Updated: Sep 11
by David Nunez
This past week, my daughter was hit with some sort of bacterial infection where she had been fighting off a fever (it’s not Covid), sniffling (it’s not Covid), and just feeling miserable. P.S. it’s not Covid. We celebrated her birthday and her new year of life, what a birthday present! Yet, we still love our little warrior with all of our being- the same way, not better- than her Father.
Bottom line, we couldn’t have been more impressed with how God has been demonstrating healing through our daughter. It’s truly captivating. Our God has truly given us bodies that heal. Not only in illness, but through all facets of our lives- we have witnessed God do some miraculous things with our bodies, as well as in others! The good news that must be shared is this, regardless of where our bodies might be- fit, unfit, missing pieces, or otherwise- GOD LOVES YOUR BODY! Regardless of how we feel.
As a recap, we are essentially a spirit- and as a believer, the Holy Spirit is fused and is one with our human spirit, a beautiful union which cannot be separated. Think,” Once saved, always saved. (John 10:28-29) Once Holy, always Holy. (1 Pet. 1:15,16) Once Righteous, always righteous. (2 Cor. 5:21)” We have a soul, and our soul is our personality. This is the place where we can believe or think freely (thinker), we can feel freely (feeler), and where we can choose freely (chooser). In short- our mind, will, and emotions.
The majestic thing about us all is our mind, will, and emotions work harmoniously within our soul. Please remember- your soul and your spirit are not the same thing! [see Hebrews 4:12] Even more so, when a soul is aligned with a spirit that is alive in Christ- rivers of living water will flow from our spirit through the soul. [see John 7:38] All of which is housed in a temporary dwelling here on earth- the body, which serves such a unique purpose to the perfect design of man. It is an intricate, delicate, and heavenly instrument that God gave us- an instrument properly tuned to one song- righteousness. All the while our human spirit and soul are conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), even still we discover that we AND our bodies are called to be holy and acceptable. [see Romans 12:1] Let’s dive in!
Growing up, I was always invited (voluntold) to help people pack up and move from home to home- mainly I would help my late grandma re-structure her entire home in an hour, before my papa would come home for lunch. I had always known that I had a large build, by my freshman year of high school I was 6 foot, 185 lbs with shoulders as wide as a door frame. People were scared of me because of my size, and people also received me because I was like a big ‘teddy bear’. The first half of that last sentence empowered me, but the second one- it would play to a lie that I have finally put to rest this Summer.
Being called a teddy bear was possibly one of the best (and worst) compliment you could get. It mainly depended on who was saying it. If it came from a dude- it meant I was over weight and didn’t fend for myself well in the aggression category, as if I was too nice. If it came from a girl though- I pictured bringing warmth to long hugs, the guy she’d always want around her arm- yotta, yotta, yotta. Long story short, I had spent a lot of my time wrapping my identity around my body, and what I could give people. However, the lie was not with the label that came from a girl- it gave me a reason to go to school! No, the lie came from the statement from guys- to be insecure about my weight and body shape, and that being a tenderhearted person is considered weak.
Body image, in my opinion, is one of the leading causes for a lack of confidence. Think about it, have you ever happened along a Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health Magazine, or Victoria Secret advertisement and looked right back at your body and cringed? Then shortly after, we indulge in a large pizza, ice cream, and Pepsi- I know because this was my life for two years. What ended up happening was I would then allow the deceiver to then shame me for indulging myself. It was a horrific cycle, even to the point where I wouldn’t necessarily blame God- I ended up blaming my wife. “If you would just make the decision to change how you eat, maybe I would change mine also!”
For those two years, I would steer away from photos of my whole body, avoid mirrors, and avoid the scale. I hadn’t made the choice to better my health, and quite frankly, It was comfortable. Misery loves company, and the deceiver loves when He can get a child of God to believe his lies. It would put our honeymoon phase and intimacy on hold, even to the point where we wouldn’t want to touch each other- which led to filling the void and ordering a pizza to numb the pain. Here is what it looked like.
Our spirits were firm and secure- unshakeable joy even in the midst of depression. Joy is a characteristic (not an emotion) of the Holy Spirit, because He is unchanging- so is our joy. Our spirits were alive and active, and Christ is the author and foundation of our lives as well as our marriage. The problem is, we were too indulgent to the lie to actually see that Jesus was reminding us that His life is lived through us- that there was no need to find sufficiency in the world through food (fill in food with your crutch). He is our sufficiency, not only that, but He overflows our cup- to the point where He has already provided what we have not yet tasted or seen with our own eyes. [see 1 Corinthians 2:9] Because we were believing in the lie, what ends up being affected? Not our spirit- where do we find that we can believe or think about certain things? Our soul.
Let me tell you, we would tell you we were influenced greatly by the lie of self-sufficiency and insecurity. It would play into flesh tactics that reared their ugly heads the moment one of us felt insecure about our bodies. That was a constant feeling. We would believe that we were not enough for one another- quite frankly, even now we understand we are not enough for each other, and that is a good thing! We can never be, Christ is enough for us both- this is important; I am not downplaying our wonderful marriage I share with my wife at all. However, we also understand that we are married to Christ first. He makes us enough individually and in union with one another, and we believe that.
The way we felt individually was of course, insecure and self-sufficient. Therefore, it caused us to choose to walk according to the flesh- instead of walking by the Spirit. (Rom. 8:4, Gal. 5:16,17) Flesh is a mindset, a my way or the high way kind of thinking, a mindset that ran our lives before we came to Christ. It isn’t part of who we are- therefore, we do not and cannot take ownership of such mindset- because in all reality, Satan uses the flesh and corrupt lies in the hopes to control us.
“But that is not the way you learned Christ!… put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds… put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:20-24
How did it play out in our bodies. Our bodies are how we relate to the world around us. Therefore, we live off of our 5 senses. This is how we all operate right? It played a big role in how we went about life. Our bodies portrayed what we were willing to live our lives out of. Because we chose to live according to the flesh a lot of the time during this season of life- it looked like hypertension, it looked like being overweight, it looked like headaches and body pains, and it looked like fits of rage. Please hear me, I am not shaming being overweight- what I am doing is displaying how God had given the revelation that He loves us because of our body, because of our soul, and because of our spirit.
This summer, pools opened! Which fired my daughter up! She’s my little guppy. She swims as if she lives in the water. One of the major hinderances of me enjoying the pool was, as many other pools suggest, to take my shirt off. Because my daughter is now older, and is more able to pick up on certain social cues- I was beginning to worry that I would be the dad who would sit on dry land- fully clothed- not enjoying my time with my little one. I decided on our first day, that I wasn’t going to allow this insecurity rule my time with the ladies I love most in the world. My daughter doesn’t love me based on whether or not I have a six pick- she loves me because I am her daddy. In the same way, my Daddy doesn’t love me based off of how many body parts I still have, how many veins pop out of my arms, how many properly functioning organs I have, how much I have tampered with His perfect design. No. He loves me simply because He made me!
He loves all of us, regardless of how we feel. Spirit, Soul, and Body He cherishes us! “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26) Our likeness also means all shapes and sizes, missing body parts or not, ailments or not, a working body or not- in whatever condition, Christ desires to make us His treasured home. A temple where He dwells in, and displays His love and power to all the world. We are His hands and His feet, and since when has earthly limitations limited the One who created it? “But the word of God is not bound…” (2 Tim. 2:9) and neither are you- mighty warrior!