I meet women every day who are strung out, stressed out and sick from the rat-race of life. Now, I know men can be the same way, but since I am a woman, I know the unnecessary requirements that we place on ourselves, causing us to neglect our own needs. We sense we must do for everyone but ourselves, and when we finally do something nice for ourselves, we feel guilty.
Let’s start with what God says about taking care of ourselves. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” (I Corinthians 6:19).
Now for those of you who are so used to caring for someone else, remember, that your body is not your own, it belongs to God. So if it makes you feel better to care for it, knowing your body belongs to God, great! There should be no guilt trip in maintaining our bodies. We should be good stewards of all He gives us, and that includes our bodies. We must maintain them so that we can honor God. Letting ourselves go for the sake of others is neglect, and according to this scripture, against Godly principles. I know the struggle that many women have when it comes to losing weight, getting enough rest and eating right. I have so been there! In those days, I feel weak, tired, stressed, and out of control of my life. God never intended for us to ignore our bodies while taking care of everyone and everything else in our lives.
Some women think they win “brownie points” by making themselves available for everyone but themselves. They rationalize how much they can do for others and think God will take care of the rest. God expects us to be good stewards of everything He gives us, and that includes our bodies. If we neglect ourselves long enough, we begin to not only look unhealthy, we become unhealthy! We start having social, emotional, and psychological problems. Following suite, our body begins to have physical problems, and if we keep ignoring them, we will find ourselves flat on our back and maybe in the hospital. You may be reading this and saying, “That won’t happen to me.” I know someone who was so busy doing for others, that he ignored his own health problems for years. It caught up to him on his deathbed.
In life, there are three different types of people, Givers, Takers, and Givers/Takers. The first person, the Giver, is usually run down, spent and out of energy. ‘Givers’ have allowed themselves to become the go-to-person for everyone--for so long, they feel trapped. They sense the world will fall in if they stop giving, so they keep sacrificing their own time, their own lives, and their own needs for the time, life and needs of others. And what about the “others?” They will allow it to go on and on and on….because these are the “Takers.” How do you put an end to this behavior? You become a Giver/Taker. It’s called balance, something most women have yet to master, and master well.
Have you busied yourself so much that even God is left out of the equation? Or perhaps you have been convinced by some pastor that unless you are at the church five days a week, you are a substandard example of a good mother, a good wife or good church member. Don’t laugh----those pastors are out there. I have met more of them in my lifetime than I want to admit. I am all for growing in the Lord, but unless you are leaving time for God to speak to you one-on-one, you are not growing at all. You are reacting to others expectations.
So, what are we going to do as women of God, mothers, wives and career women that will change how we care for ourselves? For one, we need to make time for something daily that nourishes our soul, allows us to breathe and gives us a sense of wellness. Whether it be reading a book, writing, shopping, a soaking bath or something else---find it! We are no good to God or others if we keep allowing the influences and expectations of this world to dictate to us what we need to be doing and when we need to be doing it. The greatest gift we can give to God is to take care of His temple. In doing so, we will be able to offer a better gift to others in need while He receives the glory.
By Jane Morin
About the Author
Jane Morin is an international speaker, worship leader, Bible teacher, and award-winning author. Her latest re-release, The Weapons Of Our Warfare is now available on Kindle Books! Learn how to fight the "fight of faith" effectively and snatch up your copy today!