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I’m not sure how we got to this place, but it seems there’s a pervasive attitude that self-care is inherently selfish. Sinful even.
Especially if you’re a Christian, a woman, and/or a wife and mom.
If you’re a Christian woman who is also a wife and mom, you’re pretty much allowed zero time to yourself without getting judged by others and feeling guilt to the very core of your being.
We’re told to give, give, give. All the time.
Don’t be lazy. Don’t be selfish. Serve others.
Yes, giving is good. Yes, productivity is good. And, yes, serving others is definitely good.
But how are you going to do that if you never take care of yourself?
How do you give when you’re running on empty?
God knows you need rest. He knows you need some time to unwind and relax. He knows you can’t keep going or you will eventually collapse. Why do you think He gave us a Sabbath? A full day of rest.
Many people view the Sabbath as a set of rules: Don’t do this and don’t do that. Really, the Sabbath is a gift to us from our wonderful, loving Heavenly Father. He created us so He knows all of our limitations. He knows we need to care for ourselves so that we can continue serving for His glory.
God has already given us His express permission to take time for ourselves.
It is not selfish, sinful, or lazy.
God rested. On the seventh day of creation, He rested (Genesis 2:2-3).
Jesus rested (Mark 6:31-32). I think too often we think of Jesus as fully God and forget that He was also fully human. He need time to rest and heal, just like us.
Do you remember what was happening in Mark 4 when the storm came and the
disciples were afraid? Jesus was sleeping in the boat. He was resting.
And after John the Baptist was killed, Jesus took time to feed and heal many, and then He went off by Himself to pray (Matthew 14:13-23). He needed rest. Time for Himself. Time with God. Time to recharge so that He could continue serving others.
Taking time for self-care is not just good for you, it’s good for everyone around you.
It’s okay to take a break, have a cup of coffee, read your Bible, take a bath, pray, journal, exercise, chat with a friend.
It’s okay to take some time, relax, and care for yourself.
When you take time for self-care, you then have more to give to your family, friends,
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Find a balance that works for you between self-care and caring for others.
If you’re still feeling guilty about taking time to care for yourself, let Jesus’ words comfort you:
“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 gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).