My son, David, is a little butter ball of chunky goodness. Everyone comments on what a chubby little cutie he is. I love every little leg roll and his kissable cheeks. It’s is a wonderful and endearing thing that is a little chunk, but can you imagine if people said those things to me? “Taylor, I just love your squishy belly!” I am pretty sure I would not know how to respond! Post-baby body is something that gets A LOT of attention. I was surprised after David was born how many women asked me how I felt about my body. Here I am, holding a miracle in my arms, but we as women want to focus on our weight and stretch marks? Somewhere our priorities have gotten out of line.
Women long for their bodies to go back to what it was before it was transformed into a little baby home. My husband, Paul, still refers to my belly as “David’s old room!” The reality is, it took a LONG time for our bodies to stretch out like that and they are not going to go back to normal overnight. However, that is the pressure constantly put on women. It is an unrealistic expectation to look like you didn’t just have a baby when, in fact, you did just have a baby! We are believing the lie that the purpose of our bodies is to be a standard of “beautiful” that the world has created. Your body just did THE most amazing thing a human body can do. A life was formed and sustained inside you! Yet, after that miracle enters the world, we despise the left over signs of that journey. We look at our stretch marks and cringe, squeeze our bellies wondering if they will ever look normal again, and stand in the mirror shocked at the toll that was taken on our bodies.
We have idolized self-image. A phrase thrown around a lot is “look good, feel good.” I hate to break it to you, but there are many models and body builders out there that may “look good” but in their hearts they are falling to pieces. The key to actually feeling good is knowing where our worth and value comes from.
We are valuable and worthy for no other reason than we are daughters to an incredible Father. We are created in His image and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When we take our eyes off of ourselves (and others around us we compare ourselves to) and place them on Jesus, all the other things taking our attention fade away. Should we be healthy? Yes. Should we take care of our bodies? Yes. Should we obsess over a certain number on the scale or fitting into society’s standard of beautiful? NO. NO. NO.
The Father wants to show us the truth about our bodies and our hearts. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we start seeing things the way He sees them. We begin to walk in the truth of how He sees us. I am a daughter. I am full of life. I love deeply. I value friendship. I am a committed mother. I am a faithful wife. When I speak those truths over myself and believe them, my body image seems to matter much, much less.
Mama, I challenge you to take your eyes off of yourself and take a break from the scale. When you find that you are obsessing over your image again, do not get angry with yourself! Instead, wash yourself in the truth of who you are – a daughter, deeply loved and irreplaceable. Embrace this truth for yourself then pass it on to your children. Let’s raise kids that firmly believe their worth and value come from being sons and daughters to our Father! Let it start with us!