Considering Male Body Hatred-Do Men Get Eating Disorders?

Here at Predatory Lies, we talk a lot about female body image, eating disorders, body dismorphia, cultural lies and pressure from the media. But I’ve never taken a close look at how this social frenzy for physical perfection affects men. Personally, I don’t feel equipped to address that. However, this article is exquisite and in many ways could have been written about women as well. This is just the teaser. I highly recommend you click through and read the whole article.

The Epidemic of Male Body Hatred

by: Paul Maxwell for Desiring God

“If I could look like that guy who played Thor, I would be happy.”

It’s a common belief among men of our age. Put more honestly, “If I can’t appear confident, sexy, intimidating, competent, and super-human, I’m worthless.”

We compare ourselves to others in the gym. We come away from movies wanting to exercise for eight hours. We would rather jump in front of a truck than take our shirts off at the pool. We feel pathetic and small. We look at ourselves in almost every mirror we pass. When alone, we flex — not because we like what we see, but because we don’t. We have spent hundreds of dollars on pre-workout, weight loss, and weight gain supplements. We research the best way to bulk, shred, diet, and binge.

To finish reading, click here!

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LASTing Peace, “How Does God Want Me to Workout?”


Does God want you to exercise? Is all exercise a vain and idolatrous pursuit? Let’s talk about that today.
Here’s the link to Desiring God that I mentioned in the video:
http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/exercising-the-body-for-the-sake-of-the-soul?utm_source=Desiring+God&utm_campaign=f157fa03e9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6da5f8315b-f157fa03e9-99428477
Because He Lives!

Wisdom Borrowed From John Piper

This (lengthy) nugget by John Piper seems to address the tremor of our hearts here on Predatory Lies. The culture’s prevalent lies about our physical beauty and maturity have led many to seek cosmetic surgery. The study that Piper sites is rattling.

No matter your age, what do you feel about your body?

What have you done–if anything–to alter it?

Do you regret your decision?

 

Boomer’s Bodies — And Yours

All of the 10,000 people in America who turn 65 each day have wrinkles. Our skin is more flaccid. Our complexion is more mottled. Our equilibrium is more tenuous. And our hair is more scarce. The effect of aging on our appearance and our bearing is universal. No one escapes. Except by death.
The reason for this is that God has subjected the creation to futility (Romans 8:20). It is in bondage to corruption (Romans 8:21). Even new creatures in Christ groan, waiting for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).
In other words, when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, God established a connection between moral depravity and physical deterioration. He intended to make clear that, even if we ignore the dreadfulness of a sinful heart, we will not be able to ignore its witness in the debility of the body.
This is a hard pill for beautiful and robust Boomers to swallow. We have been strong. We have been pretty. Even sexy. And now we realize: We will never have it back. It is over. For good. Until death stops the process we will only get weaker, more wrinkled, more mottled.
Some of us cannot let it go. We resort to plastic surgery in the hopeless attempt to make the looks of youth last a little longer. An article in Psychology Today observes,
Cosmetic surgery is still on the increase throughout developed countries. . . The “looks industry” is alive and well.
But the fix might be more in the head than on the face. Joshua Zimm, from the University of Toronto and his colleagues published a study in 2013 showing that facial cosmetic surgery does not significantly enhance attractiveness and only reduces perceived age by 3.1 years.
The growth of cosmetic surgery is not a reflection of the increasing ugliness of people but a reflection of our increasing negative self-perception. The fact that cosmetic surgery is still increasing in popularity despite showing little positive outcome — objective measure of attractiveness or youth — points again to our desire to become perfect.
Adolescent in Our Thinking
In other words, Boomers don’t look older than previous generations. But we are less content with looking older. We crave the power and the beauty our bodies once had. We are, to a large extent, still adolescent in our thinking about our looks.
Let the Christian Boomers turn this around.
We have found the fountain of youth. His name is Jesus Christ. “He will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21). Our dying body is like a seed planted in the ground. “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:43).
Aging in Holiness and Grace
Aging Christians don’t stay beautiful and strong in this life. But they do become beautiful and strong in the resurrection. The implication is: Don’t pour your time and energy and resources into artificial aging inhibitors. Pour them into aging with holiness and grace.
“Older men, be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness” (Titus 2:2).
“Older women, be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. Teach what is good, and train the young women” (Titus 2:3–4).
Don’t be part of the tragic millions who desperately try to look and act younger than they are. It is usually pathetic to watch. A deep Arizona leathery tan does not make wrinkled skin look young.
Because of God’s grace, aging is not only a witness to the fall. It is also now a witness to the power of God’s grace. For those who trust him, God has turned deterioration into dignity.
Let these markers of aging be your goal.
1. Realism
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). The real beauty — the real praiseworthiness in life — is not our outward appearance. It is our reverence for God. This is the real beauty of life.
2. Humility
“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17). Physical beauty is not a bad thing. But it is a dangerous thing — like wealth (Matthew 19:24). Let the loss of it make us humble. For humility is a beautiful thing.
3. Legacy
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29). The point is not that only righteous people get old. The point is that when a righteous life is crowned with age, it is a beautiful thing. A thing of honor, not shame.
4. Honorable weakness
“You have been borne by me [the Lord] from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:3–4). God has carried us from the womb. We have never been self-sufficient. Now in old age we have the honor of making that crystal clear. The glory of a human is to be carried by God.
Consumed with Ministry, Not Mirrors
Evelyn Harris Brand grew up in a well-to-do English family. She had studied at the London Conservatory of Art and dressed in the finest silks. But she went with her husband to minister as missionaries in the Kolli Malai mountain range of India.
After about ten years her husband died at age 44. After a year’s recuperation in England, she returned and poured her life into the hill people until she was 95. She lived in a portable hut, eight feet square, that could be taken down and moved.
Her son, Paul, commented that “with wrinkles as deep and extensive as any I have ever seen on a human face . . . she was a beautiful woman.” But it was not the beauty of the silk and heirlooms of London high society. For the last twenty years of her life she refused to have a mirror in her house! She was consumed with ministry, not mirrors (see Future Grace, 288-289).
This is what God, by grace, does with our aging. He takes the deep creases of our bondage to corruption and turns them into the dignity of spiritual beauty.
May millions of Christian baby Boomers show the world how the gift of aging is received.

