Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 CSB
You have restored me to health and let me live.
Isaiah 38:16 CSB
Several years ago, I woke up ready to restore my body.
I had three of my children in less than four years. I’d spent a total of almost seven years either pregnant, nursing, or both, and my body had wrung itself out. It had expanded and deflated, grown and birthed, fed and nourished, carried, rocked, cradled, and chased. And then one day, I realized that I was not pregnant, nursing, or toddler-chasing exhausted.
My body was in need of restoration, so that day I simply decided to be ready to make choices that would restore it back to health. And eighteen months from that day, I was more than sixty pounds lighter.
No, I never followed a specific diet; I merely made one better choice at a time. One donut instead of three. A small latte instead of a large. Daily walks with my dog, our mileage increasing each day. I took my time with the process, making simple changes that added up. One day and one choice and one baby step at a time. As it turns out, slow and steady really does win the race, which in this case led me back to health.
It was never about losing weight; it was about becoming a healthier version of myself for myself. And for me, the journey started with losing weight. To be clear — I wasn’t ashamed of my weight. I wasn’t a bad person because of those extra pounds or a better person after I lost them, because weight does not equal worth. It was simply where I began.
A couple years later, I was thrilled to be expecting my fourth child. My body would once again take on the role of carrier, vessel, and nurturer. As I adjusted my thoughts to literally make space for growth, it was clear that what I’d gained during the journey far outweighed the sixty pounds that I’d lost.
It felt darn good to be able to move in the way I wanted to. I could walk faster and farther than ever before, sometimes even jogging. I was drinking more water each day than I ever had. I felt healthy, strong, and proud of taking time for self-care.
My kids said I was shrinking, but I knew that, choice by choice, I was growing into who I was meant to be.
Our daily choices can become reflections of who we really are.
I think our health matters to God for two reasons. First, God wants us to care for His creation—and that includes our bodies. We care for our church buildings, our homes, and other spaces where we gather and welcome God’s Spirit, right? We spend time cleaning and caring for those spaces, and we deserve the same for ourselves. For me, that looks like eating well and taking daily walks, which in combination led to weight loss. Maybe for you it’s moving your body, cleaning out your closet so it only holds clothes that fit right now, or taking a long bath. Whatever brings God glory and lets you truly live.
Second, I find that when I’m intentionally caring for my body, I’m happier and better able to care for (and about) my family and loved ones. When I take care of myself, everyone around me also benefits, and I believe God cares about this too.
God is cheering us on as we care for ourselves in ways that bring Him glory. God delights in our restoration, in our health, and in His people taking good care of themselves in order to glorify Him—which we can do in big and small ways.
Here’s to recognizing the strength in small changes and the ways they can impact our health and our lives.
Lord, thank You for choosing my heart, soul, and body to live in. My health matters to You, and I’m grateful. Help me to take good care of myself, recognizing that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. Give me strength to make wise daily choices that will have life-giving, long-term effects. Even in this, I look to You. Amen.
This article was written by Anna E. Rendell, as published in Empowered: More of Him for All of You.
Empowered: More of Him for All of You, by Mary Carver, Grace P. Cho, and Anna E. Rendell is designed to incorporate the five major components of our being — physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. The sixty Scripture passages and devotions invite you to see from different angles how God empowers us, and each day ends with prayer and reflection questions to deepen the learning. Grab a copy now. We pray it blesses you.Leave a Comment