Have you ever thought of self-care as a spiritual obligation? The Word of God tells us that our bodies are the temple of God and that when we are believers the Holy Spirit literally indwells us.
In 1 Corinthians 3:17 the apostle Paul wrote that God thinks of our bodies as His sacred temple, and later in chapter 6 verse 20 he calls all Christians to honor God with our bodies.
Many churches teach this scripture only in the context of maintaining sexual purity, but the application is much broader than that.
It is our responsibility to care for our bodies: not just by abstaining from sexual sin, but also by making wise health choices that support our bodies.
The Bible is full of wisdom regarding how to achieve health through the application of godly wisdom.
Below you’ll find 7 tips for creating a biblically-based self-care routine that honors God.
Remember Your Why.
If you haven’t done so already, set your intentions, establish your goals, and create a wellness vision.
When you’ve completed these steps don’t just relegate them to a dusty corner on your hard drive somewhere. These are meant to be “living” statements.
Make sure your daily routine slots in time to review them often, adjust them as needed, and check in with your progress regularly.
While you are thinking through your own personal reasons and goals for taking care of your temple, always remember that ultimately God put you here to serve His purposes. As the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “You are not your own;”
Anchor yourself to that truth knowing that God will direct your path as you walk in obedience to Him.
Plan Your Day and Schedule Your Time.
Treat your time as a precious commodity, because it is. Know that you are the master of your schedule. God has given you the time you need to accomplish His purpose and His plan for your life (Ephesians 2:10).
Guard against common time wasters like social media, television and movies, video games, and shopping – to name a few. Be deliberate about what you do with the time God has given you each day.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to keep a daily planner, calendar, or to-do list. At the beginning or end of each day, sit down and think through your values, long and short-term goals, and daily activities.
Block out time in your calendar to do what needs to be done. Treat those blocks of time with yourself exactly like you would any other appointment with another person.
Take a Whole-listic Approach to Self-Care: Spirit, Soul, and Body
When thinking through your self-care routine, it’s important to think through all aspects of your personhood. By all means, do what’s necessary to take care of your physical body (eat well, exercise, rest, etc.), but make sure not to neglect the other aspects of your life in the process.
If you don’t already, make spending time with God through prayer, Bible study, and meditation one of your daily habits. Remember that Jesus said that we are the branches to His vine (John 15:5). We must stay connected to the source of life if we hope to accomplish His will for our lives
Also, take care of your soul as well. Allow yourself to truly feel and metabolize your emotions, rather than suppressing them. Work on forgiving yourself and others, if needed. Make healing or growing relationships one of your top priorities.
Be a lifelong learner, realizing there are always more opportunities for growth. Make continuing education a priority and continue to up-level your life as God reveals new things to you (Romans 12:2).
Establishing Self-Care Through Healthy Boundaries.
Master the discipline of saying “no” or “not now”. One of the biggest threats to our calling in Christ is busyness, especially when it comes to doing good deeds. Don’t trade what’s good for what’s best (Luke 10:38-42).
While you are pursuing your health goals, be sure to practice the sabbath principle and prioritize rest. God modeled the need for rest in the creation process (Genesis 2:2), and Jesus himself frequently disconnected from others to draw closer to God (Luke 5:16).
Create a Circle of Support.
One of the reasons we are called to live in community is to support each other (Galatians 6:2). We were never meant to be supermen or women, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders alone.
Even Jesus had an inner circle of close friends on which he relied for support in his greatest hour of need (Matthew 26:37-38). Likewise, we need godly, healthy people to assist us as we travel down this road called life.
Another benefit of having a few close friendships is the external accountability it brings. The author of Hebrews wrote about the importance of connection and spurring each other on to good deeds in Hebrews 10:24-25.
Be Open-Minded and Flexible.
Your needs may change over time. Pay attention to the signals that your body and spirit send you, and listen to them well.
- Which current habits and practices serve you best?
- What is no longer working for you?
- What do you need to add or remove from your daily routine to accomplish your goals?
Don’t be afraid to mix things up or swap out parts of your routine that are no longer serving you.
Also, be compassionate with yourself as you make mistakes. New habits and routines take time to master. View your setbacks as learning opportunities, not as catastrophes. Fail forward (Philippians 3:13).
Lastly, don’t be so set in your own ways and preferences that you miss the turn signals that God puts on your path (Proverbs 3:5).
Lead With What You Like When Choosing Self-Care Activities.
Forcing yourself to do things that you don’t want to do is a guaranteed way to lose motivation and traction. Find ways of taking care of yourself that you actually enjoy.
- Perhaps you’d rather sit in a sauna than work up a sweat through aerobic exercise (the cardiovascular benefits are similar), or
- You’d like to write in a journal rather than sit and meditate, or
- You’d like to experiment with new recipes rather than finding new restaurants with healthy options
Your self-care routine should reflect the interests and preferences that are most aligned with your personality and goals. There’s a reason that you prefer certain activities and interests over others.
God made you that way. Honor your uniqueness by aligning your daily choices to the things you really like you do. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.
The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). When we apply biblical principles to our health, particularly with our self-care or temple-care routines, we can be assured that God will bless our efforts.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
What type of biblically based self-care habits do you practice daily? I’d love to learn more about your own efforts to care for your temple.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DALILA JONES STITZ
Founder and CEO, Health Insurrection LLC
Dalila is a native Houstonian and currently lives in Switzerand with her husband and two kids. She received her health coach training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Hallelujah Acres and teaches in-home bible studies and online courses.