As Titus II women, we understand the significance of providing a good example. Being a role model isn’t always easy, but it is important. Titus II exhorts mature women of faith to teach the younger women in the body of Christ how to live with wisdom and discretion. I have chosen to write on the topic of “self-care.”
The women of the Get Noticed Network seek to love, serve, and share our hope in God with others in practical ways. Please read below and share with us your thoughts on the question posed.
-Karen M. Bowens, GNN Lead Mentor
Self-care can be described as the deliberate and intentional act of prioritizing your own wellbeing. It encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. But is self-care really necessary?
Let’s take a look at common ways we casually close out conversations. Have you ever heard friends and loved ones say? “Take care now…” or “Take good care of yourself…”
We toss these words around lightly—meaning well, but are we taking thought regarding what we are really saying—and do we intentionally take action on these words?
Why should we “take good care of ourselves?” These are not words simply to tie up a conversation or meeting—like we would tie up a gift to give away with a bow. When we take a closer look, these are actually words that embody an act of stewardship, equipping us to carry out two important commands that Jesus taught us to obey.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (including our will and emotions) and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40 KJV).
As a little girl, I remember two things we learned about the Bible from my grandmother.
- You can find the answers to what you need to know in the Bible.
- We must come to know God for ourselves.
In my life’s journey, I’ve found that the two commandments Jesus highlighted cover everything….
There are instructions throughout the Bible which encourage us to be good stewards of our mind, soul, body, and spirit.
To keep our minds active and responsive to the challenges of life, we must renew our minds with the Word of God. (Rom 12:2)
Spend time with the Lord in prayer, study, praise, and worship. Bring your cares to Him. (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22; Matt 11:28)
The body profits from rest and exercise. Self-care honors the trust God placed in us when He assigned our bodies to be the temple which houses the Holy Spirit. Psalm 23 tells us the Lord makes us lie down in green pastures, he RESTORES our soul. Our cup overflows with rest and self-care. Exodus 34:21; 1 Tim 4:8)
Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice – holy and acceptable is our reasonable service. (Rom 12:1) It is difficult for us to do the work of the Lord when we are overweight and our bodies are unhealthy.
Our spirit is the part of our being that will never die. Training our spirit is of great value since it holds promise for the present life and the life to come. (1 Tim 4:8)
We can only love our neighbor or our fellowman as we love ourselves. So, the better we take care of ourselves, the better we can show our love to others. Don’t think of this responsibility as trivial, putting it at the bottom of our list of things to do. No, Jesus tells us that all the law and the writings of the prophets are supported on these two laws–love the Lord with all our heart, and to love others as we love ourselves.
What is Love?
We’ve examined love and how to love God and others, but what exactly is the word of God teaching us to do? Love is an action word. Taking the time to care for our emotional, spiritual, and physical health is the way we can be our best, not only for ourselves but for others. (Matt. 22:37)
In 1 Corinthians 13 the Bible defines love: Love is patient and kind, not jealous nor envious. It does not brag and is not proud, arrogant, or rude. It does not take into account the wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustices but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7)
During this time of COVID 19 and increased isolation, we are all in need of tender loving care and compassion. More than ever, isolation and staying home alone have become much more of the normal state-of-affairs. Because of the quarantine, workplace and governmental authorities are encouraging their employees to stay at home. For these reasons, taking care of our emotional and spiritual health is essential. We all require social interaction and connections with others. At this critical time, we must seek God to find creative ways to make self-care a priority.
Hopefully, taking a closer look at our personal and spiritual habits will help us to be more intentional about caring for ourselves and others. We need the energy that comes from exercising good physical health habits; the wisdom that comes from disciplining ourselves to study the word of God, and the tenderness and forgiveness that come from giving and receiving love. Self-care is a healing process. The rewards are the brilliance of God’s love shining from within for all the world to see.
Author: Karen M. Bowens,
GNA Lead Mentor