Scripture: verses 29 and 30
Why, no one ever hated his own flesh! On the contrary, he feeds it well and takes care of it, just as the Messiah does the Messianic Community, because we are parts of His body.
Observation: The context here is that of marriage: husbands take care of their wives because the husband and wife are one flesh, so caring for her is like caring for himself. And indeed, ignoring or mistreating one’s spouse is generally an excellent example of shooting yourself in the foot. But what caught my eye is the assertion that no one ever hated his own body.
As a teenager, I used to shave my legs dry, when I consented to shave them at all. No shaving cream, no soap, not even water. And yes, I got terrible razor burn. My memories of shaving are mostly of embarrassment – embarrassment over having leg hair, embarrassment over not having shaved, embarrassment over having to ask to have the bathroom to myself, embarrassment over the time it took. So I snuck upstairs when people were doing other things and shaved as quickly as I could, usually with somebody else’s razor because I hadn’t admitted I needed one. (I probably owe my sisters an apology for that one, come to think of it!)
And I’m not sure what exactly was going on in my head, but clearly something was. Somehow I’d gotten the idea that taking care of myself was wasteful. So I didn’t. Not in scary dangerous ways – I never struggled with eating disorders or anything of that sort – but in little ways.
But Messiah takes care of His body. He takes care of me. And He wants me to take care of myself. He made me, and I am not a waste.
Application: You aren’t a waste either. Your body, your emotions, your ideas – God made them and God loves them. It’s okay to use your resources to care for yourself.
Prayer: Messiah, thank you for caring for me. Thank you for making me the way I am and for loving me enough to die for me. Help me to move with confidence in your love. Amen.