Bible Study Part #8
Health & Kids
How many times have I met a truly beautiful woman and complemented her, only to hear her say, “Well, thank you, but I need to lose five pounds,” or “I’m having a crazy hair day,” or “Did you see that woman over there, now she’s beautiful.” At one time or another, every woman has been guilty of saying such things in response to a compliment.
How many times have I complimented a male athlete on achieving a goal, only to hear him say, “Well, thank you, but I need to lose ten more pounds” or “yea well, I’d still like my biceps a little bigger”. Come on, guys. How many of you “strike a pose” when passing a mirror?
What Do Your Kids Think?
Boosting your child’s body image begins with improving your own. That’s far easier said than done. How parents feel about their bodies has a powerful influence on their kids.
Think about what you might be telling your children about your body image. If you talk about your large thighs, your latest weight loss diet, or how big your biceps are, your kids will pick up on these negative messages and begin to think about their body image. And worry about it.
Parents can lead their children well in the way of health and wellness by laying a strong foundation of healthy attitudes. We want our children to be confident so they have strong, healthy bodies in the body type that is just right for them. We need to model the fact that our spiritual maturity is far more important than our external appearance.
Remember, it begins with YOU. Leadership starts in the home.
In 1 Samuel 16, God sends Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king. When Samuel sees Jesse’s firstborn son, he assumes God has selected him but the Lord informs him otherwise:
1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Seven sons in all come before Samuel and not one is God’s choice. Samuel then asks Jesse if all his sons are present and is informed that the youngest, David, is off tending sheep. David is sent for and when he arrives, God tells Samuel this one will be Israel’s next king.
What was it about David that pleased the Lord? David wholeheartedly loved and trusted the Lord, and that was the foundation for his actions. God says, “…I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22). Remind your kids what God wants and doesn’t want.
The Shield of Faith
As a parent, it’s our job to hold up our shield of faith for our children until they are strong enough to hold up their own shield. A shield will not raise itself. It’s useless without a warrior to grip the handle and lift it up for protection. YOU have to be strong enough for 2, or 3, or 4 or more. WE have to be strong enough to hold not just our shield but our children’s as well.
Mother Teresa was asked: “Why don’t you give the rod to fish instead of the fish to eat?” She responded; “The people to whom I give the fish to eat cannot stand; they are the lepers, the dying, the mentally ill. When they are strong enough to hold the rod, I’ll send them to you, and will complete the work and together do something beautiful for God.”
The same can be said for the parent child relationship.
Our children may not be strong enough to hold up their own shield for themselves yet. One day they will be, but until then we must be strong enough for them and ourselves.
- When we take the leadership positions in our homes, what are we modeling for our children?
- What do you remember most about your parents from childhood in regards to image?
- How was body image modeled to you? Your parents, friends, another medium? Was that image positive or negative?
- What do you wish had been modeled for you?
- With regard to your health and wellness, what positive and/or negative behaviors are you modeling for those in your household?
The MissionFiT Team