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HEART * MINISTRY * MISCELLANIES *

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holy......Workout ?

Oh, man. My heart is all over the board with this.
The fine line between working out to honor your future spouse in the blessing of giving them yourself in the best condition - AND the danger of falling into vanity and foolish pursuit of having a trim body that is only going to rot.
(trying to honor your husband VS vain pursuit that will not benefit the soul)

On one hand I'm thinking "I want to be loved for who I am"
and on the other I'm thinking "I want to be a tremendous blessing to my future husband and help him obey the command to delight in his wife, to be enraptured."

So, I was reading Mark Driscoll's blog http://www.theresurgence.com/md_blog/
and his recent post is a clarification of one he posted a few days ago about the Haggard affair.
He said some pretty blunt comments about how a wife should seek to take care of herself physically to help her husband avoid a snare of the devil (lust) and how so many pastor's wives just seem to let themselves go after they get married.........yikes. (actually, I think he's got a point..........but he also added clarification that a husband's fidelity is not determined by his wife, but by the covenant he made with the Lord to love her forever)
The odd thing was.......I actually appreciated the charge. What woman who loves her husband would just brush this charge off and discount how God made men to be visual creatures?
I've come to know that deep down - men want to be attracted to their wives.........
So, for a wife to simply not care to make an effort (eating reasonably and exercising) to take care of her exterior in my opinion is simply unloving. Yes, we should be loved for who we are and the exterior fades and a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised....AMEN !!!
But if marriage is about outdoing one another in showing honor ------ hello ~
Is this not one practical way to honor our husbands ?? By maintaining our health and figure as best we can for them? Will he not feel loved and respected and give thanks to God for having such a wife that seeks to bless him?

The article comes at a really great time for me actually, as I've been wrestling with this topic since I was saved in 2000. Prior to being saved, I participated in figure competitions and ''swim suit'' contests......and my goal was a twisted version of what is inherent in God's design of a woman's heart. Because deep down - all women know the truth that we WANT to be desired, in every way.
It's just how we're made....which is good because God made men with a natural desire for women. I think that where I went wrong was that being physically desired became everything to me.......It was what defined my worth......which is probably why God caused me to forsake it 100% upon my regeneration and in being identified with Christ.
(the priceless, matchless King of Glory became mine, and I became His)

So now, I'm thinking that the desire to be desired is not a vain thing at all.....and actually God created us with that desire in order to have this fulfilled in God-glorifying ways - first in finding our value and worth in Christ. (you are worth what you treasure.......excp Piper Sermon)
Then, in the blessing of marriage...... the husband is right to desire his wife.
In fact ---- he's commanded to.
And in the ideal marriage scenario, the wife could care less what the world thinks, but LONGS for her husband to approve of and rejoice in and relish her - her heart and her mind and her physical beauty. And his and her longings are blissfully fulfilled.
(ahem........song of songs)

Tough topic, dangerous topic.......and I'm still wrestling hard with this. My boyfriend is an amazing man. He has given me so much encouragement and focus on Christ in all of this that I feel a sense of freedom in Christ to pursue honoring and blessing him all the more.
keeping watch over my heart and soul, and said that if he sees me taking it in a wrong direction that we will cancel our gym memberships.
Nothing is more important than our souls.....NOTHING.
So we do all for the glory of God.

I think Cross Movement said it best when they said:

"Even your beautiful body will rot fast, you're enough vapor to fill up a shot glass.
Don't miss out on what God has, and find out you never got treasure, you got trash."
God sees through the weave and makeup - He sees your make-up...cause he's your maker.
Get fly inside and out, I said enough just ride it out"

Find out what it takes to make your soul bling ~

Up out ~
Jen2

15 Comments:

At 11/22/2006 10:46 AM, Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Uh, yeah.

I'm REALLY weird on this because everything you said seems like common sense to me...well not really "common" sense, but basic and logical.

- I mean, what is beauty?

(Permit me to be a tad Platonic/Edwardsian here)

- Beauty is the qualities in a thing that make it desirable.

(Let's skip the two hour debate and cut to the chase)

- God, being the perfection and "ideal" of beauty (the "beauty" from which all lesser "beauty"s are derived), is the measure of beauty.

