Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

You Can’t Give To Others What You Don’t Already Have

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Christian woman practicing self-care by reading a book on a wooden porch
The great commandment teaches that self-care is not selfish — it's actually foundational to a healthy marriage.

I’d like to start our discussion about self-care by rehearsing what Jesus called the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). You might not realize it, but these words point us to the heart of good self-care.

Take a look at them again. First, Jesus teaches us to value God above everything else. We are to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength (Luke 10:27). Jesus refers to the four key areas that make us human: the spiritual, the emotional, the intellectual and the physical. More on that in just a bit.

In the same breath, Jesus also teaches us to highly value our neighbor in the same way that He expects us to highly value ourselves, as God’s very special creations. Jesus assumes that we want the best for ourselves; that’s how He created us. He instructs us to pursue the best interests of others with the same energy that we pursue our own best interests.

When you love God with every part of your being, He fills you up to overflowing with His amazing love. Out of that overflow, you give to others. This is the balanced life, the only kind of life worth living.

But notice something crucial: If you don’t take care of yourself, you have no overflow. Without an overflow, you find it hard to take care of others — and almost impossible to obey Jesus’ command. If you and I want a healthy and satisfying life, all three pursuits must remain in balance: loving God and loving others with the same energy that we love ourselves.

Self-care is not selfish

If you’re like many people who come for counseling, you’re feeling some specific emotions right now — annoyance, confusion — maybe a little alarm.

“I see what you’re saying,” you might begin, “but isn’t all this talk about self-care a little, well, selfish? And doesn’t the Bible condemn selfishness?”

Good questions. The short answer is this: Far from being selfish, good self-care is a godly thing. The truth is, Jesus practiced good self-care, as did Paul and the other apostles. Let me show you what I mean.

Throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus tended to His own needs. When He needed some alone time, He took it (Matthew 14:23, John 6:15). He gratefully allowed supporters to meet His physical needs (Mark 15:41). He made it no secret when He felt hungry or thirsty (Matthew 21:18, John 4:7). He did not allow others to control His agenda (John 2:24, 11:6). He didn’t shrink from asking His friends to support Him in a dark time of need (Matthew 26:36-38). And He didn’t hesitate to remove himself from danger before His God-ordained appointment with a Roman cross (Luke 4:28-30). In short, Jesus practiced excellent self-care, yet He never allowed it to degenerate into selfishness. That’s how He could eventually march without hesitation to His crucifixion.

If Jesus wanted us to overlook our legitimate needs, it’s hard to see why He would tell His disciples that God already knows about their need for things like clothes and food and drink (Luke 12:30). And why would Jesus have instructed them to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28), if He didn’t think they needed it?

You can’t give to others what you don’t already have

Second, consider the godly counsel of the apostle Paul. If Paul had really meant to condemn good self-care, he never would have written, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” (Ephesians 5:29). The apostle commends those who feed and care for their bodies; he doesn’t denounce them. And that’s nothing but good self-care! No wonder he could tell his young protégé Timothy to “no longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23). It’s as if Paul said, “Timothy, I want you take better care of yourself. I’m concerned for your health, and I think you can do some things to avoid getting sick so often. It concerns me that your stomach causes you so many problems. Don’t ignore it or try to ‘tough it out.’ How can you be of any use to others if you’re constantly feeling ill? So let’s make some changes in your diet, OK?”

It’s only when you allow your cup to be filled that you can fill the cup of others. If you have nothing in your cup, you can’t give anything away.

Or consider another illustration, familiar to anyone who has done some flying. What do the airlines tell adult passengers traveling with children? In case of an emergency, the adults are first to take care of their own needs — by firmly strapping an oxygen mask over their mouths — before attending to the needs of their children. Why? Because the airlines like to encourage selfishness? Because they want squealing kids to suffer oxygen deprivation? No! They give these instructions because they know a functioning adult can help a child better than an unconscious or dead adult. What if all the adults on a plane blacked out due to a mistaken bias against good self-care?

In fact, healthy self-care sets you up to give generously. If you take seriously God’s direction to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), you don’t have to worry that God will drive you to give until nothing’s left. And you don’t have to wait to give until somebody does something for you. If you take responsibility for yourself and attend to your own self-care, you can act from a position of wholeness, not neediness. And that sets you up for relationship success.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Kid lacking emotional control having a meltdown
Behavioral/Emotional

4 Steps to Teaching Your Child Emotional Control

With your guidance and practice, your kids can learn to control their emotions. Here are four steps for helping your children regain the upper hand when intense emotions threaten to spiral out of control.

Woman thinking about self-care for moms
Emotional Health

Self-Care for Moms is Essential

Moms, are you busy, stressed, and tired? Take the self-care assessment below to learn what areas of self-care for moms you can strengthen.

Child thinking of the power of words and coping with emotions
Behavioral/Emotional

4 Words Kids Use When Coping with Emotions

You can help your children to learn true freedom when coping with emotions and difficult situations by teaching them to think about life using certain words and phrases.

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others.

see life episode 1 coming soon version

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!