$1.2 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

$1.2 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

$1.2 Million Matching Opportunity

Save twice the babies from abortion and support SEE LIFE 2020!

Click Here to Double Your Gift

Yes, double my gift to rescue babies from abortion!

Giving Your Spouse the Gift of Self-Care

By Suzanne Gosselin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Young loving couple practice self-care by having fun with gardening work on a wooden floor during spring day
©loreanto
Self-care is an act of stewardship, or caring well for the life God has given you. Rightly understood, self-care in marriage becomes a gift to your spouse.

Like many couples, my husband, Kevin, and I are busy. Between work, raising four children, and myriad extracurricular activities, we can find ourselves with full schedules and little margin. 

One evening, during a conversation about how stretched thin we were feeling, Kevin and I realized neither of us had been paying much attention to our individual health. As a result, we were maxed out, burned out and felt we had very little to offer the other person.

Self-care as stewardship

Rob Jackson, a licensed professional counselor, says self-care is an act of stewardship, or caring well for the life God has given you. It can involve caring for your physical health, your mental health or your spiritual health. “Rightly understood and balanced with other responsibilities, self-care in marriage becomes a gift to your spouse,” Jackson says.

When regular self-care is taking place, both spouses will feel less depleted and have more to give. Here are three ways you can give the gift of self-care to your spouse:

Make spiritual self-care the priority

A healthy, Christ-centered marriage requires that husband and wife are actively growing in their relationships with God. “Spiritually, one needs to stay in love with God,” Jackson says, “so time in the Bible and private worship are foundational.”

Have a conversation with your spouse about his or her spiritual self-care needs. Maybe she needs uninterrupted time to do her devotions. Maybe he wants to observe a “Sabbath” rest each week to slow down and focus on God. Every few months, my husband likes to spend a day alone in a natural setting to read his Bible and journal. I am spiritually encouraged by participating in a weeknight inductive Bible study. We find that being supportive of each other’s spiritual health pays dividends in our marriage relationship.

Participate in joint self-care

While you and your spouse will have individual self-care needs, you can also experience soul care through joint ventures. I have friends who love to go to the gym together. Another couple loves hiking — and another gardening together.

Kevin and I like taking walks and drives, drinking good coffee on slow Saturday mornings and attending church services together.

Find healthy, refreshing activities you and your spouse can do together to ward off stress

Make time for your spouse’s self-care

When Kevin and I discovered we were running on empty, we immediately scheduled how each of us could integrate self-care into our lives. He wanted morning gym visits and an occasional fishing trip with a buddy. As an introvert, I wanted alone time to process my thoughts … and lunch or a coffee date with a girlfriend several times a month. Each of our needs required the other spouse to be “on duty” with our kids. But we made an intentional decision to alternate and support our individual self-care needs. 

When Kevin and I brought up our feelings of burnout that night, we were thankful to discover it was nothing a little self-care couldn’t fix. As we allowed each other to focus on our own needs through self-care, we found we had more to give and a stronger marriage.

© 2020 Suzanne Gosselin. All rights reserved. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Do you cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Start the free five-part video course called, “Cherish Your Spouse”, and gain a deeper level of connection with your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

How useful was this article?

Click or Tap on a star to rate it!

Average Rating: 5 / 5

We are sorry that this was not useful for you!

Help us to improve.

Tell us how we can improve this article.

About the Author

Suzanne Gosselin

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is a regular writer and editor for Focus on the Family and former editor of Clubhouse Jr. magazine. She has written books for Zondervan, Harvest House, and Tyndale, and is the author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood. Suzanne is also the co-author of Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms. She lives …

You May Also Like

Fill out the form below, and we will email you a reminder.

Fill out the form below, and we will email you a reminder.

Focus on the Family

Have you benefited from a Focus on the Family ministry or resource? Share your story today and help families thrive.