What is a Healthy Christian Woman? What does she look like? How does she feel? How can you tell? Are you an example of a Healthy Christian Woman? Does it even matter?
Take a moment and imagine the ideal woman in your mind. (Or if you’re a guy, picture the ideal man. It’s just that I’m a woman, and many of my readers are women. So bear with me.) Oh, I know the popular media have idealized the skinny teenage body with idealized body parts. But let’s get real for a moment. Seriously try your best to get that Barbie picture out of your mind and imagine what a healthy woman would be. And picture a woman the age you are right now, since you can’t undo your birthdays.
Certainly your ideal woman wouldn’t be sick, but that would only be a start. I’m sure you picture her looking healthy in every way. She would have bright, clear eyes that sparkled when she looked at you. Her skin would be glowing, and her hair would look alive. She would be at a healthy weight. Her body would be strong, fully rested, and full of energy.
A woman can’t look that way physically on the outside without also being healthy on the inside. Rest, nutrition, and exercise certainly help. But her mental state makes a difference as well. You’d be able to tell right away well if she were anxious, depressed, stressed, or worried, or even if she were feeling worked over by her hormones. You could get a good idea of what she was thinking about just from the look on her face.
Her relationships also affect the way your ideal woman looks and feels. If you aren’t sure about that, just look at the women in line the next time you go to the grocery store or sit in a doctor’s office. Imagine what kind of personal relationships each woman has. You might see the anxious and angry divorcee, the happy grandmother married to the same man for 50 years, or the single businesswoman secretly hungry for a boyfriend. You might be wrong in what you imagine for each person, but that mental exercise shows you how much your relationships show in your face and behavior.
You can also tell a lot about your ideal woman’s spiritual life by looking at her. Is she weighed down by carrying guilt or shame? Is she anxious about what God thinks of her, or careless about the impact of her behavior on others? Does she feel her life has a purpose? Is she living with peace, joy, and love?
I hope you can see from this discussion how much each aspect of a woman’s life impacts every other area. If you’re sick physically your emotions will be more difficult to handle. If your marriage is a mess your body will be stressed. Whatever you do to get healthier in one area will positively benefit your health in every other area as well.
Understanding this integrative view of a healthy woman is so important. Women of faith sometimes struggle here. On one hand focusing on the eternal importance of one’s spiritual life has led some to ignore the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle, healthy thinking, and healthy relationships. Likewise, some have made their physical health a primary goal without addressing the other dimensions of health that both affect and are affected by our physical wellbeing.
As a Christian woman you especially have reason to take your health seriously. God made you – spirit, soul, and body. He redeemed you – spirit, soul, and body. His Holy Spirit makes your body His temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) And His plan for you is that “your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) God cares about your health, and you honor Him by caring about it as well.
And best of all, the ideal woman you imagined can be you.
While you can’t entirely escape sickness or aging in this life you can certainly slow them down. Too many women settle for too little. They accept being sick, tired, and miserable as being normal. They may look to a pill, a specific diet, a new relationship, or an expensive program to make them feel better. Sometimes some of those things are necessary. But much more often what’s needed is simply for you to take charge of your health.
And taking charge of your health is exactly what Dr Carol’s Guide to Women’s Health is all about. This article is adapted from a portion of Chapter 1. And I hope you want a whole lot more!
God sees you as you are now, and He loves you just the way you are. But He’s not content to leave you that way! He wants you to be and live Fully Alive – in body, soul, and spirit. And I hope you want that too.
Why don’t you pick up a copy of Dr Carol’s Guide to Women’s Health, and experience what it’s like to work together with God to take charge of your wellbeing in every way?!
Your Turn: How well do you fit the description of a Healthy Christian Woman? Why or why not? Leave a comment below.
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