The Hostess with the Mostest
By: Lindsay Tedder
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I am an incredible hostess. Seriously. THE BEST.
I come by these talents naturally. I come from a long line of expert hostesses. My mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother have been eloquently hosting dinner parties and holiday parties for as long as I could remember putting on a fancy dress and twirling around. I could have aced an etiquette test at age 4, I’m almost certain.
My hostess skills truly peaked during a period of time where my bestie and I were hosting biennial “Black & White” parties. These parties went on for over a decade and were bigger and better every year. My mom had an awesome backyard with an in-ground pool and beautiful landscaping. We decked out the space with draping black and white fabric, twinkling lights, sparkling candles, enchanting flowers, remarkable ice sculptures, shimmering mirrors, crystal stemware, glittering bottles of fancy champagne, and a DJ to really set the mood. Yes…we went all out. It took us days to set up for the event and days to tear it down and it was the best party of the year, every year. It was the best party not only because of the setting and the hard work we put into the decor and atmosphere but because my bestie and I are incredible hostesses. We catered to our guests, ensuring they had food and drinks. We ensured the DJ was keeping the mood where it needed to be. We mingled with everyone and everyone felt welcomed. That is why it was such a success.
As I grew up in the long line of impeccable hostesses, I frequently heard “Your body is a temple.” I knew what it meant but it wasn’t practical to me, especially when I was donning fancy clothes and throwing back a little too much bubbly. A temple wasn’t something that I had much of a frame of reference around. We went to a little church, not a fancy temple. When I heard “your body is a temple”, the words kind of just floated in the space between my ears for a brief second before they departed as rapidly as they had entered.
In church recently, our pastor referenced the verse above and used the word “host” instead of temple. Our bodies “host” the Holy Spirit. My gut reaction was “oh, well lucky for the Holy Spirit; I am the hostess with the mostest.” Yes, that was truly my first reaction. But once I really thought about it, I was wrecked. If my body hosts the Holy Spirit, then I am responsible for living in such a way that honors His presence in my physical body. All 300 plus pounds of me began to internally tremble. There is no way what I am doing to my body is what God wants me to be doing.
Weight has always been my struggle. After being sexually abused at the age of 8, I began packing on the pounds, suffering at the hands of food addiction. Before my son arrived, I had done the work, despite my addiction, and lost 92 pounds. Yes! Praise the Lord. After my son entered our lives, the weight began to creep back up. “Life is crazy. Adoptions are hard. New moms always gain a little weight.” are the lies I would regularly tell myself. I even disguised these lies as “grace”. While there is always underserving grace flowing from our Father to us, I wasn’t taking accountability for my actions at all. I let all 92 pounds regain their position on my stomach, hips, thighs, butt, and chin. I was ashamed but at the same time, I knew that God didn’t love me more when I was 92 pounds lighter. He loves me the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It was me who was having a challenge loving myself.
When my pastor compared being the “temple” to being a “host” to the Holy Spirit, I knew exactly what I needed to do. Confess my sin and forgive myself first; which was horrendously difficult. After I did that, only then could I listen to what the Word says and see my body as a host to the Holy Spirit and live that way. I still weigh more than I should but I am learning to love every part of myself and stop lying to myself, disguising it as grace. I recently read that “if you aren’t changing it, you’re choosing it.” and boy, did that hit me hard. I do not want to choose to be morbidly obese. I do not want to choose to continue living in voluntary sin, while trying to host the Holy Spirit. I want to be able to serve in the capacity to which I have been called.
How are you hosting the Holy Spirit? What do you need to change? Confess with your mouth, accept His grace, and begin actively choosing the lifestyle you should be living.
Lindsay Tedder is a believer, wife, mom, bestie and writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her bearded, bourbon-loving husband and her too-cool-for-school toddler. Raised by a hardworking single mom, she overcame such trauma as sexual abuse-induced food addiction, the debilitating health issues associated with endometriosis, a decade of infertility, and recurring life themes of worthlessness. Despite it all, Lindsay is a ray of light, always sharing His love wherever she goes.
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