1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

“You are not your own.” People don’t like to hear that. I think the connotation culturally is oppression, but this is the opposite. If your view of yourself is that you are not your own because you were bought by Jesus on the cross, then you know that that, my dear, is the only true freedom. Jesus died for us to free us from sin and shame. You can never earn that, but that doesn’t release you from the responsibility to do your best with what you were given.

That’s right. I said responsibility. We have answer to God for the way we treat others but also for the way we treat ourselves. And when it comes to your body, it isn’t just you. Remember how I started this whole thing saying your body is your house? Well you aren’t the only one who lives there. The Holy Spirit is your roommate and nothing you do to your house is unnoticed by the one who lives there with you.

Your body was gifted to you and it was not cheap. It wasn’t regifted. It wasn’t bought from the clearance rack. It was designed specifically for you by the same God that built this beautiful planet we get to live on and you are even more beautiful in the eyes of God.

When God gives you a gift, He expects you to use it for His glory and ultimately give it back to Him. That’s why we’re to tithe the first 10 percent of our income. But you can do that with your body and your life too. What do you want to do with what God has given you? How do you want to honor Him with it? What do you feel God putting on your heart with this message? What are you going to do better?

Drop a comment below to tell me how you could better use your body for God’s glory! And as always, feel free to get social with me on Instagram, @torigwrites. I look forward to hearing from you!

Ephesians 5:29-30

“After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.”

Now, some of you that know this chapter of Ephesians really well have probably already started thinking, now that verse isn’t really about self-care or exercise – it’s about the relationship between a husband and wife – so you’re taking it out of context and …

Settle down, Karen. 

Yes, that is where Paul is writing about Christian households and the marriage relationship. He’s been through the “wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do the Lord” (which, by the way, does not mean do whatever they tell you to do, but we’ll address that another time) and has moved on to “husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy….”

So, in this verse, feeding and caring for your body is a metaphor for the way that Christ cared for the church, which is a metaphor for the way that husbands are to care for their wives. There’s a bit of a breadcrumb trail to follow, but I think they’re easy dots to connect. There are a couple important points to make here:

We are to care for our bodies the way that Christ did for the church. To reiterate, that means to give yourself up to make it holy. Now, I think moderation is important, so I’m not saying if you’re eating anything but green smoothies you’re disobeying. Sometimes they serve cake at church. Jesus made bread and wine. But if you’re starving yourself to achieve an aesthetic, that’s not God’s plan for your body. (No, intermittent fasting doesn’t count as starving yourself.) If you’re drinking to excess, that isn’t God’s plan for your body. If you don’t do any type of exercise at all, that’s not God’s plan for your body. See my point?

We are to care for our bodies the way that we care for our spouses. Read that again, ladies. Women especially tend to care for others first and put ourselves last on our own lists. It seems selfless, right? Except that when you do this, you diminish your ability to care for others. Not getting enough sleep? Not nourishing your body with food that’s good for it? Not moving your body in a way that feels soothing, healing, challenging, or however you like your workouts to feel? Then how are you doing for your spouse, kids, friends, coworkers? You need to give to yourself the way that you want to give to them, or you won’t be able to.

And if that’s not enough, I included verse 30, “for we are members of his body” to remind you that we are all part of the body of Christ. When you think of it like that, like your body helps make up His, how does that make you want to care for it?

Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more Biblical inspiration for self-care! Feel free to drop a comment below, use the Contact Me page, or DM me on Instagram @torigwrites.

Romans 12:1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV)

Your body was gifted to you. You received it from your Father who loves you and the true and proper worship of that Father is respecting the home he gave you to live in.

Girl. I wish I had read this before lunch. I got ice cream.

None of us are perfect at this. The point is that you change your mindset, change your view of your body to one of gratitude. God gave us bodies to live in that we’re supposed to use to worship Him and essentially give back to Him in that way. So, how? What does it look like to offer your body as a living sacrifice?

The most important thing is to think of God first. Think of His plans and desires for you before you do what you want. His plan is better right? He wants you to have a healthy body and mind. It’s important that those go together because you can work out every day and eat all the kale but if you do exercises you hate just to watch the number on the scale get smaller, how’s your mind doing?

So care for your body in ways that feel right to it, remembering that it belongs to God and that you’re to use it to glorify Him. If you run to see how far God will take you, excellent. If you lift so God can show you how strong you are, wonderful. If you walk around your neighborhood to take in the beauty of the world He created for us, amazing.

Same thing with food: don’t use healthy food to punish yourself for not making it to the gym or unhealthy food to reward yourself for running an extra lap. (Note: There is a difference between balancing your habits and punishing yourself!) Find healthier foods you like, but let yourself have a treat sometimes. I think we’re built to be happier this way. We’re built to sacrifice because we’re created in the image of the one who sacrificed everything.

Got a suggestion for a verse in this series? Comment below, use the contact me page, or DM me on Instagram, @torigwrites

Thanks for stopping by!

