The Purpose of Our Bodies (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Physical Beauty)

I have my grandmother’s arms. At least, I have arms that look like hers more and more each day.

I confess I was a little thrown off to initially discover this fact as I walked past a mirror in a sleeveless shirt and caught sight of the shape of them. Soft and full. Not trim and toned.

Before you think too poorly of me for even writing about this, let me stop here and say that I never judged my grandmother for her arms or the shape of them when I was younger. I do not recognize her arms on me now because I thought less of them then. I noticed because I spent so much time with her in my growing-up years. Her house was one of my favorite places to be. Her presence, one of God’s kindnesses to me.

But while I never judged or cared about the shape of her body on HER, I very much judged those arms on ME. Because this is what we are taught to value in this world – looking good. Being fit and toned and buff and beautiful in the world’s eyes. Good arms are only super trim arms… right?


Thankfully, the thoughts of disappointment in my own body were fleeting and very quickly corrected. Because goodness… what a gift it would be to have arms like hers.

Arms that worked hard and created beauty.
Arms that prepared everyone’s favorite foods with great love.
Arms that set the table and taught us the value of meals together.
Arms that were always open for me to stop by at any time and visit.
Arms that did what arms are meant to do – love and welcome and serve.

The fact is, we weren’t given these bodies so that they can look good. These bodies are meant to be vessels that help us do good.

We are image-bearers. Members of the family of God. Brothers and sisters of Christ. And do you know what Scripture says about Jesus? “There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him,” Isaiah 52:3b.

He had no physical beauty, yet there has never been anyone on this earth more beautiful than Christ because of who He was and how He loved. And we get to bear His image! We, as Christ-followers, are being shaped more and more each day to love and live and look like Him spiritually.

I type all of this out today not to dishonor my grandmother’s body, but to honor her heart. God designed her beautifully – inside and out. I also want to remind us all that it is not our job to make our bodies look more beautiful and acceptable to this world’s standards of beauty. Should we take care of these temples? Of course. But ultimately so that we can do good, not look good. We are here to live beautiful lives that glorify God as we love, serve, and welcome others.

My grandmother was a beautiful woman, and it is a gift to resemble her in any way. And it is an even greater gift to get to resemble my Savior.

Who do you resemble physically in your family that loved and served like Christ? Maybe you’re not wild about having his nose, her chin, those thighs that run hard in your family. But maybe today is a good day to thank God for the ways their life has shaped yours. And if you don’t come from a family that knew Christ or reflected Him? If you are one of the first in your family? You are ultimately God’s son or daughter, and you have a rich and beautiful heritage in Him. You are His image-bearer. And what a beautiful legacy you now get to pass down.

May we go out and make this world more beautiful today as we show up with the tangible love of Christ.

Blessings, dear friends,

2 thoughts on “The Purpose of Our Bodies (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Physical Beauty)

  1. I loved to lay my head to rest against the soft full arms of my grandparents as I sat between them on long trips as a child.

    I aim to resemble Jesus in character more with each day.

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