Use these 10 Bible verses on body image to boost your self-confidence in your worth and identity as a child of God, not by the world’s standard of beauty.
First of all, this is not an easy thing at all! I still do not find myself attractive in the world’s eyes. I have loose skin, cellulite, and have learned that diet and exercise can only do so much once the damage has been done.
And that was all before I even had our son!
I also spent years in an emotionally abusive marriage, desperate to be seen as beautiful, and instead to be met with words that tore every shred of self-esteem I had to shreds.
Sure, I could try retraining myself to stare at my flaws in the mirror and try to convince myself that my imperfections are beautiful (I’ve seen this recommendation often), but I prefer a different route.
The mindset shift I had was more about making my appearance less important to me than convincing myself my flaws weren’t…well, flaws.
My husband now is a very good man and I told him early on in our relationship that I’ve done the best I could, but that this is the body he’s signing up for.
That has become my catchphrase in life. “I did the best I could and I need to let that be good enough.”
I believe there should be healthy boundaries around body image, just like any other relationship.
I don’t want to care too little and become a complete slob who never showers, exercises, or tries to look nice.
I also don’t want to care too much and get stuck beating myself up for things that are completely out of my control (I spent a LOT of time there).
I believe there is a place between the two where God desires us to be, where we understand that God has given us our bodies for a purpose.
They are gifts for us to use to help us serve, hug, run, kneel, taste, touch, savor His creation, and we should surely take care of that body well. But our bodies were never meant to define our identity, diminish our purpose, or come between our relationships.
When our thoughts tell us otherwise – “You’re ugly, you’ll never measure up, you’re unworthy of love, you’re less important than that girl with the flat stomach,” that’s when we need to take our thoughts captive and recognize those thoughts are not from God.
It’s hard to change thought patterns. It takes time and intentionality but recognizing God’s voice vs the enemy’s voice is so important in tackling the problem. We have to see that those thoughts are lies before we can get rid of them.
Fill your mind with what God says about your body.
Scripture on Body Image
All of the Bible verses below are from the NIV translation.
1. Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
This is probably the most commonly quoted verse when it comes to beauty and body image, and for good reason!
I’m sure if I asked you to describe your body, you could readily give me a list of your flaws, but would “wonderful” be anywhere in your description?
It took a lot of work for me to read this verse and actually believe that what it was saying was true. I had spent so many years telling myself I’d messed up God’s creation that believing that anything about my body was wonderful was a stretch.
But that’s how we renew our minds, right? We read the words again and again and continue to strive to replace our broken thoughts with God’s Truth.
So, even if you don’t believe it today. Don’t give up.
2. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.
1 Peter 3:3-4
This verse to me is all about redefining beauty in our minds. Every culture has its own definitions and they are constantly changing. How is a girl ever supposed to keep up?
God’s definition of beauty is unchanging – a gentle and quiet spirit “which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Nothing about height, weight, dress size, or anything else about your outward appearance.
3. Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle, right? I thought I would “arrive” after losing 100 pounds, but then there was the loose skin and then gray hairs started popping up, and the list of new “problems” just kept growing longer and longer.
There are so many anti-aging products out there to hold off the wrinkles, grays, and sagging as long as possible, but, no matter what you do, it’ll catch up to you!
Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t direct us toward that life – a life of fruitlessly fighting off the inevitable. It just gently points out that our focus is on the wrong thing.
Instead of chasing beauty, chase God. It’s a much more joy-filled, peaceful, satisfying life.
4. 1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things people look at…the Lord looks at the heart.
Isn’t that such a comfort?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve wasted far too much time wishing I looked like skinny, fit celebrities and feeling like such a failure when I was giving it my all but my body still fell so short of the world’s beauty standard.
But God offers us a different standard to measure success and it has nothing to do with your appearance.
Your intentions, your heart, is what matters in His eyes.
5. Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Insecurities have a way of keeping us stuck and isolated.
When I was 100 pounds overweight, I was desperate not to bring attention to myself because I didn’t want people to notice I was fat (it sounds silly now, but it was so true of my reality back then).
I didn’t want to draw attention to myself in a negative light, so I’d just completely skip out on any activities that I might not do well at (like saying no to a bike ride with friends because I didn’t want to be the slowest of the bunch).
I’d also stay very safe in my comfort zone, not challenging myself to get better or allowing myself to struggle in the areas where I really excelled because I just wanted to stay mediocre to fade into the background.
But the Lord didn’t create you to be mediocre. He created you to do good works, but carrying them out takes confidence! You have to be willing to own the strengths and weaknesses you have and live out loud.
And isn’t that a beautiful thing? You were created on purpose and for a purpose.
6. 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.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Gosh, isn’t this so easy to forget? When I’m looking into the mirror, letting my eyes linger on every flaw I see, I’m sure not thinking about my body being a temple of the Holy Spirit!
But, even though it’s not natural for me to see myself in that light, it’s the Truth.
Your body is a divine gift. A temple. A dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.
7. Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
My pastor often talks about “closed-handed living.” That’s when we are holding so tightly to the things of this world (like beauty, comparison, success, etc) that our fists are tightly shut, not allowing us to accept God’s blessings.
When we focus on “open-handed living,” where we are constantly surrendering all of those things to the Lord, our hands are ready to both give and receive.
I talk more about how to be a living sacrifice here.
8. 1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
As someone who really, really loves food, you would think this would have been easy for me, but the problem was, I loved food too much.
I put food in a place in my life that was above God and that is NEVER glorifying to Him.
For many years, I didn’t think God had anything to do with my eating, but I am more convinced than ever that God cares about what we eat (and maybe not for the reasons you think).
9. Philippians 3:21
…who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Even back then, they still described their bodies as “lowly.” Isn’t that interesting?
I suppose because everything seems pretty lowly in comparison to being “like his glorious body.”
Our bodies now are plagued by sin, mortality, aging, weakness, and frailty (among other things!), but there is hope for a future when all of that changes and even our bodies will be more like Christ.
What a beautiful gift to cling to.
10. Genesis 1:27
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
This is a Truth I hold onto often.
I might not think much of my body, but whether I feel like it or not, I am an image bearer of God.
I’m praying for you right now. Not that your eyes would be blind to the imperfections in your body, but that they would minimize the importance of those imperfections and magnify your worth in Christ.
Don’t give up.
Keep fighting to convince yourself of God’s Truth.