His New Testament temple with the same esteem. What that means for you and me is that we are His treasured possessions!
Bob Goff writes in Everybody, Always, “God has never looked in your mirror or mine and wished He saw someone else.”
Despite my many failed attempts at taking care of myself, God doesn’t look at me and see an abandoned shack. God, Chip, and Joanna Gaines see a marvelous fixer-upper!
God sees our potential.
He sees the women we can become when we live life believing He lives in us.
When I remember that my body is God’s dwelling place, I say to myself, “I feed the kids well. Why wouldn’t I feed Him well? I care for the home my family lives in. Why wouldn’t I care for the place He lives in?”
The challenge is twofold:
- We need to see God for who He is (a tender Father whose heart hurts when we don’t love ourselves enough to care for ourselves).
- We need to see God in terms of where He is (within us, at home in and dwelling within our bodies.)
I’m a work in progress, but I’m over letting myself go. I’m not making radical changes, but I am making small ones that I hope are sustainable. Things like:
Less sugar. (I’m pretty sure God likes chocolate, so we’re still having some of that.)
More sleep. (He keeps telling me He’s got this and it’s time to go to bed.)
Holy Yoga. (He and I both like the fact that we get to talk while we exercise.)
I don’t know how long these particular changes will stick. But my sincere prayer is that the following conviction will never leave me…
I’m a lifelong fixer-upper committed to taking care of my place because it’s occupied by someone that I love very much.