Breast Augmentation $6,450. Eyelid Surgery $4,500. Facelift $12,125. Liposuction $6,025. Injectable fillers $1300. 100% Virgin Human Hair $500. Your body? Really? Priceless.

It’s mine. It’s not like I am going to become a pastor or a pastor’s wife, I thought. So, I took my first fitness model shots. For the most part, I really liked the photos. But throughout my striving of being a fitness model, I learned an important lesson: my body was not my own. It was bought with a hefty price. Literally.

That realization hit home when I saw my beautiful fitness pictures posted with the suggestive photos of other young women. Suddenly, my pictures didn’t look so wonderful after all. God began to reveal to me how my hunger for ambition had led to my poor decision.

Don’t you know you are not your own? He reminded me.bodybuilder fitness model

You see, I thought my dreams and goals were loftier than God’s. When God began to show me his dreams after yielding my desires to Him, my own could not compare. He had taken a claim out on me, and He had the rights. He was Lord not only of my soul but also of my body and passions.

For several years I struggled to reconcile my love for bodybuilding and my love for God. No one had taught me to love my body. I remember becoming publicly conscious of my physique when I received my first teaching position. I elected to teach on one of the islands in The Bahamas. It was geographically the largest island in The Bahamas but only about 8,000 people lived on it. The school, at the time, had only about 750 students. My apartment was just 10 minutes away, so I traveled on foot to work. When I got to school I passed a group of custodians sitting down and chatting.  I heard one of them say out loud, “She doesn’t even have a woman shape.” What was a woman shape? I had no idea what a woman shape was. I was about 22 and very slender, lacking curvatures. The remark didn’t stop me from exercising continually. Yet, I never forgot it.

Unfortunately, most of us remember these negative words, carrying them well into our adulthood. Since teaching my health and wellness class to both males and females, many have shared with me stories about derogatory comments or words spoken about their bodies growing up. We associate shame with the human body.

Sadly, as we are so often reminded in the news by such movements as #MeToo, the bodies of many have been abused, violated and thus shamed. The body lives with this trauma deeply embedded in its cells, and until we address and treat the crime committed against the body, the pain remains, sometimes quietly festering into physical symptoms.

Some victims, wanting to take the stinger out of the bee—the shame associated with the body whether through sexual abuse, sexual harassment, victim blaming or just by being an embodied being—have formed movements such as SlutWalk.

Unless we have a revelation of God’s purpose of the body, the efficacy of these movements is limited in terms of bringing about healing and wholeness.  Moreover, how can the glory of the body be fully restored unless brought about by its Creator?  The creature cannot produce its own ultimate healing but can create the condition to facilitate it. The only One who can bring about total healing is the One who paid the price with His own body—Jesus Christ. To attempt any change outside of God is like having cosmetic surgery.

Similarly, we cannot approach our health like cosmetic surgery. We do have to address the way we approach the body—the way we regard it and thus the bodies of others. Understanding our own body’s sacredness helps us to see the sacredness of others which underscores the theme of the eighth commandment, You must not steal—God’s glory.

The body is for God’s glory.

For a biblical study on the body and how to be healthy and whole, order your copy of The Ten Guiding Lights to Health and Wholeness.