You Are Fearfully Made

 

th1n 1977, singer Debbie Boone recorded the song “You Light Up My Life” which spent a then record of ten weeks as no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. I was fifteen when this song came out and, at the time, I was surprised to learn that her intended focus—her You—was God. It was the first pop Christian song I ever heard, if you discount Christmas music.

Fast forward thirty-six years. This song is once again played over the airwaves several times a day—the television air waves—and Ms. Boone is still the one singing it. Only now, it’s as the spokeswoman for Lifestyle Lift, urging aging women to jump on the bandwagon and do something about their unsightly wrinkles and sagging skin. “Imagine, going to your mirror and seeing yourself as you looked years ago,” she says. This is followed by women (and even one man) singing the praises of the difference in their lives once they opted for this surgery.

Let me stress that I’m not making a judgment regarding plastic surgery. I might say that I’d never choose to do one myself, but I’ve learned from experience that “never” and “always” statements often come back to bite me. It’s tough being a woman, especially an aging woman in this liposuction, Botox-injecting culture. And neither is my issue necessarily with Ms. Boone. However, I do take issue with a song, once intended to be a praise to our Creator, now being used to sell dissatisfaction in the women He created.

Last month I attended the Write to Inspire Conference. Stay with me here, I know this seems like a random transition—especially if you’re a man reading this. The keynote speaker at the conference was Debbie Alsdorf, Bible study author and women’s ministry leader. I was so impressed with what she had to say, and what she’s had to live through, that I took the first opportunity to check out her books. As a woman who’s struggled with body image and insecurity (and who out there hasn’t?) I was drawn to her study He is My All: Living in the Truth of God’s Love for Me. I don’t want to focus on how I look, but who I am in Jesus Christ. Because, in the end, that’s all that will matter.

We live in a self-centered, media-driven culture. It’s about what we have, how we look, and who we know. It doesn’t take much to feel that we can’t measure up—and I think this is especially true for women. How can we possibly hold our husband’s attention when decimated, air-brushed bodies are thrown at them at every turn. Sex sells—pretty much everything—and men, for the most part, are visual. It’s hard enough when we’re young, but when everything starts heading south as we age…well, it’s not a pretty picture.

We are a temple for the Holy Spirit, and I do believe God cares about how we treat His temple—spiritual health, physical health and mental health. He’s not concerned with our wrinkles and sagging skin. He created us to age, and with it should come a sense of freedom. I’ve heard people boast, “I’ve earned my wrinkles and gray hair.” I’m not saying I’m at the point of owning this yet, but I’m working on it. However, when a self-professed Christian woman uses her God-focused music to sell dissatisfaction to an age-fearing culture, I take issue.

Psalm 139:14—“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

2 thoughts on “You Are Fearfully Made

  1. Hey Jennie, I see that commercial every evening during the news and it makes me squirm for those very reasons. I feel like “how can she do that to God?” Speaking of looks, I feel fortunate to have such great genes. I don’t look as I did at 18, but I don’t look bad either. People who find out how old I am want to know where are my gray hair and wrinkles. Being that you are my sister and take care of yourself, I am sure you will remain as beautiful as you are now. But you are right God sees our insides not our outsides.

  2. I totally agree with you. It’s not so much that I feel I have any right to judge ladies on wanting to look better- and I don’t judge them because I, myself, have my own issues with my image. But using a song that once praised God to praise plastic surgery just seems… is backwards the word I am seeking? I’ve never seen the commercial you spoke of, but when I read about it in your post something felt very very off about it.

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