Although there are many myths surrounding self-care, one thing that is totally true is that it’s often overlooked, especially in terms of marriage. Once you’ve tied the knot and began starting a family, self-care seems to take the backseat. Not to mention, it can seem like just another chore or something hesitantly approached because of fear or doubt.
What if we told you that taking care of yourself and finding things that fill you with joy and energy could actually benefit your marriage? You see, so many spouses – usually the wife – rarely approaches it intentionally. This leads to more frustrating days for themselves, their spouses, and their children.
Let’s change that.
The Truth About Self-Care
We believe self-care started when God began forming the world. Once He created everything, He also created a very important and special day that would ultimately set the stage for self-care.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)
This would later be coined as the Sabbath. In which we are told to rest from our work and focus on fellowship with the Father, fellowship with others, and gaining fuel for our souls. Jesus would also go on to say that the Sabbath was made for man (and not man for the Sabbath). Yet, as Christians, we match the world in being busy, not slowing down, and rarely taking valuable time for ourselves.
Imagine if you could focus on yourself as much as your job, children, household duties, extracurricular activities, and so on. We can attest that focusing on yourself has many benefits, including topping your marriage tank off on full! Here’s how…
How Self-Care Benefits Marriage
Self-care creates clarity.
Your mind needs clarity just like a car needs windshield wipers on a rainy day. Without those wipers, the drive cannot see. Without clarity, it becomes difficult to think and see situations and circumstances clearly. When you make it a point to take care of yourself, your psyche will thank you for it, and so will your spouse.
The world would have you seek clarity in many different ways – through staying busy, alcohol, lusts of the flesh, and so on. However, Scripture tells us-
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Because your mind is clear, you may be more apt to not arguing and instead praying. Or, instead of lashing out at your spouse, you’ll think to be more gentle and use words that are soothing to the bones.
Self-care allows you to be more self-less.
Simply put, you can’t pour from an empty cup. When you’re operating from maxed-out emotions, an over-packed schedule, and constantly feeling like you’re doing for others, you can become complacent. With a skewed perspective, you may begin to harbor thoughts of selfishness. Then wonder why no one does as much for you as you do for them.
This kind of thinking can become a vicious cycle and lead you to serve your spouse and family from a place of complaining and unthankfulness. However, when you are making time for the things that fill you with joy, you are more likely to serve with a joyful heart. And this in return is glorifying the Father.
Your spouse will be able to sense your self-lessness and see you coming from a place of genuineness. This in return can (and will) be reciprocated.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Self-care creates a balance in marriage.
When you aren’t operating from 100%, your marriage can suffer from being imbalanced. You may feel like you’re doing all the work or vice versa, and if your spouse could just “see,” then everything would be better. But is that really the case? What if you took time to rejuvenate and be refreshed? Would you see things a bit differently?
Despite feeling selfish for wanting to tend the garden or read that book, remember that although you’re a Christian, you’re also human. You have needs, and sometimes these needs are better met through self-care. Trust me when I say that I know anxieties can arise when you think of taking time for yourself, but praise the Lord of His reminder.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Overall, when you’re taking care of yourself by making sure your cup is full, you’re rested, and able to pour from a full cup… your spouse will see it and feel it. It will begin to work like those windshield wipers to keep the view clear, and your marriage will reap those benefits!