SELF-CARE ON PURPOSE FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN WOMAN
If you’re looking for a way to keep moving forward on God's path, self-care is a good place to start.
We’re living in a time when mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion and disease can easily put us flat on our backs. Our social and spiritual lives may be lacking. When this happens, we have no strength or stamina to enjoy life and serve others well according to our purpose.
Sometimes, self-care can be interpreted as a selfish act. But what is self-care from a godly perspective?
Self-Care From God’s Perspective
For the Christ-follower, self-care is a way to honor God and offer him our best.
Paul tells us our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given to us by God.
(1 Cor. 6:19) He is explicitly talking about dishonoring our bodies with sexual sin here, but throughout scripture, we also read about honoring God with our thinking, our words, our eating, drinking, coming, and going—whatever we do. That pretty much covers the entirety of how we, from head to toe, go about life doesn’t it?
When we approach self-care in God’s way, we honor him and gain energy, confidence, and strength to serve well and fulfill our calling.
Here are five life areas that need your care. Examine them and discover what extra care may be needed. Scripture and questions are included to help prompt you to incorporate self-care God’s way.
Five Areas for Godly Self-Care
1 - Spiritual Self-Care.
Studies show that a life including spiritual practices is a healthier life. Even more, scripture offers a call to caring for self by sharing our hearts and our time with him.
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gently and
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
— Matt. 11:28-30
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
— Ps. 91:1
Pray without ceasing.
— 1 Thess. 5:17
How is my relationship with God? How often do I meet and share with him? What one small change can I make to better practice Spiritual Self-Care in my life?
2 - Mental Self-Care.
What you think and what you see affect greatly your well being. Mental self-care requires paying attention to what you’re thinking. What we allow into our minds can easily control our minds. Let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts instead.
Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
— Rom. 8:6b
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
— Phil. 4:8
What am I thinking? Where do I let my mind dwell? Do my thoughts honor God? Do they honor me? What one small change can I make to better practice Mental Self-Care in my life?
3 - Physical Self-Care.
Self-care of your physical body includes your activity, your rest, and what you put into your body. Caring for our bodies is a form of worship.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
— 1 Cor. 9:27
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Cor. 10:31
He (Jesus) said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.
— Mark 6:31
Am I getting enough physical activity? Am I feeding my body well and with the nutrients it needs? Am I sleeping and getting rest? What one small change can I make to better practice Physical Self-Care in my life?
4 - Social Self-Care.
This is a bit of a challenge in these days of isolation. But our good God has made a way for us to connect even in what could be the most lonely of times. We can use the Internet, the phone to call, face-time, and text. Good old snail mail still exists—send a letter or card. Nothing replaces a hug but we can find different ways to cultivate relationships and community and care for others, which helps us care for ourselves.
We are many parts of one body, and we belong to each other.
— Rom. 12:5b
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.
— Matt. 18:20
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
— Heb. 10:24-25
What am I doing to create connection with others? Am I getting enough face-to-face interaction? What one small change can I make to better practice Social Self-Care?
5 - Emotional Self-Care.
How do you handle your emotions? Do you stuff them or do you share them? How do you cope? Expressing our emotions is a way of growing in relationship to and aligning ourselves with God. Whether you are happy, sad, worried, or angry, he wants you to share your emotions with him. When you do, you open the door for healing and love. Also, your emotions stem from your thoughts so any thinking not in agreement with the knowledge of God is destructive—and so is the emotion that comes with it. When you hold on to these negative emotions, you can cause all sorts of harm to yourself.
Do not be anxious about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
— Phil. 4:6-7
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
— 2 Tim. 1:7
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
— 1 Thess. 5:16-18
What’s my emotional status right now? Is there an emotion God is prompting me to share with him? With someone else? What one small change can I make to better practice Emotional Self-Care?
Are you lacking in any of these five areas? Will you take time, on purpose, for self-care? It’s not selfish. It honors God and offers you the strength and energy needed to get you where God is calling you.