God has created an altogether wonderful and utterly fascinating world. We get to enjoy majestic mountains and curvaceous slopes, hidden ravines and luscious gardens with the choicest of fruit. What’s more, we get to delight in the crown of creation through the beauty of the human form, our bodies, souls, and spirits.
Through creation the invisible qualities of God, his eternal power and divine nature, are revealed, with humans having the unique role of explicitly bearing the Divine image.
However, instead of remembering that creation reflects and points us back to God, we are often tempted to worship creation itself, setting it up as an idol. This is done, for example, when we lust after and objectify the human form.
God in his wisdom and gracious generosity created us with exquisite bodies, with sensual lips and smiling eyes, rippling muscles and sexy curves. Blessed is the Lord our God who has such things in his world! While these things are for our enjoyment, they are still intended to be more of an icon, giving us a glimpse of the glorious nature of our God. We make the human form an idol when we worship it and forget the God who created it.
Making a distinction between an idol and an icon may help us to enjoy and celebrate human beauty appropriately.
- Idol – any person or thing that is worshiped as a god and is considered the source of Life.
- Icon – a graphic symbol used to represent another object or an idea that cannot be shown.
In short, an idol exchanges the true God with things that are created, while icons have the capacity to draw us into the mystery of God’s divine nature through the human form. Icons illuminate the glory of God without seeking to replace it.
We are in a better position to appreciate human beauty when we remember it reflects the beauty of God. As such, we are free to notice and enjoy the sexiness in each other while allowing it to point us back to the Creator and contemplate on his nature.
God has created a beautiful world that includes the beauty of the human form. This beauty is not intended to replace God but to reveal him more fully.
Has the human form become an idol for you, or is it an icon making known the glory of our God?
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. –Romans 1:25