The worlds of fashion, beauty and fitness are awe-inspiring. Closets full of fabrics, color and texture... vanities full of liners, shadows and brushes... gyms full of women working hard with machines and weights. As women, we display ourselves to the world using these powerful tools. What you might not realize, though, is that for many women, these tools are being used to satisfy their souls’ cry for attention. A woman might be persuaded to put so much emphasis on what their face and body look like, that the time they have left to care for their soul dwindles. Hebrews 12:1-2 instructs us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” It is so easy to ignore the latter part of that instruction.
Let’s examine this example: You have set a goal to workout 5 times a week, style your hair every day, train from couch to 5K in a month and lose 25 pounds along the way. God does not expect you to achieve all of those things all at once. And sometimes, He does not even want all of those things for you. Many times, the goals we set for ourselves in health, wellness, fashion and beauty have been dictated by social media, guilt, or shame. No woman is deserving of those punishments. In Hebrews 12:1, the preparation for the aforementioned instructions is to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” I want to encourage every woman to pray as they create goals involving their physical self. There will be multiple occasions where our goals will not align with the goals He has set for us.
Continuing with the previously mentioned example, a goal of working out 5 times a week might take you away from the family God wants you to care for. As a Created Woman, it is pertinent that you consider His purpose for your time and energy before setting any goals for yourself. As a human, our earthly needs have the potential to negate our spiritual needs. Our health and happiness are so important, but those should not be the objects in a popularity contest or talent show. Philippians 2:5-8 tells of how Christ “made Himself of no reputation… coming to the likeness of men.” I believe this tells us to be humble and not crave the spotlight 24/7/365. Your health, fitness, and beauty are all opportunities to show His love towards His children to the world. You are a daughter of Christ and a face of His church. Show the world what His love really looks like by allowing God to direct your spiritual health. You will enjoy the benefits of your efforts on a deeper level when they are coupled with the fruit of Christ’s labor; that is, peace, patience, joy, kindness, self-control, goodness and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).
1. Do you set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals? If not, how do you think using this guide will help you set goals more effectively?
2. What do you think it means to love yourself the way Jesus does? Do you feel like you love yourself like that now? Listen to “You Say” by Lauren Daigle and “Love is Here” by Tenth Avenue North.
3. What 3 family members or friends can you recruit to support you in prayer as you decipher what He wants for your physical self?