Many of us tend to neglect our physical and mental/emotional health. Either we’re busy and don’t make it a priority, we’re lazy and don’t don’t want to think of why it should be a priority, or we think it shouldn’t be a priority because it sounds selfish. On the other hand, some of us make the appearance of taking care of our health by using worldly means and motivations. Whether by neglect of our bodies and minds or by unrighteous “self care” from ungodly sources, we’re being poor stewards of what God has given us to use for His glory.
The Bible talks a lot about stewardship, which, put simply, is using God’s gifts for His glory. The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is a good example. The servants who invested the gifts for a return gave the gifts and the return back to the master, and the master greatly rewarded them. The servant with not enough faith and too much pride decided his gift wasn’t worth using, and he was punished and called wicked for not using the little that the master gave him.
Some of us have been given more abundant or more visible gifts than others, but we all have a responsibility to acknowledge what God has given us, to be thankful for it, and to use it for God’s glory. Not because we want to be our best selves, not because we’re scared of getting sick from something we read on a website with questionable sources, and not so we can show all our friends how healthy we can make our families. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” Stewardship should not involve fear, whether it’s fear of man, fear of judgment from others, or fear of death. We are good stewards when our motivation is our love for God.
And on that note, here are some practical and applicable health tips you can start integrating into your routine now.
1. Workout During Wait Times- Using those moments while you wait--for your coffee to brew, for a pot of water to boil, or some other activity that requires a few moments of waiting--to move your body really do make an impact. Do counter planks or push ups, squats, lunges, march in place, stretch, or even jumping jacks if you are wearing supportive shoes. The possibilities are endless for quick and effective body movement activities.
2. Fill Your Soul- If you don’t already have the YouVersion Bible app downloaded on your phone or tablet, do it now. Search for reading plans (or join the Bible Reading Challenge), and read or listen to your Bible, either by yourself or with your kids during afternoon snacks.
3. Clear the Phone- Remove the visual clutter and potential time-suckers by removing apps from your phone or arranging them in folders (preferably off of your home screen).
4. Delete Junk Mail- Is your inbox overwhelming? Set the timer for just 10 minutes and delete ALL the junk emails from retail stores, blogs you subscribe to but never read, 😉 and all other emails that are not important. Just hit Delete and get it out of there. If you have a few more minutes, go ahead and unsubscribe from those promotional emails.
5. Wipe ’em Down- Take a disinfecting wipe and wipe down all the door handles, light switches, remote controls, keyboards, and phones. I love using safe and natural cleaning supplies, but sometimes life gets in the way of best intentions. It's okay to let go of the guilt and self-imposed expectations to stop making your own DIY natural cleaning supplies. Again, your stewardship should not involve fear. Trust God’s provision! You can still clean safely, effectively and on budget with a few well-priced store-bought options.
6. If you’re prone to food fears, read Doug Wilson’s Confessions of the Food Catholic. It’s a good book on body stewardship that can help people with “information overload” to take a step back and let go of fears surrounding food.
7. Healthy meals don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Have a protein, a carb, and a vegetable (or fruit) with each meal you’re trying to make nutritious, and make sure they’re in the right proportions. This could be as simple as baked chicken, bread, and a can of green beans. No recipe required.
8. If you need to lose weight, before you go trying to figure out the perfect fix, complicating your life and frustrating your family, simply try eating less food. You might not need to eat a lot less, but just ingesting fewer calories is almost guaranteed to work, and if you add some more physical activity to your routine, it can even work quickly. Find a friend to keep you accountable (if you can find one who needs to lose weight and also isn’t pregnant right now). Keep after each other to do it by reasonable means with the right motivations, and pray for and encourage each other.
9. Be careful about what you read on the internet (this blog excepted). Remember that about anyone with an opinion can put something out there and not all opinions are informed. If you read something that sounds too good to be true. It probably is. If you read something that sounds too bad to be true. It probably is. Godly women should not be blown about by every wind of doctrine and this includes every health and diet fad. The bible warns against “old wives tales.” Therefore, be careful that you don’t let the newest tales cause you to panic or live in fear. When in doubt, ask your husband and your doctor. God has given us doctors, nurses, and medical researchers. While they are humans and do make mistakes, they have studied and had experience that most on social media do not have.
Lastly, pray for God to reveal to you how you’re not stewarding your body and mind as well as you could be. Pray that God would remove your apathy, your laziness, your fear and anxiety, your pride--whatever is hindering your relationship with Him and making your health either too big or too small a priority in your life. And listen to the church God has given you. What are the women you look up to doing, and why is it you look up to them? Pray for rightly ordered priorities and a rightly ordered heart. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:35
Posted in Womens Blog
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