“Did you ever drive your car until the gas tank was empty? If you did, you know that fretting, fuming, and shouting didn’t help the situation. Engines won’t run without fuel, no matter how many times you wish or pray. In cases like this there’s only one thing to do: fill up the tank again.”


Why Is Self-Care Important?

Raising children can be a deeply rewarding but also exhausting journey. This is especially true, if you have a child who is mentally unwell.

Jesus Himself knew self-care was an issue of great importance. That’s why He regularly took time out to refill His pitcher with Living Water. You need to do the same.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of dedicated Christ-followers who don’t seem to take Jesus’ example seriously. Some even believe that self-care has no place in the Christian life. Discipleship, in their estimation, calls for the complete sacrifice of one’s own wants and needs. In their view, self-care is “selfish.”

Self-care enables you to love. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Jesus told us so when He said, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18). People who don’t love themselves have no way of gauging the meaning of love for others. They have no overflow from which to share.

Self-care maintains healthy bodies and minds. We belong to God, body and soul (1 Corinthians 6:19). As a result, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the physical and mental resources God has entrusted to our care. Self-care provides a buffer against illness and disease. The best defense is a good offense. A healthy immune system helps you ward off disease. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy body benefits extend to mood elevation and greater mental alertness, as well as reduced chronic disease risk. This is especially true for young children and teenagers.

Self-care provides stress relief. Stress, which is the great enemy of physical, mental, and emotional health, has a tendency to increase if you don’t keep your mind and body in good condition. According to Dr. Don Colbert, “If left unchecked, the perpetual release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal.”[1]

Self-care enables you to follow God’s commandments and do His work. In Ephesians 2:10 we’re told that the Lord has created us in Christ Jesus “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” The healthier you are, the more energy you will have to play your part in God’s plan.

  1. Don Colbert, Deadly Emotions, quoted by Gary Smalley in The DNA of Relationships (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2004), 104