Perhaps you’ve seen the above image floating around cyberspace. Please tell me I’m not the only one who can relate to that. You’re trying to improve your health by, say, eating more healthfully, and one moment of weakness leads to a complete loss of control. All the while we tell ourselves why we shouldn’t be doing what we are doing.
Doesn’t seem to be the wisest of choices.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Ok, first I should admit that this passage is speaking specifically of honoring God with your bodies by refraining from sexual sins. But I think that this passage can extend to so many aspects of our bodies.
Our bodies are a gift. In fact, they’re not really our bodies; they belong to God. As the above passage says, you were bought at a price. As Christians, we believe that everything belongs to him: our money, our possessions, our children, and yes, our bodies. In his amazing love, Our Heavenly Father gives us these blessings to enjoy and take care of during our time here on earth. And when we change our view of what are bodies really are, perhaps that can change how we take care of them.
As moms, it’s so very easy to ignore our own health. We worry more about what our children eat and how much they sleep than we do for ourselves. We run around fixing a healthy breakfast, getting our kids dressed, brushing their teeth, giving them vitamins, making sure they drink something, etc. Before you know it, it’s noon and you haven’t eaten. (Maybe you were lucky and got a cup of coffee. That went cold. And you drank it anyway.) A mother should put her children’s needs first, but we cannot neglect our own health. Remember, our bodies are a gift just as our children are, and not taking care of our bodies is not taking care of a blessing from God.
Taking time for you health is not a sin, and it is nothing to feel guilty about. In fact, I think it’s imperative because of the message it sends our children. Our children learn more by what we do than what we say. I can harp on my kids to eat their veggies, but the message is stronger if I eat my veggies. (Bonus point if I do it with a smile on my face and some gusto.) I can try and force my kids to go to bed early, or take a nap, but the message is stronger when I do those things myself. Modeling an active lifestyle shows kids that exercise and activity aren’t horrible actions to avoid, but rather fun things to incorporate into my life. And let me tell you, doing yoga with kids is a hoot. Smiling at my kids as I finish a race is one of the best feelings.
Kids see these things, and the message y is a strong one: My health is important; my body is a gift from God.
Take time for your health. Go to bed early. Take 10 minutes to eat a decent breakfast. (And the leftovers on the kids’ plates don’t count.) Set aside 20 minutes to do something active, and let your kids see you do it if you can.
Our bodies are temples, temples that belong to our Heavenly Father. Temples that can do amazing things. Temples of the Holy Spirit.