What if I told you that taking care of yourself and finding things that fill you with joy and energy would benefit your marriage? As busy moms, we rarely approach self-care intentionally, leading to more frustrating days for ourselves, our spouses, and our precious children.
Let’s change that.
Self-care began the moment God rested from creating the world. Once He was finished, He also created a very important and special day that would ultimately set the stage for self-care.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This day of rest would later be coined the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day in which we are told to rest from our work and focus on fellowship with the Father, fellowship with others, and gaining fuel for our weary souls. Jesus would also go on to say that the Sabbath was made for man (and not man for the Sabbath). Yet, as Christians, we match the world by being busy, not slowing down, and rarely taking valuable time for ourselves.
Imagine if you could focus on yourself as much as your job, children, household duties, extracurricular activities, and so on. I can attest that focusing on yourself has many benefits, including keeping your marriage tank full.
Self-care can help us gain clarity.
Your mind needs clarity to hear from God. Without clarity, it becomes difficult to think and see situations and circumstances His way. In order to gain clarity, we must be sure we are taking time to rest from the busyness of life. As we do, we’ll begin to hear from God in new and exciting ways. When you make it a point to take care of yourself, your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it (and so will your spouse).
The world would have you seek clarity in many different ways – through staying busy, alcohol, lusts of the flesh, and so on. However, Scripture tells us:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
When your mind is clear, you’re more likely to stop before you say those hurtful words and instead pray. Or, instead of lashing out at your spouse, you’ll think to be more gentle and use words that are soothing to the soul.
Self-care allows you to be more selfless.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” This is so fitting as it relates to self-care. You can become complacent when you’re operating from maxed-out emotions, an over-packed schedule, and constantly feeling like you’re doing for others. When we’re tired we begin to operate in our own strength and may begin to harbor thoughts of selfishness, wondering why no one does as much for you as you do for them.
This kind of thinking can become a vicious cycle and lead you to serve your spouse and family from a place of complaining and unthankfulness. However, when you are making time for the things that fill you with joy, you are more likely to serve with a joyful heart. And this in return is glorifying the Father.
Your spouse will be able to sense your selflessness and see you coming from a place of genuineness. This in return can (and will) be reciprocated.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Self-care creates a balance in marriage.
When you aren’t operating from 100%, your marriage can suffer from being imbalanced. You may feel like you’re doing all the work or vice versa, and if your spouse could just “see,” then everything would be better. But is that really the case? What if you took time to rejuvenate and be refreshed? Would you see things a bit differently?
Despite feeling selfish for wanting to tend the garden or read that book, remember that although you’re a Christian mom, you’re also human. You have needs, and sometimes these needs are better met through self-care. Trust me when I say that I know anxieties can arise when you think of taking time for yourself, but praise the Lord for His reminder:
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
When you’re taking care of yourself by making sure your cup is full, you’re rested, at peace, and full of true joy. It is an honor to serve our mighty God, be a wife, and a mother. And just a little self-care can go a long way to help us keep this perspective. Take that nap! Go on that walk. Take care of yourself, too, momma, you’re worth it!