High Maintenance Christianity: Is Your Soul Supple Too?
- Friday, January 09, 2004
When I was a young girl, a woman with beautiful skin told me that if I would begin moisturizing at my present age, my skin would remain subtle and smooth for years to come. “Don’t wait until the wrinkles begin or your skin begins to stretch and itch from dryness,” she said. “Then it’s too late. Start now.”
Thus began my love affair with moisturizing. Ironically, years later when I shared with my Filipino neighbor that I was expecting a child, she shared with me a little secret she’d brought to America from her mother and her mother’s mother. “Keep baby oil on your stomach and hips,” she advised, “and you won’t have stretch marks.” I did and I don’t. Not a one.
Then, as a woman in my early 30s, I sat in a beauty salon next to an exquisite older woman. As her beautician styled her hair, she said, “It’s remarkable to me that you are the age you are. Your skin doesn’t even have the texture of a woman in her 80s.” I looked over from my chair. The hairdresser was correct. Her skin was lovely. “What’s your secret?” I asked.
“As soon as I’m out of the bath or shower,” she said, “I pat dry—never rub—and then I immediately apply moisturizer. The wetness of my skin will soak in the lotion, thus allowing it to work more effectively.”
That night, immediately following my shower and a patting dry of my skin, I began to apply moisturizer to moist skin. I’ve been repeating this ever since.
Editor’s Side Note: Author Susan Wales states, “My favorite body moisturizer is Lady Primrose, Nectar. The lotion, the bath oil and especially the powder! It's in a silver shaker and I powder our bed, which is divine when you slide under the sheets. They package all their products in beautiful silver and crystal packaging. And it's not that expensive. The bath oil is $17.50 and lasts a long time and the lotion is about $34 in the fancy container but the refills are less. It can be purchased at upscale drug stores, department stores and small shops. It's got the most wonderful fragrance. The company was founded by one of the Hunt women in Texas. She used a century old recipe for the products. It's luxurious.”
The Body Beautiful/Physical
It’s not uncommon to hear women say they use moisturizer on their face and sometimes on their neck, but often they stop there. It is just as common to hear men say they don’t use any moisturizer at all. Everyone thinks to use hand lotion, but how many stop to apply foot lotion? Body lotion for your legs, arms and torso is just as important as applying it to that part of your body that could launch a thousand ships.
When our foremothers wanted to moisturize their skin they used a variety of homemade lotions. Today, we are (I suppose) blessed in that we can drive to the nearest drug store or shopping mall and walk out with any number of moisturizing lotions. Scented or unscented. Light or heavy. With tiny little moisture beads or without. You name it, these stores have it. If you’ve visited stores like Bath & Body Works you know that not only do lotions come in a number of scents, you can match them with candles and soaps, too!
Before you run in and just grab up the first moisturizer than smells good, it’s important that you know your skin type. If your skin tends to break out, you’ll want to stick to an oil-free moisturizer. Whether oily or dry, however, look for a product with an SPF of at least 15 and ingredients such as petrolatum (seals in your skin’s natural moisture) and alpha-hydroxy acid (which helps reduce the wrinkle process).
Lotions or not, one of the absolute BEST things you can do for your skin’s moisture is to drink plenty of water every day.
The Body Beautiful/Spiritual
The point of body lotions is to keep your skin soft, toned and supple. Like our human body, our spiritual bodies should be kept the same. Looking and feeling good spiritually doesn’t come about by a one-time-only application. The younger you start taking care of yourself spiritually the better off you’ll be later in life. This doesn’t mean that if you come to the Lord at an older age you’re doomed. But, let’s face it; you’re more apt to be “scarred.”
“When I grow up,” a young girl said to her grandmother, “I want to be a sweet old lady.”
“How do you think you should go about accomplishing that?” the grandmother asked.
The little girl shook her head. “I’m not really sure, but you’re a sweet old lady. How did you get to be that way?”
Grandmother smiled knowingly. “Sweet old ladies,” she instructed, “come from sweet young ladies.”
It’s true. The things we learn spiritually as children often keep us spiritually healthier as we grow older. Solomon wrote, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them.” (Ecc. 12:1)
How can we—any of us—keep our spiritual bodies soft, toned, and pliable? By taking on the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 reads: We have the mind of Christ. How do we, with all our sinfulness and worldly clutter, manage to take on the “mind of Christ?”
Have you ever noticed that the more time you spend with someone, the more like them you become? I do. I’m very quick to “take on” mannerisms, phrases, and even accents. Likewise, the more time we spend with the Lord, the more like Him we become. By reading the Word and praying “continuously” we literally and liberally apply Him to ourselves. Because He is the Living Water, our spiritual skin is able to “drink Him in.” He, in turn, can go deep into that part of us that may have gotten wrinkled or calloused.
Finally, be sure that the “spiritual lotion” you are using is appropriate for you. By this I mean that you should find fellowship within a solid, Bible-based church where you can learn even more still about the deep things of God. Not every church community if for every body. Some like choirs and others like praise and worship teams. Some like instruments while others say, “Piano only.” Some like pastors in robes and others prefer pastors in Birkenstocks. But always…ALWAYS…make certain your church teaches Biblical truths and is a place where you can grow spiritually.
Questions for Personal or Group Study
1. What kind of body lotion do you use? Is it truly appropriate for your skin?
2. When did you begin using body lotions and moisturizers? If you had started younger (or later) in life, do you think it would have made a difference?
3. When did you come to know Christ? Were you a “sweet young lady” or did you come to know Him later in life? If so, how might getting to know Him earlier in life have changed your life?
4. How spiritually supple are you?
5. What does it mean to you to “take on the mind of Christ?” Do you think you have? If not, what would it take for you to do so?
6. What kind of church do you attend (I’m not asking denomination)? Do you feel you are being spiritually “moisturized” there? If not, why not?
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson's work includes Intimate Moments with God and Intimate Encounters with God (Cook). She is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and Shadow of Light. (Barbour Fiction) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com
Other Articles in this Series:
High Maintenance Christianity: Don a Protective Shield
High Maintenance Christianity: Being "Washed Clean"
High Maintenance Christianity
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