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Body Blessing

Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail

(By Heather Marshall)

Do you need to reconcile with your body? 

This may sound like an unusual question, but it’s one that I believe is applicable to most women. Who hasn’t had moments of negativity toward their body? The negative thoughts may stem from feeling our bodies have failed us in ability. They may also be related to discouragement about the appearance of our bodies. 

These negative thoughts can keep us stuck in a cycle of discouragement and despair, leading to further damaging behavior towards our bodies, which can alternate between obsessing over our bodies and neglecting our bodies. 

We can obsess over our bodies by constantly striving to control everything related to them. For example, we might set strict diet rules, or we might feel the need to exercise excessively. We can neglect our bodies by basically giving up on caring for our bodies in healthy ways and just not caring. 

Neither of these sets of behaviors is good for us and not what the Lord wants for us in relation to our bodies. 

I believe that the first step in approaching our bodies in a God-honoring and healthy way is to recognize the negativity that we may harbor toward our bodies and then seek to reconcile with the Lord and with our bodies. 

These pessimistic thoughts can be very sneaky and hard to identify at times. Here are some questions that might help us recognize hard thoughts about our bodies:

  • Do we not want to look in the mirror or see ourselves in photos because we feel ashamed about our bodies?

  • Do we ever think or speak about our bodies in derogatory terms to ourselves or to others?

  • Do we ever put down various body parts because they aren’t serving us in the way we would like them to, especially as it relates to chronic pain or aging bodies?

Once we are aware that we have a breakdown in our relationship with our bodies, we can then take steps to reconcile. First, we need to confess and repent to God our erroneous thinking about our bodies. 

God is the great and perfect Creator who has said that He made us good (Genesis 1:31). Sin has marred His creation and thus affected our bodies; this is something that saddens Him and us but ultimately our bodies as His creation are still good. 

After confession and repentance, we can take practical steps to reconcile with our bodies. One of the best ways to do this is by starting a practice of engaging in body blessing. 

Body blessing is a discipline where we speak truth and blessing from God’s Word over our bodies. 

It can help to stand in front of a mirror, really look at yourself or even at the area of your body that you feel negative about, and speak God’s truth over your body. 

For example, look into your eyes and speak this truth, “[God], I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14). 

Another truth of God you can speak over your body is, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God” (1 Corinthians 6:19). 

Speaking God’s truth aloud and over our bodies will help our mindset shift from one of negativity to one of praise to God for the magnificence and beautiful intricacies of His creation. And once we see ourselves in the light of God’s truth, we will start to treat our bodies in a way that is aligned with truly healthy living. 

Friend, it is my prayer that we will all start to see ourselves in the light of God’s truth and that the practice of body blessing will help us reconcile our relationships with our good bodies. 


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