The term self-care can cause a lot of controversy for some reason. It’s either highly praised or frowned upon depending on who you ask, but here’s the deal. God loves each of us and we are also called to love ourselves because we are each made by God.
I do think there are different types of self-care. I think some can very easily sway to a more selfish and self-centered type of self-care, but if done biblically it becomes absolutely necessary.
Wait, did I just say biblically? Yes, I sure did.
What does biblical self-care look like?
Let’s look at a few scriptures.
Mark 1:35 says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.”
Jesus practiced self-care.
Quietly, by Himself, He sat with the Father and prayed. Over and over again the Bible tells us that Jesus prayed and spent time with God.
Why? Because He knew He needed that intimate time alone pouring out His thoughts, desires, heartache. He cared for Himself by spending time alone with His Father in prayer.
Our culture teaches us that self-care for busy and tired moms are pedicures and spa days and that this type of self-care is mandatory to be a good mom.
But, really its nurturing our hearts and minds and setting our eyes on Jesus. That’s where true self-care comes in.
If you enjoy spa days and use that time to pray and thank God for all your blessings, and that you even have opportunities to have spa days, then, by all means, get yourself to the spa. Or if you know a mom who hasn’t been able to afford a pedicure in a very long time, then you have the opportunity to be His Light by gifting her one for her to enjoy. Maybe you could even watch her kids for her while she has a couple of hours to herself.
1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us, ” Do you now know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
Our bodies, minds, and spirits are part of God’s temple. If we neglect any one of these areas then we are not taking God’s Word to heart.
When we look at the above scripture, and also 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
We can’t help but realize that taking care of our bodies is part of God’s will for us. It’s a command to care for ourselves.
God sent His Son to die for each of us, so that means we are priceless to Him. Our bodies being God’s temple means that we must take care as to what we put inside it, what we listen to, what we wear, what we consume in the form of food, drink, and even different media. We also must be intentional with staying active and moving our bodies, as well as filling our creative cups.
When I am feeling grumpy or discontent, I can immediately look at 4 different areas and pin-point why I am feeling that way.
- Have I spent time with the Lord today? If the answer is no, then that’s where I need to start. If I feel busy or hurried, then I ask for help. I pray for a quiet and calm heart to spend a few minutes with Him. Then I open up my Write the Word Journal or my Merciful study and dig into His Word.
- Have I moved my body at all today? If not, then I need to make that my next priority. I need to get my heart rate up, or stretch, or go on a walk. I tend to prefer to work out in the mornings, but if for some reason I didn’t get to it then I try to make time for it during our daughter’s rest time. When life is normal I head to my local Pure Barre College Station studio to get sweaty, but currently, that is happening right in the middle of my living room, and occasionally on my front porch with virtual classes they are still offering! Whew! I am really grateful they so quickly figured out how to keep us active during this quarantine!
- Have I been eating poorly? Or had enough water? Sheesh, with this quarantine, I have had some pretty rough eating days due to being low on groceries. On one hand, I haven’t eaten much from my favorite taco shop that’s walking distance from my office, but there have been a few days where I may have had one too many homemade chocolate chip cookies.
- Have I done anything creative? Being creative really lights my heart on fire. I love that God made me this way. Painting, crafting, making polymer clay earrings, or beaded bracelets with my daughter, or picking flowers from our yard to make a little arrangement. I love it all. When I am feeling especially melancholy I know I can make a small mess and really enjoy using my hands to be creative, and that the Lord will meet me there to fill my creative cup.
Ephesians 5:29 tells us, “For no one ever hated His own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”
We nourish and cherish our bodies, our hearts, our minds and spirits as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church. That’s you and me, friend. We are the church. So because Christ cherishes us, we too should cherish ourselves.
That word cherish, I love that word. That word makes me feel infinitely loved. A deeper type of love that is reserved for life-giving love.
I love a lot of things. I love writing, I love unsweet tea and dark chocolate. But, I cherish the fact that one day I will get to meet Jesus face-to-face. I cherish my marriage and my husband. I cherish our daughter and my time with her.
When we cherish something or someone it takes our love deeper to the depths of our heart and soul. And that is how Jesus loves you and me. He cherishes you. And He desires you to love and care for yourself as He loves and cares for you.
What are your favorite types of self-care? I’d love to know!
In Him, Tamara
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