Summary of the January Flame Meeting
The January Flame meeting focused on the issue of body image. We looked at how we, as women view ourselves and how God, our Creator views us.
The issue was addressed in the form of a discussion panel consisting of four women and Jolene Lichty, LMHP. Each woman shared how body image had been an issue for her. One woman shared how she had dealt with bulemia as a teen and continued to struggle with weight through her adult years, resulting in poor self-esteem. Another woman revealed how she remembers always hating her body, and how it has affected her life. A mother discussed how the disease of bulemia and addiction of her daughter affected their family. The need for a healthy lifestyle was the focus of another woman’s contribution to the discussion. Jolene addressed body image from a counselor’s point of view, pointing out that society and the media have put a lot of pressure on people, especially women, to live up to certain standards of physical perfection and beauty.
As the dialog continued, several important messages were brought out by the women: God loves us unconditionally and without measure, and although He does want us to be our best and healthy, He wants us to accept and love ourselves, too, just the way He made us. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”. God only gave us one body, and it is up to us to take good care of it. “Our body is a temple”. God can use us in spite, (or even because of) of our issues with our body image or weight. Satan likes to use our body image to shame us into thinking we are not able to be used effectively by God. Another message was, we did not cause our family member’s problems, and we cannot cure it. We have to “let go” of it and put it in God’s hands. Jolene reminded us that changing old habits take time…sometimes a lifetime, and we need to recognize and celebrate the progress we make along the way. Give yourself an “atta girl” when you do make good choices, and don’t be so hard on yourself when you don’t!
We watched a power point on “Beauty through the Ages”, highlighting how the standards of what is considered beautiful has changed down through the years.
Society’s view of what is beautiful is constantly changing…and the particular qualities society currently admires will be different tomorrow. In fact, on any given day, what is admired and valued depends on your location, culture, ethnic background, or whatever Hollywood star has risen to the top.
So what is a woman to do? Well let’s see what God has to say. 1 Samuel 16, ‘But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”
So we see…What’s important to God is what’s on the inside…my heart, my character, my faith. What important to God is my inner beauty. And what is important to God should be important to me!
Do I want to be beautiful?…Yes, I do! But I’d rather be called beautiful in God’s eyes…wouldn’t you?
And what God considered beautiful in the beginning of time, is what He considers beautiful today. That has never changed through the ages. God’s standard of beauty is ageless and timeless.
I want to be known as a timeless beauty…don’t you?