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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 exhalation 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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I am writing this series with my dad on what we’re calling “The Counterfeit Gospel” I hope you’ll check out his posts.