LASTing Peace, Week 45, Porn, Pride, Anorexia and Other Idols

In this conversation, I talk more about the similarity between a sexual addiction and an eating disorder and many other addictions or idols. I encourage you to pick up my book for more about this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Predatory-Lies-Anorexia-Survivors/dp/1940784174/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408147207&sr=8-2&keywords=predatory+lieshttp://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/porn-pride-and-praise
Also, this is the link I reference in the video: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/porn-pride-and-praise

Just the Appetizer…

business-graphics-1428656-mFriends, bear with me–allow me to share a bit more borrowed wisdom. This piece by Desiring God ministries speaks precisely to some of our current conversation about dealing with unknowns, finances and even idolatry. I would love to hear your thoughts!

“Because of what the Bible warns about wealth, Christians quickly become some of the most vigilant about their incomes, investments, and donations — and that is a good and right trend as a whole.

 

Perhaps a love of money has less to do with its presence or absence, and more to do with its hold in our hearts. Maybe it has less to do with whether we have more or less money, and more to do with whether our thoughts, conversations, and budgets are excessively focused on it.

 

As an illustration, the same warning can be applied to people “stewarding their bodies” by being obsessive about counting calories and running miles. How easy it is to take “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19), and make the place for worship (your body) the prize of worship (your god). The body becomes god and God is forgotten.”

These are only delicious morsels of the full article my Marshall Segal. Please, go devour the whole thing!

 

Took the Words Out of My Mouth, and Old Lessons Re-Learned

There’s something affirming about someone taking the words right out of your mouth, especially when that someone is really Someone!

In July, I wrote a post called, “Love Isn’t What You Thought It Was”.

(To be honest, God has been dredging up a lot of old lessons for the past few weeks: Walking, Loving, Good Works, Calling and Purpose to name a few.)

A few days ago, I received my daily subscription from Desiring God. The sermonette was written by John Bloom, the president of Desiring God.

His title caught my eye: Love is Not a Verb. 

