Self-care for moms means bubble baths, wine, boxes of fancy chocolate, and even getaways with friends. Is that Biblical? Should Christian moms practice self-care?
Most popular mom blogs, both Christian and secular cover the topic of self-care. I can’t be alone in saying that I have mixed feelings about the topic. Reading through the articles, I have several conflicting thoughts…
- I don’t need self-care, but other, more fragile women do.
- We are called to put others before ourselves.
- But I’ve done that and have felt myself run dry… emotional health can’t be ignored forever…
- Who has time for bubble baths and journaling? I don’t think those would even help me, to be honest.
- I feel tired… constantly.
- However, is self-care the answer to this conflict? Isn’t that selfish?
Is Self-Care Selfish?
It’s true… The Bible has plenty to say about dying to self and laying your life down for others.
Jesus said that Christians need to deny ourselves in order to fully follow Him.
“And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'”
-Jesus (Luke 9:23)
The Bible says that humility is central to the Christian life.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Romans even has a notable verse about how we should strive to do better than each other in serving our neighbors.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
But… You Can’t Serve Others If You Are Physically, Emotionally, or Spiritually Empty
The world is partially right. Moms need self-care. Even Christian moms need self-care.
But maybe the world is suggesting the wrong ideas to Christian moms. Maybe the world suggests chocolate, spa days, and bottles of wine simply because they don’t understand true self-care. I think the world is trying to put a band-aid on a gaping wound in their spiritual darkness.
I think it’s much more accurate to call these things self-care.
- Time with God through prayer
- Time with God through reading his Word
- Nutritious food
- Giving ourselves plenty of hydration
- Relational closeness with our husband
- Getting enough sleep
- Feeding our minds with edifying adult friendships
- Getting involved in a local body of Christ.
Sabbath – Resting in Christ
Let me propose that Jesus DID NOT mean “deny your basic human needs” when He said “deny yourself”. He was rather talking about denying your sinful nature.
In fact, judging from His example, it’s actually sinful and prideful to try to rely on your own strength and ignore your spiritual need for God the Father.
Resting in Christ is laying down your pride to trust Him fully, despite your insistence that you can do it yourself. Christ Himself withdrew from the crowds and even His disciples for some alone time.
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside to pray.
The Bible even says that He filled Himself with a private prayer time… frequently.
“But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and great crowds came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray.”
The Creation story presents a 6:1 ratio of work and rest. God the Father, the Creator of every living thing, the Author of civilization, the Maker of Heavens and Earth, rested after He had created Earth.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so He rested from all His work.”
Genesis 2:2 NLT
God rested even though He is omnipotent (all-powerful). God the Father never got tired. So why did He rest? He rested to give us an example. We need Sabbath.
If you can’t rest on Sundays (like me, as a Pastor’s Wife…) find another day to rest. Find a day each week to stay at home, eat easy leftovers, leave the chores alone, and spend your extra time relishing in God’s Word and filling up your soul. Make that time with God your true self-care.
But What If I’m So Spiritually Dry That I Don’t Know Where To Start?
Feeling empty? This is where genuine Christian friendship comes in. One of my closest friendships in my church is from a woman who regularly asks me how she can bear my burdens. She is a true blessing in my walk with Christ, but it takes something from me, too. Vulnerability. I have to take off my mask and be honest with her.
Let others bear your burdens. Be honest when someone in the church asks you how you are. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your burden with your sister in Christ right then and there, ask if you can meet with her later in the week.
Sometimes self-care means allowing your sisters in Christ to help you bear your burdens.Sometimes self-care means allowing your sisters in Christ to help you bear your burdens. Click To Tweet
It’s actually selfish to hold your burdens to yourself when you know that you can’t carry them. Give your burdens to other trusted Christians. Give your burdens to Christ.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Don’t Try To Do Everything. You Aren’t Christ.
You are created by God and totally loved by Him. God wants to use you for the purpose of the Gospel.He wants to use you to serve others, but He knows your limitations. Stop trying to be Christ. You can't. Even He rested and withdrew from others. #selfcare Click To Tweet
He wants to use you to serve others, but He knows your limitations. Stop trying to be Christ. You can’t. Even He rested and withdrew from others. We should follow His perfect example, even in His rest.
The Christian Answer to Self-Care – Find Your Rest in Christ
Bubble baths, wine, chocolate, or even a weekend getaway with friends will not lead to true peace. Only resting in Christ will give you the self-care you need.
“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Rest in Jesus. That’s the best self-care. From that Wellspring of Life, you are filled up to serve others and speak life into the lives of your husband, children, and friends.
If that means taking a weekend getaway to refresh your soul with prayer, do it. If that means asking your husband for a spa day to refresh your body, do it. Jesus loves and cherishes you. You are a mouthpiece for His love to others in your life. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Treat your body with dignity and rest, just as Christ did.
What about you?
Do you practice self-care? What do you think about Jesus’ example of withdrawing frequently to the wilderness to pray? What does prayer look like for busy moms?
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