Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Treating your body and your Maker with respect

In one day, your heart beats 100,000 times.

If you could stretch out all of a human’s blood vessels, they would be about 60,000 miles long. That’s long enough to go around the world—twice!

Your kidneys filter over 400 gallons of blood each day. Every hour, one billion cells in your body must be replaced; they die off, and new ones are born. The average human scalp has 100,000 hairs. There are approximately 9,000 taste buds on the tongue. Humans are born with 300 bones in their body, but when a person reaches adulthood, they only have 206 bones. This occurs because many of the bones join together to make single bones, like the bones of the skull. The strongest bone in your body is the femur (thigh bone), which is actually hollow—yet it’s stronger than concrete.

In one square inch of skin, there are four yards of nerve fibers, 1,300 nerve cells, 100 sweat glands, three million cells, and three yards of blood vessels. In one square inch!

Pretty amazing, right? Herbert W. Armstrong thought so. He wrote in The Incredible Human Potential, “The most perfect mechanism ever designed and made is the marvelous mind and body that is man.”

This truth leads us to the most inspiring fact of all: we were created in God’s “image” (Genesis 1:26)—made to look like Him visually—but with the potential to become like Him in spiritual character as well. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Teens, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That can mean distinguished or set apart. You are different from anything else that God has ever created.

Sacred Responsibility

How easy is it to take this physical life for granted? The moment we become sick or get injured, we can appreciate what miracles our bodies really are.

How responsible are you with your body? How seriously do you take this opportunity? After all, you only get one physical body. Make it count! Don’t abuse it. Respect it.

God didn’t give us our bodies to abuse them, yet teens are more than ever dismantling this great gift with things like too much sugar and fatty foods, smoking, abusing alcohol, lack of exercise, addiction to technology, and pre-marital sex and the agonizing stds that often result. Teens, you should be different from the youth in the world and challenge yourself to keep your body clean and healthy for God.

“God has given each of us a marvelous human body—to use as He has directed in His Instruction Book. The possession of such a body imposes on each individual a sacred responsibility! It is something you may use to God’s honor and glory—and to your own great happiness; OR you may misuse and abuse it to dishonor the Creator, and bring degradation, shame and curses on yourself (Missing Dimension in Sex).”

Flee Fornication

One of the biggest ways that young people today don’t use their bodies the way that God intended is through premarital sex. The Bible forbids fornication in no uncertain terms; Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Barnes’ Notes says about this verse: “Man should escape from it; he should not stay to reason about it; to debate the matter; or even to contend with his propensities [tendencies], and to try the strength of his virtue.” Don’t think, “I’m strong enough to handle this.” Remember the example of Joseph; when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he ran!

Barnes’ continues: “There are some sins which a man can resist; some about which he can reason without danger of pollution. But this is a sin where a man is safe only when he flies; free from pollution only when he refuses to entertain a thought of it; secure when he seeks a victory by flight, and a conquest by retreat. Let a man turn away from it without reflection on it and he is safe. Let him think, and reason, and he may be ruined.”

Don’t think you are stronger than the devil! Satan knows how to get around your defenses. If you are struggling, don’t try to pretend that nothing is going on. Talk to your parents about it. Talk to the ministry. And remember, your body is for God! (Verse 13). It should be used for His purpose.

God did not create your body for fornication. He created you to enjoy the richness of marriage and family—in the right time and in the right way. He created you to ultimately become a God!

Your Temple

Read verse 19: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy [Spirit] which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Look at that—you are not your own. It’s not really your decision! Verse 20 says, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Glorify means to honor or exalt. You can honor God by the way you use and treat your body—or, conversely, you can dishonor Him.

In The Missing Dimension in Sex, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in regard to these verses: “Look at that carefully! The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The body does not belong to the individual—we are not our own—Christ bought and paid for us! Therefore glorify God—HOW? It does not say with ‘your mind’—but ‘in your body.’

“All through this passage, even from the preceding chapter, the theme has been sex. These two chapters forbid and condemn the misuse of sex …. But god established marriage. Marriage is honorable—marriage has God’s blessing—it is God who joins the husband and wife in a God-plane relationship. …

“This glorifies God—because God ordained it—because God actually joined the husband and wife. You thus glorify God in your body by keeping it pure from fornication, adultery or other wrong use, and also by this God-ordained right and sacred use of sex in marriage.”

The “You Won’t Die” Lie

Young ladies, remember what Satan told mother Eve—“Go on, eat the forbidden fruit. You won’t die.” He tells you the same thing. “Go ahead, have a boyfriend, hold hands, kiss, and do whatever else you want to do. Nothing bad is going to happen!” But where did Eve end up? She was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Childbirth became a painful experience. Her firstborn son killed her second-born son—and for the rest of her life, she had to watch the vast majority of her descendants live in misery.

It doesn’t matter how nice, good-looking or charming a young man might be. If he is tempting you to sin, Satan is using him to get to you! This is the truth!

Young men, read Proverbs 31:3. Solomon’s mother taught him, “Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.” Premature teenage relationships will distract you from the important things in life and burden your thinking. This is one of the biggest ways that Satan lures young people away from God, His Church and your family. Remember, he is walking around and seeking to devour you. He knows our weaknesses.

You Are Still “Cooking”

As a teenager, you also need more time to develop and mature. You’re only about halfway there! As 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” When you do things that you are not ready for, you damage your character, scar your emotions, and hurt others around you. Mr. Armstrong wrote, “It cheapens, tarnishes, corrodes the entire, wonderful experience God intended as a repeated lifelong experience in marriage! And it detracts from, and robs the participants of the full happiness they might have had in a future marriage!”

Have you ever cooked a frozen pizza? On the back of the box, it probably says to cook it in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or so. Would you want to eat it if it were only cooked halfway, for seven minutes? Of course not! Why not? Because it’s not ready yet—it needs more time. You have to wait until it is ready. As a teen, you need more time to “cook”.

God is not the author of confusion (verse 33). The second half of that verse shows that God is actually the author of peace! He is offering you peace in your life and protection from the world. You need to be thinking seriously about your future! Do you want a happy marriage, blessed with children? What type of family life do you want? As young people, you are approaching a crossroads in your life. Which way will you go?

The Preparatory Years

Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The years between ages 16 and 25 are the vitally important years of adult preparation for life’s work. These are the crucial years of PREPARATION. During these years the mind is capable of acquiring faster than at any other stage of life the advanced knowledge needed before beginning one’s adult career—whether it be business, profession, occupation or marriage.” You are either approaching or actually in these all-important preparatory years right now. Develop goals for your life, things to strive for that will keep your life healthy and clean. Be busy, yet balanced.

Remember this quote, from the Worldwide Church of God booklet Modern Dating: “Fun is fun. And what is fun? Fun is when it’s still fun tomorrow—and next week—and next year. Fun is still fun to tell your children about. All about.

“But if it isn’t fun tomorrow; or next year; or to tell your children about—then it’s not ‘fun.’ It’s something else entirely.”

As a youth who was made in the likeness and image of God, the instructions for your development were made very clear in the Bible. Your body was made to glorify God—to do good works for Him—to show the world by your example how to live and please God.

As you live your life, be thankful for the marvelous mechanism that God has gifted you with, and treat it with the respect that it deserves—and that God expects.