When it really comes down to it, most of us want to be seen as beautiful. As women of faith, we feel conflicted and sometimes wonder if we are too superficial. What better time to delve into our body images than in our mature years, right? It’s that time in life when what was once up is now down, what was once in is now out, and what was once smooth is now crinkled. Yet we still care.
If we’re blessed to have made it to middle age and beyond, we’re living with a painful reality. Our outer selves are wasting away, and we don’t like it. We’re frustrated and maybe a little angry, because we were created to hate physical aging and death. It was not God’s original plan. Sin is what contaminated our perfection and caused us to contend with all things imperfect. So in addition to struggling for a lifetime with our beauty issues, we now grapple with the decaying reflection we see in the mirror. What’s a girl to do? Run to Scripture, of course!
This is what the apostle Paul writes:
We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)
Perhaps the troubles of aging do not seem “light and momentary” to you, but considering eternity, they are. Nevertheless, we must live in these bodies until our final breaths, and how we look and feel will always matter to us. How do we realize a sense of contentment in our physical lives, especially about the things we cannot change?
Paul tells us exactly what to do: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (verse 18). This doesn’t mean we won’t care about our bodies or our beauty; it means we will not be obsessed with them. Instead, we will choose to be fixated on Christ and all the many blessings and promises he’s given. One of those promises includes a brand-new, shiny, perfect, glorified body like his one day!
We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. (5:1–3)
That is an amazing promise that God makes to his followers. What a blessing to know that no matter how ravaged our bodies become from aging or disease, they will not be our permanent states. One day we will be completely satisfied with our physicality. We will not play the comparison game. We will have no pain. We will experience utter perfection. Nevertheless, today we contend with our discontentment, diseases, and decay.
There is a solution for our temporary discomfort. First, we do our part to take good care of our bodies—our only vehicles for this present life. Second, we renew our minds with truth so that we can find peace and contentment.
Danna and Robyn talk about healthy living all this week on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Eat, Live, Thrive Diet: A Lifestyle Plan to Rev Up Your Midlife Metabolism. Copyright © 2019 by Danna Demetre & Robyn Thomson. Used by permission of WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.