Is Self Care Biblical For Christian Women?
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I am not a doctor, none of the information on any of these pages pertaining to the Ketogenic Diet or Adrenal Fatigue should be considered medical advice and should not replace the care of your personal physician. I am simply eager to share the information I have learned while on my own journey to health. Before you embark on this journey, please consult with your physician.
Have you wondered if self care is biblical for Christian women?
I originally wrote this post in the fall of 2018 knowing it would be controversial. It has been mixed with very polarizing opinions; and several somehow gathered from it that I don’t feel women should take care of themselves.
Not only do I not believe that, I think it is an oppressive and unbiblical notion that women should constantly give out without ever taking in.
The question is, however, what do we take in and how do we do it in a way that glorifies God, and that is what this post is about.
Please see my post: 5 Ways Christian Women Should Care For Themselves
I don’t know about you, but when I see these buzz words and band wagons, I grow a little cautious. I don’t follow a crowd.
Not to over-spiritualize something, but Jesus did say that the road to life was narrow and not very populated.
So, not only is it narrow, but you wont even run into a traffic jam on this narrow road.
So, whenever I see a large crowd of people moving in one direction, I tend to want to move in just the opposite direction. And I see a lot of people rushing after the idea of self care.
Even Christian people.
I have thought a lot on this topic of self care.
I’ll be honest and say, I haven’t read very much (hardly at all) about what my favorite writers have to say about this, mainly because I wanted to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me what His thoughts are.
And since praying and pondering what has come to my heart, I have two concerns about what is termed self care.
Is Self Care Biblical For Christian Women?
When you look at what secular society terms as self care, it is very easy to get drawn in because websites that promote self care encourage women to take care of the health, laugh, and be in the moment.
All good things that everyone should do.
But the further down the list we go, we begin read about yoga, meditation….and this very deceptive line that I found on the website PsychCentral, “Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”
And here are where two red flags pop up for me.
1. Self care is self-focused
The secular concept of self care is completely void of God – and thus secular. And this is the foundation for my concern for Christian women engaging in self care.
We are responsible for our mood, our anxiety levels. And thus, we need to do those things for ourselves that will improve our mood and reduce our stress and anxiety.
But what does scripture say?
Scripture tells us that true and lasting joy is only found in the Lord. True joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. You can read my post 25 Verses that Command Us to Have Joy to see just how often the Bible talks about this.
All throughout Scripture, we’re commanded to make God our joy.
Not a good mood.
And when our lives are centered on God’s Word, and when we’re living in right-standing with Scripture, joy is a natural outcome.
When we’re stressed out and dealing with anxiety, Jesus tells us to come to Him. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Peace will not be found in yoga, meditation, mindfullness, becoming centered and balanced, or any of these other secular activities.
True, lasting peace that surpasses all understanding and that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus is only found in Christ Jesus!
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2. Self Care promotes New Age practices
When we fall into the first trap of trying to find joy and peace in ourselves, and apart from Christ, we’ll naturally fall into this second trap.
And that is because they are coupled together.
Finding joy and peace within ourselves requires buying into the New Age belief that is humanistic at its center. It places self as the deity in our lives.
It is self-exalting.
Self care recommends yoga and meditation; mindfulness and being centered and balanced. It recommends speaking affirmations.
These are all New Age-based buzz words that come from humanistic and New Age beliefs that place man at the center and leave God entirely out of the equation.
Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and centeredness all come from Eastern religions. You can read my post here on how biblical meditation differs from Eastern meditation.
Speaking affirmations, such as “You are amazing. You are loved. You are wonderful. You are worthy.” are not empty words.
These types of affirmations are full of self-exalting, humanistic values that completely contradict God’s Word!
Instead, the Bible tells us that we are to meditate on His Word day and night. The Hebrew word for meditate literally means to mutter under your breath.
Do you see how this secular view of self care flies right in the face of how Christians are supposed to live when their lives are founded upon the principles of God’s word?
So then, how is a Christian woman supposed to take care of herself in a biblical way?
The deep soul-rest that we long for won’t be found in a bubble bath, spa day, or a evening in with candles and a good book.
None of those things are bad.
I, personally, love an evening in with a good book and a hot cup of tea.
But, dear sister, we must look at the motivation.
If our motivation is to find that deep soul-rest we long for, we will never truly satisfy that longing with stuff of this world…with focusing on self.
We will only find that when we take our eyes off of self and focus them squarely on Jesus.
Deep soul-rest comes only from Jesus and spending time at His feet, in His presence.
The term self-care is very descriptive of the culture we live in today, where everything is geared to promote self, worship of self, and exaltation of self.
As Christian women, we must urge one another to reject this anti-biblical practice and remember what the Word of God has to say:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
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Ok, but can’t Christian women go in the other direction and place too much focus on obtaining happiness and recognition from their husband and children? To me it’s sickening to hear someone brag about their “perfect” family. I’m soon to be 60 and I’ve been seeing a widower who is 75 for almost a year, but I’m glad we’re not married because even though he’s a good man, he can be disrespectful with his words and actions at times. So I’m not saying to abandon ship, but I’ve found that people can be deceptive, too. I think our hope rests in God alone.
I don’t think you understood the article. In no way do I wish to imply that a woman derives her happiness and recognition from her husband and children – or any other person. This is dangerous, and it is wrong. Our happiness and recognition should come from God alone. But, we should still live to serve those around us – not for our happiness and recognition, but from a heart of love. As Paul said, we serve others as unto the Lord – not for our benefit, but because we love Jesus and wish to see Him glorified through our lives.
