Early in my nursing career, I provided guidance to patients making lifestyle changes. Most people struggled with motivation.
They understood the ‘what to do’ part pretty quickly. But the ‘why to do it’…the motivation? For many, that part remained a mystery.
So, thank God I finally solved that puzzle!
Okay, I need to be more honest. I didn’t find it until I struggled to find the motivation to make lifestyle changes in me.
It kind of snuck up on me – the realization that I needed to take better care of myself.
One minute I was a young(ish) mom of an infant and working full-time as a nurse. The next I was the mom of a 7-year old and the proud owner of a skyrocketing cholesterol reading.
I knew ‘the what‘. Oh, I knew what I to do: eat better and move more. I had said it probably thousands of times.
The truth? I find that to be MUCH easier said than done. I mean that literally. It is so much easier for me to say ‘eat better and move more’ thousands of times than to skip a single bite of brownie or make myself go to the gym one time.
It seemed that a source of motivation for me was non-existent too.
How to Use Faith as Motivation for Self-care
Thankfully, through a series of events that only God can orchestrate, I became a stay-at-home mom.
After nine months of working full-time and using an in-home provider for a colicky infant, and then another nine months watching her not thrive in childcare we leaped at being a one-income family.
I was looking forward to the bliss of being the stay-at-home mom.
Boy, was I in for a shock.
After a few months learning the ropes of being at home and doing it all, I was discouraged.
It wasn’t at all easy. Being home with a grumpy baby wasn’t fun. It was way harder than working a job outside of the home.
Believe it or not, I was so desperate to get out of the house I started going to our family fitness center. I didn’t really know how to do much there, and I wasn’t interested in learning if I’m being honest. So, basically I just did something that I knew how to do, which was run. I ran circles (at snail speed) around the indoor track for 20-30 minutes when my daughter was in the child-care center.
While I ran, I listened to praise music, prayed for a renewed passion, and cried. What a sight I’m sure.
But God heard my prayer. He led me to an amazing motivational source.
(Or, my faith.)
Through my obedience and trust (which you should read as my frequent disobedience, trial and error, and God’s continued faithfulness) God revealed a four-step method of how to use faith as motivation for self-care. I experienced a transformation in my faith and in my self-care!
1 First, Believe God Makes Me in God’s Image
When I interact with others, especially people that are hard to love, I remind myself that God makes them in the image of God. This truth helps me love them.
But, when I struggle with balancing all of my mom care-taking duties, management of our home, wife responsibilities, and servant duties at church I get mad at myself. I get frustrated and put myself down.
I feel like I’ve failed, so I work harder and spend even more time taking care of everyone else. Eventually, my own needs are last.
I unconsciously decided taking care of myself wasn’t worth it. I think I also sometimes secretly wondered if I was worth it.
But the Lord reminds me that I am made in God’s image. He teaches me that I am loved, and very valuable to Christ. Jesus wants me to love myself as He does, and to remember that God made me in His image. I remind myself of this over and over.
I did this until I believed it. And now I want you to do the same.
2 Allow it to Align My Priorities
When I believe God makes me in His image, I remember who God is. He is the creator. He is my Lord and Savior. When I think of all of that, it is much easier to make the Lord my priority.
When God is my priority I remember I am here to serve Him. I have a spiritual gift and calling.
Taking care of my body, mind, and soul helps me to carry out my mission and use my spiritual gifts at my greatest ability.
It is appropriate to make time for my self-care.
3 Utilize the power of the Holy Spirit for Self-Control and Faithfulness
When I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, the Holy Spirit produces fruit in my life. The Lord’s faithfulness in all things helps me trust Him, and my faith grows.
And, I am motivated to take better care of myself through the Holy Spirit’s self-control.
Because of this, I can finally do (or not do) the things that are helpful to my self-care. I have an easier time completing my self-care because I receive supernatural power.
And, I do it for another reason.
4 Use Faith as Motivation for Self-care – It is a Form of Worship to God
Scripture shows us how to find the motivation to take better care of ourselves.
Do it to honor the Lord.
Use faith as a motivation for self-care.
Romans 12: 1-2 reads, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This way of living is truly the way to worship him.
When I take care of my body, mind, and soul in a way that is honoring to Him, the Lord is pleased. God sees it as a way to worship Him.
It is acceptable. God expects us to live and care for our bodies in this way.
In closing, there are four steps to use faith as motivation for self-care.
- First, believe God creates you in His image.
- Second, allow this belief to realign your priorities and see that taking care of yourself is essential.
- Third, utilize the power of the Holy Spirit to receive the fruit of self-control and faithfulness.
- Finally, trust the word of God in Scripture and acknowledge it is possible to honor God by taking care of your body, mind, and soul for Him.
If you follow the four steps, you will not only see the why of taking care of yourself, you’ll also have a supernatural power source as motivation!