Don’t be Mad at Your House

Do you remember that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralph opens the bunny suit his grandmother (or aunt or someone) had made him and he really didn’t like it but his mother made him put it on because it took a lot of effort to make it?

So putting aside the fact that no young boy hoping for a BB gun would probably want to put those bunny PJs on, and that his attitude about it stunk but was great for comedy, his mother was right, right? When someone gives you something, don’t you say “thank you?”

So then why do you treat your body differently? Your body is the house God gave your soul to live in for your time on Earth, and our Western culture spends most of its time telling women their amazing, beautiful bodies are like those bunny suits. As a result, so many women go through so much of their lives mad at their bodies, dieting and crunching and starving and sucking in to achieve some aesthetic that society tells them they need.

Your body will tell you what kind of care it needs, so don’t push it to do things you don’t even enjoy to look a certain way. Concentrate on how you feel and what you can do. Allow yourself to love your body for what it’s capable of, whether that’s running a marathon, carrying and feeding your babies, achieving crazy yoga poses, bouncing your grand baby on your knee, or hiking up a mountain. Appreciate where your body has carried you. Love it for who gave it to you. And treat it well.

This is the introduction to a series I’m starting on verses for loving your body. Stay tuned for counter-cultural inspiration straight from God’s Word! And if you have a suggestion for a verse you want to see discussed in this series, leave a comment on this post, reach out via the “contact me” page, or slide into my DMs on Instagram, @torigwrites.

5 Ways to Grow your Relationship with God Daily

In the last week as I’ve been brainstorming ideas for more blog posts, I felt really strongly on my heart that I need to write more things that I myself need to hear. I’ve been feeling myself growing a little more distant from God over the last few weeks as my schedule has gotten more packed. When I heard someone say on a podcast a few days ago that her relationship with God is getting stronger every day, my first thought was, “wow, mine isn’t.” Then, “why??” Then the defenses (read: excuses) started.

I’m really busy.

Everyone’s really busy. You find time for everything else don’t you??

Barely. Anyway, I’m too injured to run right now and that’s how I worship.

No, that’s your favorite way to worship. There are other ways to spend time with God.

So I decided I had to write about how to grow your relationship with God daily, and start doing those things. So here it is:

  1. Give God your full attention, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Maybe you really are very busy and only have time for 5-10 minutes a day. Maybe you barely sleep and work long shifts and then care for family and have very little time to yourself. (PS If that’s the case you gotta do something about that sis, ’cause that’s not gonna work.) Say that’s your situation at the moment. Okay. Give God your first 10 minutes after waking up and pay attention only to Him. Spend those 10 minutes with your eyes only on Him. I’m talking phone on silent, TV off, if there’s music it better be worship music. Don’t be thinking about your to-do list and what you’re going to do the minute you close your Bible.
  2. Read the Bible. God wrote it for you. He wrote it for you to know Him and love Him and be like Him. He wrote it so you’d know He loves you and how to love Him back. You can’t get that without spending time in the words He sent for you. You don’t have to spend hours on it a day. The important thing is that when you read it, you’re giving it your full attention. See No. 1. If you’re short on time, get the Bible app on your phone set it up to get a notification with the verse of the day when your alarm goes off every day. Read it on your phone before you even get out of bed.
  3. Pray. You can’t have a relationship with someone you don’t talk to. Tell God your thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, fears, and hopes, and do it confidently because He already knows. You’re not keeping secrets from God by not talking to Him every day. And show gratitude. Thank God for what He’s given you. We don’t earn what we have; we’re given everything by God’s grace and generosity. Finally, ask Him for help. You don’t have this, not by yourself. Tell Him you’ll do it how He wants you to.
  4. Listen for His response. You’re not just talking to yourself are you? Shouldn’t you be as interested in what He as to say as He is in what you have to say? For the longest time I just didn’t believe people were really hearing God when they said they heard answers to their prayers. I fell for the classic “I haven’t experienced it so it must not exist” fallacy. Then I experienced it and dude, it is real! Just make sure what you’re hearing doesn’t contradict biblical truth, and ask Him to show you signs to confirm what you believe you’re hearing. You don’t want to make big decisions based on something that you could have misinterpreted.
  5. Finally, obey. You give God your full attention while reading the Bible, praying, and listening for answers, then you have to be obedient to what you hear. You read the Bible so you know if you’re hearing something that contradicts it. You discuss what you hear with a community of believers for the same reason. But as much as your relationship with God is a friendship, remember He is also your parent and you are here to obey Him. If you know He’s telling you to do something, you’ve gotta do it, sis. He knows better. His way is so much better than yours. This doesn’t mean be irresponsible. Don’t quit your job because you feel God calling you to go back to school if that isn’t financially feasible. Maybe you have to take classes at a slower pace. Maybe you or your spouse will get a raise and you’ll be able to cut back on your hours. The point is, when He tells you to do something, it’s for your own good, for the good of your family, for the good of His Kingdom. If you don’t do it, He’ll put it on someone else’s heart. But there’s a reason He picked you.

Please leave a comment or use the “contact me” page to engage in further detail or if you have suggestions I may not have thought of!