Saturday, April 28, 2012

a rant about self-image


I am on Pinterest. 

I love it! I think that there are so many delicious meals to cook, crafts to sew, things to make from pallets, and ideas for decorating that can all be found in one place. It makes searching the web just a little bit easier.

However there is something that really bothers me about it. What bothers me is how many of my friends have pin boards on being motivated to be skinny. 

I don't have a problem with eating right, and being fit. I think God gave us lives that we should take care of as much as he has provided for us to take care of them. I just have a problem with how obsessed women tend to get about their looks.

I even have a friend who cares so much what she looks like that she thinks her husband won't love her if she doesn't work out. How sad for her, that her self-worth is so wrapped up in what she looks like.

1 Peter 3:4-6
[godly women] but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

This is very interesting because when Peter wrote this, the Roman empire was at its peak. Philosophers were writing and teaching. They were worshiping the gods of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (the Romans, not Peter). Technology had progressed so far and it took ages after the fall of the empire to recover it. These people weren't far behind the way American culture exists today. There was just as much perversion, sex, entertainment, and violence. 

I say all of this because it seems that whenever anyone wants to bring up the S word - submission - I tend to hear the excuse, "Oh well the culture was much different back then." I believe this to be a very weak excuse.

Peter was a man and a sinner just like all men. He saw women the same way all heterosexual men see women today - attractive. He may have even gotten married. So when he tells women how to dress and behave biblically, he probably knows what he's talking about. 

Ladies, we need to be set apart. 

The culture around us entices us to feel like we should look a certain way. We need to not buy into it. Stay healthy and eat the things God gave us for food. Stay healthy and get out in the creation and work hard at everything you do. But it is extremely unnecessary to look like an airbrushed celebrity.

Secondly there is a list there of how we as women should look. 

- imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

How many women who are working their tails off at the gym are also working on taming their spirit? A gentle and quiet spirit doesn't mean that we need to be soft-spoken, mousy, timid women. It means to be at peace. Is your soul peaceful or are you constantly anxious, worrying, whining, or complaining about something? Are you working hard at casting those cares on Jesus? Are you even thinking about doing that? I know that as a woman there are many things for me worry, be anxious, and complain about. I'm not good at letting them be either. But rather than being concerned about a flat tummy, I should be looking into getting peace for my spirit.

- the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.

Wow! Do you call your husband lord?

I started. Seriously. And it's kind of fun. He likes it. He finds it encouraging and sweet.

I know ladies who say they submit to their husbands, and yet I see them being very nagging and controlling nonetheless. 

Submission is happy obedience. It is letting someone else be in control. Above all, it is letting go of your own wants, desires, and expectations of the other person and giving those things to God. 

For example:

There are a lot of things that need to get done around my home, and I do a lot. It would be nice of my husband to help out with the baby/handy work/putting away his laundry/etc., whenever he is home. However, my husband also works six days a week to provide for our family to eat, dress, and have a roof over our heads. If my husband wants to relax when he gets home, is it really kind or fair of me to start nagging him to do things? If he tells me he will do something, is it really my job to monitor the time frame in which it gets done? If it doesn't get done and it is in my power to do it, I should just do it myself because it's obviously bothering me more than it is him.

Also, we are not the heads of our families, but rather our husbands are. They are responsible before God at the end of the day with how they have cared for that family. They will have to answer and give an account. Do you know how scary that is? Do you know how heavy a load that is for a man to bear? Do you really want to take that load on yourself? Therefore the choices your husband makes for you, your children, and himself may include your opinions and counsel, but they are his to make. He doesn't need your nagging or manipulation. You only make a burden and a hinderance (not a help) of yourself when you so easily do this.

You don't have to trust your husband to make good decisions. He probably will fail from time to time. However, God gave that husband to you, and He established him as your leader. Therefore you must trust God to take care of you - good or bad decisions. God will work all things for your good (Rom. 8:28)

- And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening

This all goes back to not worrying, trusting God, and finding peace.

How are you doing on working on your heart? 

6 comments:

  1. Trisha9:59 PM

    I have been feeling the exact same way regarding appearances lately!

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    1. do you care to expound on that?

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  2. this is great.
    i got frustrated with pinterest because it pushes us to people we might not or we try to be something we're really not!

    and i'm impressed that you call your husband lord! that's new :)

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    1. thanks hannah!

      yes, calling him lord was something that I started doing on a whim. it helps me to remember my place as second in command and that I have a ruler over me.

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  3. Man, I totally feel you. It's the same thing with me... my husband works 6 days a week between his full time job and freelance work, and I'm only part time right now. But as many of us know, caring for children IS a full time job in itself, so most days I'm completely exhausted to the point where dishes/dinner/cleaning and that type of stuff is just exasperating. If you find something that works, please let me know!

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    Replies
    1. Kate, I really think that every family is different in their lifestyle, but I also think that figuring things out depends on communication. Talk about what works and what doesn't work in your situation. But nobody should force or coerce someone to do something. I wouldn't want my husband to do it to me, so I won't do it to my husband.

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