Thanks, Rosilind. Yes, I believe in serving others and we all want to be loved and cared for. But I have a difficult relationship to the point where the other person is toxic (not the one I mentioned above). This is an ongoing problem I have with my mother and I think this is where the idea of self-care/having boundaries comes in. I do nice things for her but she always tries to make me feel bad about myself. Things like this are trying and good for you if you’ve never had to deal with it. Years ago I described the situation to my younger brother and he said, “Don’t throw your pearls before swine.” So maybe that isn’t self-care — just common sense?
Haha! Yes – common sense, definitely. I do think that what is considered self-care is just taking care of ourselves, which – again – is common sense. My issue isn’t with getting rest or good nutrition (things I 100% advocate), but with the idea of making ourselves the center of our focus. It’s the motive behind the action.
Rosalind, I was glad to see this post (I know. I’m a bit late to the party.) I was just saying to my husband a couple of weeks ago how this I think this focus on self-care that has crept into the church is unbiblical. I see it as another way our enemy is twisting truth and corrupting women’s minds. Sometimes I think, “Am I crazy? Am I the only one who sees “this” this way?” So, I was glad to see that I’m not off base here. I’m with you – when I see everyone jumping on a band wagon, that’s usually when I’m running the other direction.
You are never late to a party here at A Little R & R! *grin* The party never stops and no comment is ever too late. I agree – it is a ploy of the enemy to twist our thinking….it is so deceptive. You are not off base at all — just remember, the path to life is narrow and few find it. I know that may sound superior in a way to some reading this comment….it’s not meant to be. It’s what the Word says. But if we’re going to walk in truth…and if we’re going stand strong in the Spirit and not be led astray by various winds of false doctrine, we must learn to accept that on our journey it will seem at times that we are alone, and we may come under attack for the stand we take for truth, but our reward will be great!
While I respect where you’re coming from, I have to disagree. Honestly, I think you’re confusing “self-care” with “self-love”. God expects us to take care of ourselves. He expects us to feed our bodies with the bounty of His earth. He expects us to respect our temples and I think that would mean feeding yourself well, resting and exercising and feeding your mind with His word. As for yoga, I’ve always believed yoga to be not for Christians as the different yoga pose are actually worship to other gods and since I know that this is the case I do not participate in yoga. God tells us in His word to rest and He also tells us to meditate. It’s not the meditating that’s wrong. It’s what you meditate on that’s a problem. So respectfully, I think you’re confusing self care with self love. After all, God gave our bodies as a gift and I can’t give of myself (body, mind or soul) to my family if I don’t also meet my own necessary needs.
I encourage you to read this post to put it in context, because absolutely advocate for women caring for themselves properly. The Bible teaches rest. https://rosilindjukic.com/christian-women-care-for-themselves/
Hi. The more I read your posts, the more I realize that there really is somebody out there who believes like I do! I think that SELF is the new idol. There is a certain amount of care that we should give ourselves, food, rest, exercise, etc., but all these worldly niceties, while perhaps enjoyable (such as a mani-pedi – I’ve had ONE and I won it, lol!) do not provide us with care. I believe our most important “self-care” practices should be time in the Word and time on our knees. Time listening to and speaking to our Creator who knows better than any doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief what we as individuals need to thrive and survive in life. Thank you for saying the uncomfortable truths that many are afraid to say.
Yes, God’s gave us His Word as a instruction for life, to lay a foundation on which to build a strong house in which the Lord dwells, not to build our own esteem of self. Many people use God’s Word to stroke their egos and soothe their pride, forgetting that God’s Word also warns, confronts, and corrects!
I admire your article and replies. Though I am a man, permit me to give my note: There is no confusion in your writing and some of the contributions are fair too. I took note of your responses such as:
“Paul said, we serve others as unto the Lord – not for our benefit, but because we love Jesus and wish to see Him glorified through our lives… My issue isn’t with getting rest or good nutrition (things I 100% advocate), but with the idea of making ourselves the center of our focus. It’s the motive behind the action.”
I believe both men and women should do self-care. The advice goes more to women. Women, by their nature and having much to do in life, need not forget to care about themselves both spiritually and physically. Should they forget balanced self-care they may be involved in burn out or in self-love, narcissism or worldliness. I will not say there is confusion or you are an extremist. I will rather say women need self-care balanced and hinged on God’s word.
When a woman gets up and gets dressed in the mornings (even though she maybe having a hard time) its actually denying herself the right to stay in her mess. When a woman gets out of the bed and puts her hands to work for her husband and children its actually denying herself the right to stay in the bed for the day. Self denial is actually self-care. We actually love ouselfs more when we fail those around us, we are saying i care more about staying in my mess than i do about serving you. It is selfishness to say i am going to ignore your needs because you didnt respond in the way i thought you should. We are to consider others more highly than ourselfs. No greater love is there than for a friend to lay down his life for his friends. If we abide in His love for others it is then that our joy will be made complete. Matthew 5
no need to post this, just noted what is probably a typo but changes the meaning a bit. The post is accurate as to what self-care has become. I am very concerned about the extensive use of mindfulness in society today.
“geared to promote self, worship of self, and exhalation of self” did you mean exaltation?
?? – yes! Exaltation. LOL!!!