“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
When I gave my life to Christ, I gave up control of myself – my wishes, my dreams, my soul and my body for Him to change, correct and help me be the best version of me, in His likeness, that I could be.
When I got married, I gave up the right to consider my body my own. It now belongs to my husband as much as to me and I have a responsibility to use it as a helpmate for him. Spiritually – Praying for him daily, submitting to his authority, sharing insights from God’s word and sharing with him the ways God talks to me about our family. Emotionally – Encouraging him, respecting and honoring him at home when we interact with each other, in front of our children and extended family and in the community. Physically – The sexual element of my body belonging to him as his body belongs to me as God united us together under the covenant of marriage; but also looking for ways to ease his burdens around the house as well as offering to run errands, keeping things picked up – whatever specific way that speaks love to him directly.
When I chose to be a mother, I gave up the right to consider my body as my own. From the time we chose to conceive, my body was built for two. I had a responsibility to take care of it so that I could carry our little ones for nine months as safely as possible. All four of our children were planned by God and I did what I could to ensure a safe delivery. Three of the four were delivered safely here while one went directly from my womb to the arms of Jesus.
Once I gave birth, my body still isn’t my own. I have a responsibility to exercise, make good food choices, get enough sleep, keep my stress level down to a minimum, and try and maintain balance not just because I’m a role model for those God has blessed me to raise, but because I want to be the best version of myself I can be so I can enjoy all aspects of motherhood instead of being too tired and needing to sit on the sidelines. Then, if God so chooses, there will be grandchildren to stay healthy for, and starting from a foundation of health now will make that goal much easier in the future.
When I chose to be a Christ follower, I chose to serve my Heavenly Father and once again my body isn’t mine. I need to stay spiritually healthy, physically healthy and emotionally healthy so that when God gives me an assignment, I’m available and able to fulfill it. Whether it’s working with babies at church every week or sitting at a computer writing or encouraging women and praying with them – each task that God gives me requires emotional, physical and spiritual energy that needs to continually be replaced.
My body isn’t my own… and I’m glad. I love being a Christ follower, a wife, a mother and someone who serves her Heavenly Father. It’s a lot easier to live a life of service to Him and to those He has blessed me with when I am spiritually filled up, have physical energy and emotional reserves. Nope, my body isn’t my own and that’s a blessing!
© Cheri Swalwell 2017