Embodied: Thank You, God, for My Body

“When was the last time you thanked God for your body?” Erin Davis asked. 

She was teaching a room full of women, but her question pierced my heart as though the two of us were sitting across the table over lattes while she patiently waited for me to answer. 

If that were the case, I’m not sure that I would’ve had the courage to muster up my honest answer—which was never.

Up until this point I’ve never thanked God for my body—not once—because my body has always felt like more trouble than it’s worth. It bears the invisible scars of abuse that can easily tempt me back into dark corners of body shame. It groans with chronic conditions that are at worst debilitating and at best inconvenient. Not to mention that my body often seems utterly incapable of looking, measuring, or performing the way that I’d like it to. 

Yet, wonder of wonders, God calls my body “good.” He calls your body good too. 

The Baseline for “Good”

Genesis 1:27 and 31 make this goodness clear. 

So God created man
in his own image;
he created him in the image of God;
he created them male and female. (v. 27)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. (v. 31, emphasis mine) 

At this point, you may be thinking, “Of course Adam and Eve’s bodies were good. This is Genesis 1, before the fall. Everything was good then. There was no sin.” 

You’re right. Before the fall everything was good. Adam and Eve had perfect bodies untouched by sin. The fall recorded in Genesis chapter 3 changes that, but there are several things about our bodies that sin didn’t change. 

God gave you a body. 

Your body wasn’t God’s plan B or a scramble after sin entered the world. It was His plan from the very beginning.1 This means that your body itself is not a sinful or bad result of the curse. 

You are created in God’s image. 

Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created human beings in His image. While, theologically speaking, bearing the image of God doesn’t necessarily refer to how our bodies look, it does have critical implications regarding our value. We live in a society that places a high value on our bodies’ outward appearance, healthiness, and ability to work well, but this is not how God’s Word determines value. We have worth because we are made in His image. Full stop. How our bodies look, feel, or perform doesn’t determine our worth, God does.

God doesn’t make mistakes. 

God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, creator and sustainer of the universe. He carefully knit you together in your mother’s womb. Consider Psalm 139:13–16, 

For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.
My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in your book and planned
before a single one of them began.

Your body is good. Not because it is perfect, looks exactly the way that you’d like, is capable of working hard, or is in good health but because it was intentionally created by a good God who makes no mistakes. In the world that we live in, it can be tempting to wonder if there are exceptions to the “goodness” of your body, especially when there are parts of your body that don’t seem good. Let me reassure you, there are no exceptions. Here are a few things to remember:

1. Your body is good even if it is failing.

To one degree or another, all of our bodies are failing. Paul speaks to this when he says, “Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). If God has written something like chronic illness, disability, disease, or a myriad of other results of the fall into your story, it does not mean that your body is “less than.” Every part of you is fearfully and wonderfully made, and through His grace, your body can become a testament to His strength working through your weakness.

2. Your body is good even if it doesn’t look like that photo on Instagram. 

I don’t think I know a woman (or a man for that matter) who is one hundred percent happy with the way that she looks. The comparison monster is alive and well in most of our lives, and if we’re not careful, it can consume us. You are called by the Lord to care for your body and steward it well, but you were never called to adhere to certain beauty standards in order to be beneficial to His kingdom. The Master Artist intentionally knit every fiber of your body together; you are His workmanship.

3. Your body is good even if it has been sinned against.

When the sins of others have left gaping wounds in your life, sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between your body and the sin committed against you because shame has clouded your view. Dear friend, if you are struggling with your body because of someone else’s sin, please know that the Lord has created your body and called it good. He never, ever, speaks the language of shame (Rom. 8:1).

A Prayer of Thanks

When was the last time you thanked God for your body? I hope you can take a step toward thankfulness today. It may be a difficult process; let’s take the first step together.

Thank you, God, for my body. It is a good gift that You have intentionally created and given to me. Not one part of it was a mistake or an afterthought. Please help me to steward it well and glorify You with it. And Lord, would You teach me to see its goodness? Amen. 

If this post was thought-provoking to you, be sure to keep an eye out for “Embodied,” the newest season of The Deep Well with Erin Davis, dropping on Thursday at ReviveOurHearts.com or wherever you get your podcasts. In the meantime, check out the short series “Love Thy Body, with Nancy Pearcey” on the Revive Our Hearts podcast.

 Erin Davis, “Episode 2: God Made Bodies,” Revive Our Hearts, March 7, 2024, https://www.reviveourhearts.com/podcast/the-deep-well/episode-2-god-made-bodies/.

About the Author

Ashley Gibson

Ashley Gibson

Ashley Gibson is a native of the mountains of Maryland, lover of flowers, and an ardent believer in writing letters. She always has a song in her heart—and usually one on her lips. Ashley loves encouraging others to know and … read more …

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