Funny, I think I wrote something like that…

So, I went back through the archives of Predatory Lies and discovered that indeed, God had spoken that same truth to my own heart: “Love Isn’t What You Thought It Was“.

I won’t go so far as to say that great minds think alike, but I will revel in the truth that our God never changes. His truth is always the same, yesterday and forever.

What do you think Love is?

coming SOON, the paperback of The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor’s Story

Glorified in Consumption

On Monday, I referenced  John Piper in his article, “To Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God.” 

As a follow up, I decided it would be valuable to provide you with the whole article, for a fuller perspective on the topic.

Coming out of an eating disorder, my ability to eat, not to mention my motives for eating were completely topsy-turvy. Anxiety welled in my throat at the mere idea of certain foods. How could I ever take those thoughts and fears captive so that I could do everything, yes, even eating, for God’s glory?

Here’s John:

Some of you then asked the practical question: Well, how do you “eat and drink” to the glory of God? Say, orange juice for breakfast?

Let Me Be the Weakest Link

A common Christian misconception is that we will spend most of our lives battling our weaknesses. We bemoan our weak faith and idolize the super saints. We wish we had a bigger testimony. We wonder what we are doing wrong that God doesn’t remove our limitations, heal our illnesses or enable us to be more generous.

If only I could get a better job! Then I could send my kids to good Christian schools and support the missionaries at church. If I had gone to college I  could get a real job, then I could be so much more effective for God. Instead, every spare minute and penny goes right back into just staying afloat.

I wonder what I did wrong to deserve this cancer? I spend half my life in and out of the hospital. When I am home, I’m too weak to be effective. God, I’m so sorry, please, please make me more useful to you.

Ever had thoughts like these? Last week, I stumbled across a verse that surprised me. I think I read it wrong to begin with. Mentally, I replaced a “you” with an “I”.

“And call upon me in the day of trouble, I shall rescue you, and you will honor me.” Ps. 50:15 God tells the author that he will call upon God, God will rescue him and the author will glorify God. That’s where I found my weakness lie: God is pleased with my strength as a Christian. 

The truth, according to Psalm 50:15, is that God is honored when He rescues me. God is shown to be the great, awesome, super natural, astonishing, against-all-odds, Savior that He is. When I am beyond all hope and God activates His favor on my behalf, then His character, His greatness is on full display. But God shows more than His power in my weakness. He shows his everlasting love. When God rescues a weak, hopeless, failing, impotent mortal He shows His absolute power and His absolute goodness.

Here’s the secret: the more aware you are of God’s grace, the more humble, prayerful, thankful, patient, gracious, content and joyful you will be. And you are more aware of God’s grace when you are weak. – John Bloom

So be careful as you analyze your life. Continue asking God to search you and know you, to try you and know your thoughts. Then be willing and ready to hear Him. Confess your sins because He is faithful and just to forgive. (Ps. 139:1-2, John 1:9) But don’t confuse your weaknesses with sin. They are different.

Remember the blind man to whom Jesus restored his sight? The disciples wanted to know who had sinned so that this man had been born blind. Jesus told them that the man’s blindness was not a result of sin – it may have been a limitation, a weakness but it was not from sin. And in the man’s healing Jesus was identified as the Christ.

 

Tell the Truth Tuesday

What do you think is your biggest God-problem?

What is the most truth-resistant lie that you believe?

Recently, a friend of mine, Deanna Davis, posted a very vulnerable letter on her blog. She unveiled a tricky little lie that Satan employs to undermine active Christians. Self-effacing pride. Does that sound backward? Try this: I just need to get out of God’s way so that He can use someone really effective.

Actually, that is Satan’s ploy to convince a willing, evangelical Christian to shut up and host a pity party. John Piper says that faith doesn’t have a mirror. There comes a time when we have to quit analyzing ourselves – digging for secret sins, begging for conviction, bemoaning lost opportunities and searching our motives. In Psalm 139, David asks God to search and know his heart. He trusts God to reveal any hurtful way in him and to lead him.

I hope you enjoy Deanna’s post HERE. And then, without trying to hard to see yourself in her words, forget about yourself for a minute. Turn your eyes to the perfection of Jesus Christ and the urgency of sharing Him with the world.