BODY SHAME

BODY SHAME
Many people struggle with body shame. It isn’t something often talked about in the church or even with friends, due to the fact that the very nature of shame—is hiding. Shame loves to keep us from being seen and calling it out for what it really is: A LIE.
 
Until we validate shame, it’s very hard to overcome it. If you struggle with your body image (and yes, many many guys struggle too), then STOP pretending that it doesn’t exist—acknowledge it. When we can acknowledge shame toward our body, it begins to weaken the grip it has on us. 
 
When I was 5 years old, 3 older boys walked in on me while I was using a public bathroom, and  they started laughing and mocking me. I don’t remember more than that, besides my mom being very upset about the whole thing. I know from the Holy Spirit that this was my introduction to shame. This moment was the onramp for the lie, which I would believe for years, to enter my heart… the belief that something was wrong with my body. 
 
If you grew up on TV, as I did as a kid, then you received many messages. These were probably subliminal—telling you that something was for sure wrong with how you were made. Then combine that with the bodies of almost everyone on magazine covers and in every movie looking a certain way and from that you got the clear message: your body isn’t enough. 
 
Then for me, you add a mom who not only thought something was wrong with her body but also made changes to “fix” it—now this lie is deeply rooted in the ground. Like all kids growing up, you take cues from your environment. This caused me to try to make sense of why someone I respected would alter the look of their body??
 
For this article’s sake, I can’t even go into porn and what that does to strengthen the lie around how God made our bodies. The simple fact is that there is a clear war on the image of God, not just who we are—but how we look. Body shame is real and those that have suffered from it know the constant struggle that comes with it. For women that I have counseled over the years, I have seen that the mirror can be a challenging place to stand before. Constantly feeling too big, too small, and just not enough. 
 
If I am honest, I can’t say that body shame has been fully conquered in my own life, but I can say that God has given me some major keys to walk out of the lie that my body isn’t enough. 
 
Here are 3 simple steps that have helped tremendously:
 
(1) Expose it. Own it. Stop pretending it doesn’t exist. 
 
If you have body shame acknowledge it and be ok to own it before God and even others. At a small group last week (guys & gals) I mentioned that I have struggled with body shame, that I felt my body wasn’t enough. Not easy stuff, but coming out of hiding is the only way to break the power the enemy has over this area.  
 
(2) Break all agreements, lies that have come with it, and verbally forgive the people who have opened the door to it. 
 
Recently I got super real, raw, and out loud forgiving my mom and the three guys who opened this door (no, they were not there. But I do believe we can forgive people and release them even if it’s not in person, read Matthew 18:15-22). Sometimes going to the person isn’t possible (for many reasons), but we can still do Jesus style forgiveness from the backside, which then becomes the front side of Matthew 18. It was powerful, as I covered all the lies that entered, the places that I didn’t feel enough, broke the judgments over myself, etc. Yay God! 
 
(3) Lastly replace the lies with the truth & then bless your body. 
 
Ask Holy Spirit what the truth is. For me, this was easy as the truth flooded in like a rushing river! Verses came to mind like the one in Psalm 139 about being  “fearfully and wonderfully made,” giving me a clear a picture of how God saw me in Him. Agreeing with truth and replacing the lies is crucial to getting free and staying free in Jesus. The last thing I did (I encourage you to do this often) is bless your body. Bless body parts, do it in a mirror, or however you feel comfortable; like Nike said, “Just Do it.” Bless the temple that God made, and remember He doesn’t make mistakes. 
 
** and extra credit for married couples only: I would encourage to get naked with your spouses (yes Lord haha) and lay hands on each other, blessing all the parts of their body where shame has tried to setup camp (this puts a new spin on the laying on of hands, just sayin). 
 
Body shame is real, I found through counseling countless people over the years, that often people’s worst enemy is their self. Once we learn to love and bless what God loves, it gets much easier to celebrate and love the people He places around us. Onward and upward as we move out of shame and into the truth of how God sees us in Him. 
 
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” – Song of Solomon 4:7

3 Comments

  1. Mad respect Jason 🙂

    Here’s my 8 page response ! Haha I love this topic

    As a woman was praying for my back at the worship night last Saturday I let everything go, my mind , my heart… and my belly ! But then … oh no ! I started feeling self conscious that I looked fat ! I started thinking oh no if I’m not flexing my stomach I kinda have a pot belly !! Then half the time she prayed I literally thought about what a disgrace i was for being such a health advocate who is now receiving prayer for an injured back as my big fat belly hangs out .

    Slowly but surely I came back to center to feel Gods grace all over my being as I looked up to witness nobody staring at my belly hahah and nothing but the sweetest woman ever pouring her heart out I to my back pain!

    My back was legit healed 50% after her prayer .. it felt like 100 but then I went home and it went to about 50 but hey I’ll take it !! And I’m believing for a 100 as God mends this body shame !!

    The bottom line is I know I’m not fat but to reach my radical health goals I gotta loose 20 .. possible ?? Yes practical ?? No is that ok ?? Yess ! It’s ok to reach for the stars but in the process I looked in the mirror today and laughed at myself for inhibiting a deep healing prayer because of my fear if people’s judgements..

    The irony is The shame wasn’t rooted in my body so much … as it was in my inability to be humble with my status in relation to my standards ..

    Meaning I was ashamed that I let my body slip into what I consider slothy .. where I simply don’t feel good — reguardless of what people perceive as your best or ur status — none of that matters ! But your ambitions and physical goals do matter and I don’t believe the transcendence of Shame is a door way to let yourself go.

    The moment I recommitted to my health Goals I was able to look at my cute little belly and laugh !!

    1- because i saw that Im adorable As I am in Gods eyes !

    2. Because my recommitment to health made this visual of an extra 10-20 pounds on me seem surreal because i gain and loose this much all the time and when I ask God to help me get back into my health wabam! I’m back !

    3. The simple act of committing to returning to my ideal —- & everyone has their own perspective of their ideal!! Gods grace gave me the joy to embrace the journey and be happy as I am & let it all hang out with humble peace 🙂

    So the take home … everyone has their own ideal So boldly and honestly define what you want your body to look and feel like !! We are designed to look Good, feel good and radiate Vibrance !! If you don’t know ask God , re define what you believe you should look like physically & if you love yourself as you are … Hallelujah !! That’s all that matters ! But if you don’t … define what you want with precision .. I wanna look you get .. loose 30 pounds .. be able to dance again with out knee pain … what ever !! God can do it all if your willing to Ask ..

    Then boom the moment you commit to allowing God move the Noh twins necessary to step into your new form .. you will magically be given the grace and freedom to love yourself .

    Something about being 100% down to do whatever God shows you you must do to receive his Bounty … something about it ushers in the future joy , glory and excitement .. & from here you are able to supercharge the journey and be as you are with poise !

    If you are uninterested in transforming because you want to love itself as u are without the need to change into the ideal human .. that’s magnificent too!!

    For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

    1 Corinthians 6:20

    Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

    1 Corinthians 3: 16-17

    Honoring God with your body looks like accepting yourself & being willing to ask him for healing and divine strength to transform if that’s what your stoked on 🙂

    As for me .. Im back in my daily hot yoga , surf and mostly paleo vegan lifestyle now that I’ve humbly asked god for the blue prints and will power to return to My ideal state of peak performance !

    Have fun 🙂 and don’t be scared to let god mold u into the super model you already are 😉

    You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    JOhn 14:14

    Reply
    • Bro, this is soooo good! Thanks for sharing, lovin the honesty and transparency too. You da man, blessings!

      Reply
  2. Praise the Lord! Thank you.

    Reply

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