Part 3: My Body, God’s Temple: Respecting Ourselves | Teaching Children to Honor their Bodies
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:22
"Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Genesis 2:1
God was intentional about creating us. We not only look like Him in shape and form, but we were made to be of His character. Having someone’s image is not just having a similar appearance. It is also having similar mannerisms, behaviors and way of thinking. How many times have you heard or said to someone, you are just like your father, mother. Often we are not only talking about the way a person looks but more so about who they are in character.
When King David prayed in Psalms 51 for God to blot out his transgression, to remove sin from his life, to give him a clean heart and put a right spirit within him, he was asking for the character of the one that made him. We see in 1 Peter 1:15 that we are commissioned to act holy just as God is holy. That means removing impure, unjust and unrighteous (lack of right doing) motives and actions from our minds and lives.
Understanding that we are made special by God to resemble and exemplify his pure character we will then have a greater understanding of the vessel He gave us, our bodies. Teaching our children to love the body they have, love the mind they were given, not out of arrogance or self exaltation but out or respect for the creator that gave it will pay dividends upon dividends to their understanding of human worth.
When questions about healthy eating, good hygiene and being physically active come up, we as parents should always take the opportunity to impress upon them that they were created by the true and only God. Because of sin and Satan’s attacks we may be plagued with bodies that may be frail in various ways, or minds that struggle for different reasons, but God is still in control of His creation. Whatever is in your power to do, do it to honor and Glory of the God that created you. With this message our children can face any attack on their “image” because they will know it is an attack on God’s image and He will protect them. What a blessing for all of us.
Here are some fun and easy ways to introduce and foster the idea of taking care of our bodies to kids.
Have a variety of colors on their lunch/dinner plate to talk about all the good foods God created specifically to fuel their bodies. Talk about how making healthy choices helps us feel better.
Identify ways in which each child is different and talk about how those skills, talents or tendencies can be used for God’s service.
Encourage activities of service. Have them doing something like, mowing a neighbor’s lawn (or your own), racing to collect the mail, cleaning and then decorating a room, creating a pamphlet for family game night. Each act should be something that the child can see how they can use a skill in the service of someone else.
Remind the children that part of being a Christian is reflecting the character of Christ in our every day life. Listen to Bible Time's Song, "I Want to Be a Christian." Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more FUN Bible songs for kids!
How do you teach your children to respect and honor themselves?
Check out the other posts and FREE resources in the My Body, God's Temple:
Part 3: My Body, God’s Temple: Respecting Ourselves
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