Honoring God With Our Bodies at the Holidays

by Grace Valentine December 22, 2023
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Last year around this time, I remember sitting at the Christmas dinner table with bread rolls, pumpkin pie that had me drooling, and of course, my favorite: mac and cheese. Here I was surrounded by my favorite carbs.

More importantly, I was surrounded by my family and plenty of opportunities for shared memories, good conversations and glimpses of God’s grace. However, last Christmas, I wasn’t thinking about the opportunity in front of me to connect with loved ones. All I could think about was my body …

Should I skip the rolls?
If I eat that pie, will I bloat?
Am I going to exercise hard enough tomorrow to burn off what I ate?
Ugh, I don’t want to take those family photos … especially when my body looks like this.

I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with food anxiety and body insecurities during the holidays. We all have something that distracts us from the things that matter most at Christmastime. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to have and maintain the “perfect” body — but in reality, there is no such thing. And while making healthy choices is good, giving food the power to make us anxious and distracted during the holidays causes us to forget our true purpose.

Surprisingly, there’s someone in the Christmas story who inspires me to remember my true purpose and even to look at my body differently — and that person is Mary, Jesus’ mother. When she was told she would give birth to Jesus as a virgin, her response was, “I am the Lord’s servant … May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38). She wasn’t stressed about her body. She knew her body was a vessel for God to use for holy things.

I don’t know about you, but I want to strive to be like Mary, an eager servant of the Lord and His plans. Unlike Mary’s, our bodies are not carrying the Savior of the world, but they are meant to be offerings we use to serve God, not something we stress about (1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 12:1). Let’s celebrate our bodies because they are vessels for us to live out God’s love.

Many of us have arms that can hug our friends and family members and comfort those who’ve had a tough year.

Many of us have eyes that can see those who feel overlooked and mouths that can affirm them in God’s care.

Many of us have legs that have carried us this far and still have many more miles to go as we walk with God.

And even if parts of our bodies feel limited or unable to do what we want them to do, those limitations can lead us to rely on Christ and connect us with others who need Him too.

I pray you and I can be like Mary this Christmas. May we be willing to be purposeful with our bodies and embrace loving others, loving the bodies God has given us, and loving those around our tables, all for His glory.

Dear God, thank You for creating good bodies that can serve You. Help me to remember that I’m called to be a servant. Help me to use my body as a vessel instead of stressing about how I look or feeling anxious about food this Christmas. Please show me how to live out my purpose this holiday season and in the year to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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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” (NIV).

When you’re feeling insecure, how can you be reminded that your body is a temple? What are ways you can honor God with your body this holiday season? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Grace Valentine. All rights reserved.

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