The Washington Post, a secular publication, recently ran a Christian article that was gaining a large reach in Christian circles.
The article, titled “Fat. Single. Christian.,” was written by Joy Beth Smith, the editor of Boundless, a publication of Focus on the Family.
The Washington Post published an extended version of the original article in which Smith discusses the challenges of being overweight and single in the church.
The post struck a chord with many in the Christian community, and apparently without as well. Smith discusses the hurdles faced by those who are seeking genuine relationships that go beyond surface level attraction.
“Whether we admit it or not, physical attraction plays a large role in paving the way for love,” she writes, noting that even in the church--a place that ought to place the least emphasis on outward appearance and the most emphasis on spiritual maturity and depth of character --physical appearance can trump all else in a potential relationship.
Smith also tackles the well-meaning, but unhelpful advice many tend to give to those who are in the Body of Christ and are looking for a spouse, but are overweight.
These comments do nothing to address the issue that many Christian men will not consider a woman as a potential partner if she is overweight, no matter what her other credentials may be.
Smith writes that in many ways, she would make a wonderful wife, and, she says, “None of these things would be diminished because of my size, yet none of them seem to matter because of my size.”
The popularity of Smith’s article hints that the church needs to address this issue on a deeper level.
“While I can’t fault a man for not being attracted to me, I can find fault in a church that seeks to blame me for his lack of attraction.”
Body issues are tough to deal with, says Smith, especially paired with seeking a Christian partner. While there is no easy solution to this issue, just as there is no easy solution for weight loss, Smith says she finds peace in “remembering that God sees the heart. God cares so much more about my prayer life than my calorie intake. He expects me to love my neighbors, of all shapes and sizes, and He welcomes me at the foot of the cross where there’s enough room for all, even those of us with sizable hips.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 28, 2016