Today's interview is from the lovely Rachel. I admire her passion that she writes on her blog as well as her life for the Lord. I hope that her answers will inspire you to look more fully at Christ.
Rachel from "The Skies I'm Under"
1. What do you believe was God's purpose in creating you? I believe that God's purpose for creating me (and everyone) is to bring Him glory.
2. How do you cope with body image? Who are some people (and Bible verses) that help you through it? Honestly, I am a little hit-and-miss with this one. I feel that I have been growing a lot in this area over the last few years though (especially since getting married). I still have times of feeling that I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, etc... but thankfully the Lord keeps bringing me back to my worth in Him. My husband is an incredible encouragement to me in this area, as are my mom and sisters.
3. What would you say to your younger self if you were going through this at a young age? "Crazy Rachel, you are beautiful. Stop thinking that you need to starve yourself for others to like you. Focus on your heart, your mind, the things that last. Life isn't going to be easy and being skinny will not make a difference in those times of hurt. A strong relationship with God will though."
4. What do you think Adam and Eve looked like? I honestly have no idea. I think there is beauty in not knowing! God has never set a standard of how we need to look physically. He only points out the importance of a humble, believing heart! How wonderful is that?!
5. The Bible indicates about the body and soul. To which is most important? I will always choose soul over body. My body is a shell, a temporary cage. My soul is eternal!
6. How does your body reflect your soul? I think there can be two answers to this question. How some people look on the outside CAN be a reflection of what is going on underneath... but I also know many people who wouldn't "culturally" be considered beautiful or physically fit, yet they are some of the most amazing people I know! I think sometimes that being unhealthy or unkempt can be a reflection of not seeing your own worth or laziness, but not always.
7. How does the person's physical appearance manifest their soul? My above answer covers this as well!
8. Should a Christian be concerned about their physical appearance? This question deserves a to-be-explained "yes". I believe Christians should take care of themselves. Being excessively unhealthy, dressing like you just don't care, etc, can make people uncomfortable and hurt your witness (or cause you to be a distraction). BUT Christians need to walk a fine line with this. Always looking model-perfect can cause vanity, pride, and also judgement of others to creep into your heart and all of a sudden you are more about performance than becoming Christ-like.
9. How much time should you spend to keep your body in good shape? I don't think there should be set rules about this. Everyone is different, with different bodies, strengths, schedules. I personally have time to work out, but not much physical ability to do so with different health issues. In other seasons of my life I was much more dilligent. "Everything in balance".
10. Can one take concern for physical fitness to the point of idolatry. What would be the indicators of this? YES! I have never struggled with this personally, but I know from other people in my life that it CAN become an idol. When you are valuing physical fitness over other much more important things (God, relationships, ministry), you are in danger. If it is what your life rotates around, yep, it's an idol!
11. When it comes to physical appearance who matters more; God or man? What difference should the answer to that question make to me?
God, God, God!!! And I have to keep reminding myself of that! Learning that I can't control what people think of me and that I can't change how the Lord thinks of me by how much a weigh or how much makeup I wear is a learning process. There will always be someone who thinks I need to gain/lose weight or that my nose is too small (heard that!) or that I've got "child bearing hips". God however... the One who formed my body (even my nose!), loves me like crazy! He doesn't make junk or ugliness, He makes beauty. Always.
12. What makes a girl or woman beautiful to you? Things that make a woman beautiful to me? A face-crinkling smile. Honest eyes. A *real* laugh. A wise, compassionate heart. Arms that give long, tight hugs. Lips that speak truth. A thoughtful, passionate, quirky, clever, understanding woman is beyond-beautiful to me. That type of woman is stunning. That is truly the type of woman I want to be.