Body Image Amidst Motherhood
We live in a self-focused culture that encourages not only “ME Time” but also the dangerously selfish cycle of spending the bulk of our time and energy on our bodies. You don’t have to look very far to see the magazine racks, bill-boards, IPhone apps, and computer pop-ups that tell us our bodies to need face up to an image of perfection while quickly diminishing or hiding all of those precious “battle wounds” that pregnancy, birthing and nursing bears. The following words might hit hard. Read them with a humble, open heart and go forth blessing the life-bearing body you have!
Motherhood is a demanding job. It is so demanding and intrusive, in fact, that it takes over your body. It uses your body, oftentimes rather roughly. This can start to bother us.
Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages. There are of course ways to hurt your body that are outside of God’s design for it and disobedient. But motherhood is what your stomach was made for – and any wear and tear that it shows is simply the sign of a well-used tool. We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were not given to us to preserve, they were given to us to use. So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully.
Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work. One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of joyfully giving your body to another. While so many women choose to not have children or abort the children they were given, the testimony of women who know the cost and joyfully pay it is profound. So make sure that you aren’t buying into the world’s propaganda. The reason why so many women don’t want to do it is because it is very hard and has very real costs. The Christian view of self is very different, and you need to make sure that it is the one you have.
(Rachel Jankovic – wife and mom to 5)