“You complete me.” is a famous quote from a 1996 Tom Cruz movie. In the movie, the girl drops everything for the guy, while he doesn’t appreciate or treat her with respect until speaking these words. Suddenly, he thinks she is what is missing in his life. The movie Cinderella portrays the prince experiencing love at first sight after magic has given Cinderella outward beauty. Ultimately the magic and a man save her from her plight. Princess Elsa just feels like something is missing, until she meets the magic spirits in the woods. In the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” The main character, a very successful journalist who is climbing the corporate ladder with any silly antic necessary, comes walking down the stairs beautifully clad in a stunning yellow dress ready to attend the Gala. “The guy”, a very successful sports reporter who is climbing the corporate ladder at any expense, is waiting at the bottom his face shining with admiration and what the viewers perceive as love. In “The Run Away Bride”, the main character changes her appearance, interests and hobbies over and over to match what each boyfriend would like and want. This is her quest for true love. Each time the boy “falls in love” with her, but at the last minute she realizes…there is still something missing. She still isn’t complete. So, she runs away, and on to her next quest for fulfillment. Country music lyrics often describe outwardly beautiful women dressed in skimpy clothes…and cowboy boots. Suggesting, this is every man’s desire, and this is what you need as a women to “catch” the guy. As a result of being fed a steady diet of “something is missing” ,”you need a man” , and you need to look and dress a certain way to actually catch the man…. Women walk around feeling inadequate and incomplete searching for whatever it is in their lives that will fill the void. They long to hear the words ” you complete me” and feel complete through love.
I recently spoke with another young lady in recovery from an eating disorder. She also has a heart to help women who have eating disorders. She had just been told a story of a young lady who had grown up in Africa. This young lady is now struggling with anorexia. I have a good friend who grew up in a European country. She explained to me that there are huge pressures on women to look a certain way in order to gain approval of men. These pressures cause many ladies to become anorexic or have serious food restrictive eating disorders. Last week, a homeschool co-op teacher reached out to Us-Ward for support for a teen-aged girl she had in her class who is deep in the throngs of Anorexia. Eating disorders are on the rise in America, Europe, as well as many Asian countries. Ladies are growing up with a strong perception that in order to be accepted by men and others they need to have a certain body type. There is a quest to be desired/accepted. There is a strong belief that in order to feel personal fulfillment and have completeness through a relationship, there must be physical perfection. Women were created with a strong desire for love, affection, and adoration. We have been taught through movies, books, magazines, music, and (now more than ever) media that our link to achieve those desires are outward beauty.
The Apostle Paul wrote a warning to the people of long ago who were part of the church in Colosse. He told them to stay away from the ideals and ways of their society. This verse in Colossians allows us to see how Biblical truth is very applicable today.
Colossians 2:8 says ” Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ”.
Paul warns to stay clear of philosophies. Ladies, in addition to movies and music, there is an abundance of written ” help” out there with the goal of imparting a knowledge about what it is you need to do so that you can find and have what you want. There are countless fitness and health blogs, and books intending to show you how you can maintain the ideal body. There are blogs and youtube channels on how to follow your heart and find your purpose. The common theme is that you are “to do” and you will achieve. Most often these helps leave ladies feeling even more inadequate unable to follow the scripted plan. The Bible says these are the traditions of men. Most mainstream movies, books, and music are traditions of men. This Bible verse also says to beware of vain deceit. The word vain means no fulfillment. We can see the truth from God’s Word that there is literally no fulfillment in obsessing over one’s appearance. If you have ever struggled or currently are fighting with an eating disorder or body image… You know that to be the truth. And deceit, well that means trickery, fraud, misrepresenting the truth. Could it be that by following the ways of society, or as Paul wrote it ” the rudiments of the world” that you have been deceived? Perhaps the places where we are looking for what we truly need in this life to feel complete (to be complete) are in fact leading to an increased feeling of emptiness!! Paul tells us that the ways of this world will turn us away from Christ. Could we then turn away from the world, turn toward Christ, and actually find the fulfillment we are desperately seeking?
Have you received Christ?
Colossians 2:10 ” And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
The world tells you that you need beauty and love to be complete. The Bible says that you only need Jesus Christ. If you are overwhelmed with the addictions of an eating disorder. Jesus is more powerful. If you constantly feel like something is missing. Jesus can complete you. When you know Jesus Christ, you will not need to seek the things of the world(outward perfection, love in a relationship, success) to help you find purpose and feel complete, because His love and acceptance will fulfill you and sustain you. This is not bipity-bopity-boo magic. It is the miracle of God’s grace in your life.
The second half of this verse in Colossians cannot be overlooked . The almighty God has more power than anything we face. Eating disorders can grow and fester in our minds to become more than obsession over thinness, body image, or food. They often take on the monstrous characteristics of addictions. Those who suffer from any form of eating disorder or body image issues can relate when I say you become powerless to them. Your mind and emotions often times feel as if they have been taken over by the disorder. Truth and reality are elusive. What an amazing truth to claim then… that God is head over all principalities(meaning domains) and powers. Finding that you are whole and complete in Christ when you decide to give your life to Him, and knowing the truth that He is more powerful than any addiction, fear or disorder is liberating.
For someone who very much believed I was incomplete, lacking and inadequate in most things. For someone who believed the movies’ philosophy of finding a man to love me would complete me. For someone who believed that perhaps I was not good enough, beautiful, or thin enough to find love. Knowing, that when I said, ” Jesus I need You and Your love. I want to accept Your love. I want You to be my Savior.” …I became complete and whole, accepted and loved. My Savior Jesus Christ came into my heart. He also began to renew my mind; having power to overcome the very thing that I was powerless to control…. my eating disorder. He took that addictive monster from me. I was someone deceived, who’s truths and realities surrounding eating/food obsessions, bulimia, and poor body image were distorted . I now am someone who found His Word to be true and His love and power to be real. I am complete in Him!!!
Beware!!!, His Word says, of men’s ideals, deceptions and the ways of this world. You may find it extreme, but I no longer watch chick-flicks or read romance novels. I don’t often spend time on Disney princess movies. Country music’s lyrics are not played in my house or vehicle. I heed to Paul’s “Beware”, take God’s Word to heart, and keep these things from my eyes, ears and mind. I would rather seek after Christ. Besides, those worldly ideals only teach that I am incomplete unless I have what they are promoting. BUT, I know that I am complete in Christ, sustained by Christ’s love, and have His power to walk in daily.
Turn away from the ideas of fairy-tales and chick-flicks, and turn towards the love and power of Christ Jesus!!
A video lesson link: https://www.facebook.com/400795686645123/videos/649447389118258
Where do Eating disorders originate?…A tool to help understand the nature of eating disorders and why they are prevalent. Plus, a personal story from a friend of Us-Ward who is now in recovery from anorexia.
Please contact First Baptist Church Eaton (fbceaton.com) or Us-Ward.com for more information about how to receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior.