A Christian understanding of body image must begin with a Christian view of the physical body. A biblical foundation for understanding the body is critical when thinking through the topic of body image. To establish this biblical foundation, we have to start with the fact that we are in the image of God. We know from Genesis 1:27 that we are created in God’s image, which includes the totality of who we are.
To be human means to be embodied. We are created in the image of God as embodied beings, which means that we exist within a physical body. God has designed his people to be his image bearers and representatives in the world, which is made possible because we physically exist.
Of course, we know that we are not just a body but have been created with a soul as well. We have a material component, our physical bodies, and an immaterial component, our soul. God never separates or compartmentalizes the body from the soul. He has created us as whole people for his glory, which is evident throughout Scripture.
The Bible demonstrates how God uses the whole person, including the physical body, as a means to glorify himself. We see this from the creation of man and woman, to the incarnation of Christ and Jesus’s earthly ministry, to the resurrection of the body, and in many other places throughout Scripture. Our physical bodies have inherent purpose, as we have been created to glorify God with all of our being. Again, we are made in the image of God. This is our identity and what defines our body image.
Want to learn more about how to view the body in light of the Gospel? Click here!