- For something to correspond to God's "beauty" is for something to be "God-like".

(If you're like God, then you will possess his qualities, including beauty)

- God's beauty is NOT sheer moral perfection. Often we contrast "inward" versus "outward" beauty, but that's a false and sinful dichotomy. There is no "versus"...there's only an "and". It's "inward AND outward beauty".

Some embrace the one at the total compromise and corruption of the other, which is actually compromise and corruption of the former as well as the latter.

For example, if I embrace self-discipline and that translates into my TV watching, but NOT my eating habits, then I'm being selective in my obedience to the Lord, and thereby not REALLY submitting to the Lord across the board. I know women (and men) whose refrigerator has become an idol. (If one is depressed and go to Hagen Daas before one goes to Christ, one needs to take a little inventory of the heart.)

- Creation proves that God is pleasing to the eye. I mean, anyone who stands atop the Rockies or gazes at a prairie sunset or swims off the coast of the Bahamas will think "MAN! That is SO beautiful!"

If creation (general revelation) tells us something about God and aesthetics, it's that "if creation is pretty, and creation is God's radiating forth of himself, then God must be prettier"!

Moral uprightness doesn't necessitate physical pugnacity.

If God is pleasing to the eye, then God-like women (and men) should be too.

There's a whole ball of wax as to "what does that look like", but my nutshell is this:

- Nobody wants to MARRY a pornstar. They only want to sleep with them.

I want a girl I can marry; a friend, a lover, a wife...not an organic erotic appliance.

- Oh, and seeing that beauty is a relative thing to the eye of the beholder (though those of us with Christlike eyes will see lots of the same things as pleasing), then it also stands that a "beauty" to one person will not be as ideal as "beauty" to another.

Diversity is welcome here, and it honestly makes fidelity easier!

I know several awesome, Godly women that I'm simply not attracted to at all, and "logic" used to tell me that I should be. Don't know why, but praise the Lord I've got eyes and a heart for only one of my ladies fans....EEEP!

I've said too much!

- Oh, and hitting the gym is fine. I started hitting the gym 2 years ago because I realized "I don't want no lady to marry some skrawny wuss boy!" Unfortunately, I've been waiting for my student loans to come through so I could head back! DOH! NEED $368 for a year's membership! DOH!

 
At 11/22/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

How about some assorted scriptures?

"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."

- Psalm 27:4

"The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth."

- Psalm 50:1-2

"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."

- 1 Peter 3:1-6

 
At 11/22/2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Benjamin Oetken said...

"But have nothing to do with worldy fables fit only for old women. On the other hand discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily disipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." - 1 Timothy 4:7-8

 
At 11/22/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

A resounding hrruuumph! Sure makes sense to me Daasy..!

And that armchair....he's got a head on those shoulders (he also went and stole my answer!!). :)

This is almost exactly what I was going to say...If creation (general revelation) tells us something about God and aesthetics, it's that "if creation is pretty, and creation is God's radiating forth of himself, then God must be prettier!" Well said; I've been thinking on that very thing for a few months - whenever it decides to mull around in my thoughts. (Additionally, I've been relating it back to music/sound.)

A wo0t for both o' ya.

 
At 11/22/2006 2:40 PM, Blogger Jen2 said...

You know I'm on the same page with y'all as far as inner beauty being EMPHATICALLY most important.

I think that this is a huge can o' worms.......

 
At 11/22/2006 10:11 PM, Blogger Craver VII said...

And then of course, some ladies can fit back in their wedding gown just two weeks after giving birth... but not all.

Mrs. Craver nervously asked me a strange question once when we were dating...

Background: She married a bad guy at the age of 19, had a baby, got divorced, a few years later she was born again and then we met at my church. When she had her first baby, she had a lot to snap back from, and it took a long time.

...So the college & career group was out one day and she noticed a large lady walking nearby. She turned to me and asked whether I could love her if she was that big. I held my hands way out at my sides and said, "if you got this big, I would love you thiiiiis much!"

We had three more kids between us and she has never snapped back to the shape she was in before we married, but I love her more today than I did back then. As I have said at my blog, I CRAVE her, and by God's grace, our love continues to grow.

