It’s one of those questions that I was afraid to ask out loud. For years I bounced back and forth. God loves me the way that I am, right? He doesn’t care what I weigh, does He?
And I’ve learned through my work with clients that I am not alone. Many women wrestle with this question, but many are afraid to ask it out loud.
So let me tell you what I believe. But as with all things, I encourage you to dig into the Word of God and pray over these things and decide for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.
First off, I don’t think God cares about physical appearances such as your butt size, scale numbers, or the dress you wear to church. However, He does take certain matters seriously, and sometimes the condition of our bodies reflects deeper issues.
Let me explain.
In my personal experience, I battled binge eating. I would follow a weight loss plan for a while, then jump off the wagon face-first into an entire pan of brownies. And a whole pizza. And hey, let’s make cookies while we’re at it. I would eat half the dough, then eat the cookies fresh from the oven.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge here that Binge Eating Disorder is a very real thing, and that if you believe that you suffer from BED, you should seek professional help immediately in the form of a mental health professional and a nutritionist that is familiar with this condition.
But for me personally, I was simply attempting to medicate negative emotions with food. Plain and simple. Instead of turning to God for comfort, I was gorging myself on whatever sugar I could get into my mouth.
Any time we hold anything between us and the Lord, it is idolatry. Period. Food, and sugar in particular, was an idol for me. It was the comfort I turned to, the joy I sought when I was sad, and even the way I celebrated when I was happy. I was turning to sugar for things I can only find in Jesus, and it made my body and mind miserable.
So yes, I believe that was a very big deal to God.
Another thing that I believe is very serious to God is when we are wrapped up in shame, condemnation, or other emotional pain because of our body or relationship with food.
For example, I had very low self-esteem because of the way I looked and felt. Now, I won’t go into my opinion on self-esteem today, ‘cause I know you have a life to get back to. Maybe I’ll hop on that another time. But I was so embarrassed by the way that I looked and felt that I hid from the world. I didn’t want anyone to look at me, so I stayed home as much as possible. I hid from the camera. I avoided family gatherings when possible. And we won’t talk about how many times I skipped church.
My opinion of myself was riddled with shame, embarrassment, and guilt. I was embarrassed of my size. And I felt ashamed because I knew that I was that size because of my eating habits. And I felt guilty for avoiding people I loved, which just fed back into the cycle of embarrassment and shame.
Guess what. My Bible tells me that Jesus died and rose again to wash all that away. That in Him there is no condemnation. He bore my shame and guilt on the cross so I don’t have to carry it anymore.
But if Satan can make me forget that, then he can keep me from doing Kingdom work.
If Satan can make me forget that Jesus died to free me of guilt and shame, then I will feel condemned.
If Satan can make me forget that Jesus is my source of hope, I will feel hopeless.
If Satan can make me forget that in Jesus I have a family and amazing Father that love me, I will feel alone.
See where I’m going with this?
Thirdly, I think it matters to God when we don’t use what He has given us for His Kingdom.
You know the parable of the talents. Where the 3 servants were given money by the master before he went away, then he asked them when he returned what they had done with them?
I’ve heard that message preached a zillion times. And finally, it hit me – my BODY is a resource that was given to me by God. It responds to the way that I treat it. When I give it good things, it thrives. When I give it bad things, it suffers. Just like the 3 servants, I see a positive or negative return based on how I treat this resource. More importantly, God can receive glory from how I treat this resource.
For example, when I treat my body well, I have more energy and want to engage more with the people I love. When I treat my body poorly, I have low energy, I may feel sick, and I want to hide in my bed for as long as possible.
And then, of course, Satan likes to come in and make me feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and alone.
When we change our thinking from “I want to be skinny” to “I want to take care of this resource God has given me”, things become so much easier. No, you won’t add any days to your earthly life, but you may just find that you have more energy and enjoyment in the days that you do have!
So to recap, no, I don’t think God cares about the size of our butts. But I do think He cares if we have allowed food (or anything else!) to become an idol, and I do think He cares if we are listening to Satan’s lies instead of the Word of God.