Few things can get a conversation going in a church group like modesty and swimsuits.
But Dove-Award winner Natalie Grant took matters into her own hands when First for Women magazine asked her to pose in a swimsuit on the cover.
"I learned it would be a summer issue and I was asked to be in a bathing suit," Grant writes on Facebook. "My first reaction was 'NO! No no no no no no!' But then honestly, I prayed about it."
And with that prayer came peace, provided the magazine stick to three guidelines:
1. Grant would only appear in a one-piece.
2. The suit must be modest.
3. The photo must be the "real" her, as in: "Can't be a crazy amount of photoshop used to make me look way younger or thinner than I am."
For Grant, the cover was an opportunity to share how self-care isn't just about losing weight, but about being being healthy physically and spiritually. Grant wanted to set an example for young women to understand that loving their bodies isn't selfish, but a way to honor God.
"I wanted my three little girls to see their momma accepting who she is, making the most of every opportunity and doing it with modesty, yet rockin' what you got for Jesus," she writes.
Grant knows she may have some critics of her choice, but most of the feedback on her Facbeook post has been positive, and even reached non-Christians.
"I am not a Christian, nor I do not follow any religious group. However, I must say, it is definitely nice to hear your story and find some type of modesty in this ugly world. I think it's wonderful that you sought the council of your Husband and Father before making the decision. The world definitely needs more women like you," one commenter writes.
And Grant has support from fellow believers, as well.
One writes: "As a Jesus-follower and mom, I support your choice and the parameters you stood by. Women too often cover themselves to the point of body-shaming; thank you for showing modesty and discretion as you honor your temple of the Holy Spirit."
What do you think of Grant's choice to pose in a swimsuit? Sound off!
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