You may not know what will happen to your body after giving birth, but it is my prayer for you that if you marry and multiply, your house will be filled with respect and love.

 
At 11/23/2006 12:58 PM, Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Relating it to sound/music?

Hmmm. Please explain! I'm curious!

Good verse from Ben and good thoughts from Craver!

I laugh sometimes how I have friends who are guys who's wives take care of their bodies a LOT and the guys are the ones who "let themselves go". I mean, North American culture smacks the "self image yoke" on the women a LOT more than it does the men. If I'm being honest, I know a lot of women who take care of themselves way better than a lot of fellas.

 
At 11/24/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

Tis true....the yoke on women in our culture is heavy...and I'm sad to admit that this is probably my greatest battle field.

I find myself caring TOO much sometimes if I miss a workout and I hate it.

Praise God for your encouraging words about your precious wife Craver! My heart is different as I write this comment from when I put the original post up.
I still need much prayer though.
I'm grateful for my online brothers and sisters!!!

IN Christ Jesus with you,

Jen2

 
At 11/26/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Dusto said...

Where to start?

Well since Armchair seems to write books in every comment section on the internet I really have not a lot to add but, WOW! I find it very cool that you worked all of those things out (no pun intended)! I think it should work both ways as well (once again like Armchair alluded to) that men should also take seriously their future spouse and being all they can be (wow american army or what!) for that one special person God has in mind for each of us.

As an aside, Armchair is no stranger to the weights...so that was not just idle blogging going on there. Just don't go to the gym with him if you are easily embarassed buch much loudness and/or getting slapped in the face prior to a set...trust me on the this!

Oh and anyone who finishes off with some righteous theological rap is OK! Thanks for the awesome post!

D

 
At 11/27/2006 10:26 AM, Blogger Joanna Martens said...

jen-
i totally understand about the whole idolatry thing. I think everyone who begins to excersise regularly deals with it in some form or another. I would encourage those to instead of not excersising all together, but 1.) think of it as a blessing for future spouses to those who want marriage or are called to it 2.) i personally listen to sermons while running or lifting- it will keep your mind on spiritual things while working your physical body.
love ya

 
At 11/27/2006 1:42 PM, Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Uh, whatever. I know nothing about making noise in the gym...

...but if any of you ladies ever work out with Dusto and he pounds up a clean 455lb benchpress, it's just quite possible that he'll get so excited that he'll rip off his shirt before he realizes that a member of the girls basketball team is trying to do seated rows but cannot becasue she is to busy laughing at something...

...and then nonchalantly try to finish his workout with a tattered shirt hanging off his neck, "Incredible Hullk" style.

Not that such things have ever happened.

And listening to sermons is good when you're running or mowing lawns, but honestly, when I'm in the gym I've gotta have my face melting with Children of Bodom or Tourniquet or Nightwish or Racer X (DANGEROUS LOOOOOVE!) or EDGUY (I still have gym flashbacks everytime I listen to the song "Fallen Angels") I've gotta go to the YMCA right now and pound them pies! Later!

 
At 11/28/2006 8:49 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

I'm telling you what - I need the high intensity Christian metal music a blaring to be able to really get a GOOD workout in.

And guess what God did Sunday night........my iPod stopped working!!! It's only about 9 months old and it's all screwy.
I'm going to return it today Lord willing.....but seriously the thought of working out without music is just not appealing.

Perhaps He's calling a halt to how I think of this whole deal and slowing me down to think more about my heart.....hmm........either way, I get to watch what He does trusting Him all the while- and that....is just my heart's delight.

 
At 11/28/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger Frank Martens said...

young grasshoppa... this is one you must fight out and find the truth about what is right for this.


Ok enough of the talk like chinese guy. I just don't feel good about the reason you describe.

I work out because I need the physical exercise. I guess I haven't really thought about it. But something doesn't sit right with me on that.

Need to think about it for a while...

 
At 11/29/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Craver VII said...

Health, beauty, nope. You must work out now so that if you have bambinos later, you can keep up with them.

 
At 12/04/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger Jen2 said...

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