Her frail hand held mine as memories swept over me. Hands that had once caressed my fevered brow, stitched beautiful patterns across yards of fabric, kneaded countless loaves of bread, knit clothing articles to keep her family warm, and held my father’s hands in prayer and love. I saw how my hands reflected this woman who carried me into this world.
A physical reflection is not a perfect match
Though she barely spoke now, I remembered when people confused me for Mom on a phone call. I scanned pictures of her when she was younger and noted the similarities in our features. Not identical, but definitely related.
Just as I physically resemble my mother, the reflection is not the actual person when you look in a mirror. The mirror shows your outward appearance, not your inner spirit and being. You might start to see yourself through another’s eyes throughout the day. But still, that reflection may or may not reveal your true essence.
Your identity, imago Dei, comes from God
While my hands, face, build, and voice may bear a striking resemblance to Mom, God says he created me in his image. Imago Dei.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God created us to reflect his characteristics, way of life, relationship, and innate value.
We are not God, but we bear his image.
Let’s not misrepresent what the Bible teaches. Though we bear his image, we cannot, as humans, fully comprehend the infinite eternalness of God. We struggle with the mystery of God. Just Google imago Dei and read the many articles and interpretations of these biblical passages.
I’m not a theologian. But what I love about imago Dei is that God created us unique from the rest of his creation. Reread the Genesis creation story. Not until we get to the creation of Adam and Eve do we see God create anything in his image.
How does understanding imago Dei impact your life and relationships?
1. You’re valuable.
In Deuteronomy 14, Moses tells the people of Israel that they’ve been set apart as holy to God. Not because of something they did, but because God chose them out of all the people on the earth to be his treasure. Jesus told us that he came to save the entire world, including you and me. Though you may not be Jewish by blood, you become God’s daughter by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. A daughter of the King of the Universe. You matter to God. Jesus died for your sins and returned you to your eternal relationship with God. How do you walk out your heritage following Jesus’ way?
2. You’re unique.
Look at the world around you. How many things can you identify? God is a creative genius. He gave you unique talents, abilities, reflections of his character, and physical characteristics when he formed you. Psalm 139:13-16 says you are wonderfully complex. You are God’s masterpiece with a particular part in his redemption plan. When you understand your uniqueness and use it for God’s glory, the rest of us benefit. We need you, your story, and your specialness. Satan wants you to cower and hide because you don’t look like someone else, might not speak as well as another, or don’t have the same fashion sense as that woman you envy. But God says you are perfectly created to showcase him. How will you allow your uniqueness to draw others to Jesus?
3. You’re worthy.
The enemy of our souls delights in making us feel inferior. If he can convince us that our physical appearance falls short somehow, we deny what God says about us. Imago Dei doesn’t refer to our body build, shape, and look. Instead, God looks at your heart, the essence of who you are. We show the world who God is and the power of his redemption when we submit to one another, serve each other, and live united in Christ. What one thing will you choose today to grasp your worth?
As women, we struggle to understand our true imago Dei.
If you’ve been abused or assaulted, it takes work to overcome the lies thrust upon you by others. Their violent acts, words, and mistreatment reinforced the enemy’s lies concerning your value, uniqueness, and worthiness. Please reread these scripture passages, and let them soak into your mind and heart.
The first Tuesday in April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s Day of Action. Many professionals see the tie between porn and sexual violence. As a coach to women whose husbands view porn or struggle with porn addiction, I recognize how porn devalues humans.
Though porn has become more normalized in our society, this isn’t God’s way.
God created you and me in his image.
We have intrinsic value because of God’s likeness hard-wired in us.
I often wonder why God allowed me to walk through the pain of my husband’s porn addiction, my depression, and my spiritual crisis. Yet each time I hear your stories, I know that God will do for you what he did for me. He desires you to see yourself as he sees you—his amazing daughter.
Not sure how to overcome the lies and discover your value, uniqueness, and worth? Reach out. I promise to hear your story, encourage you from God’s Bible, and help you find out your healing path. Let’s talk.