Recently, I have been thinking about two friends and the causes they advocate. Let me introduce you to these women and their causes.
Friend One: A beautiful woman of God. She loves yarn and creating beautiful things from it. She loves the LORD and His church. She is a professional writer. She is a wife, and sister in Christ.
But she is also an out spoken advocate for body Image acceptance.
Friend Two: She is a beautiful woman of God. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She is a wife and a mother. She has her own business and is very "crunchy." But she advocates for the Fight against Childhood obesity.
Both these friends are intelligent, beautiful, and large in body size. Both of these woman believe in eating a healthy diet and living an active life style. Both of these woman love the Lord, and truly believe in the cause that they fight for. So, is one or both of them wrong or right?
What is the Body Image Acceptance movement?
Basically, it is a cause to educate people that everyone should be loved and accepted no matter the way their body looks. Fat, skinny, short, tall, dark skinned, light skinned, male, female, bald, hairy, etc. No matter how one looks they should be treated with the same love, acceptance, and respect as anyone else. Sounds like a good cause for a Christ woman to support.
But, like all good causes there are extremists in this movement. There are those that think to teach this message affectively we should not tell our daughters that their bodies are beautiful, rather only focus on their brains. There are those who think those who diet and/or exercise (too much) are uneducated and need to be educated to accept themselves. There are those who think if I say I am proud of losing a few pounds than I a not accepting of who I am.
What is the cause for the fight against childhood obesity?
This is a fight to teach children to eat healthy and live healthy lives so as not to become overweight due to lack of proper health. Again, there are extremists in this movement too.
Why are these two friends on my mind? Why are their causes so dear to them? Are they at odds with each other?
Here is my two cents worth on these things.
These are both great causes. We need to love and accept ourselves and others the way that God made us. We also need to love children enough to educate them and their parents about good health care.
But here is the problem I have. People don't just want to advocate for a cause, no, they are out looking for those who are not on the same page as them. They are looking to be offended by others whom don't agree with them. So, then when they hear someone talking about fitness, weight lose, eating habits, obesity, etc. their ears perk up. They are listening for things that agree or disagree with their opinion. I wonder if instead of listening with judgmental ears and looking with judgmental eyes, if we try and look and hear things from God's perspective then we will be more affective in our cause.
I can not assume that that over weight boy is being neglected and not taught good health, just because he is overweight. Likewise, I can not assume just because someone is excited about losing a few pounds that they don't have a healthy self image. Extreme weight lose or gain is something to be concerned about. Poor health habits is something to be concerned about. Excessive exercise and dieting is something to be concerned about. But, if I lose weight due to a truly healthy life style change, and I am proud of that, there is nothing wrong with my self image. If I put on a few pounds due to a healthy lifestyle change, I can also be pleased with that.
What's my point?
Let's stand up for what we believe in, but let's make sure we love others with Christ love as we do it.
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who [o]mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your [p]coat, do not withhold your [q]shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 [r]Treat others the same way you want [s]them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, [t]expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 [u]Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; [v]pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will [w]pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”