Most women have extremely busy schedules these days. I don’t know if life has always been so chaotic for women, but it sure is that way in 2021! If you’re a wife and a mom, you’re likely running around like crazy trying to take care of the kids and your man and the household and schooling (possibly at home) and maybe even a full-time job. Whew. I get stressed out just listing all your roles.
Let’s not kid ourselves. None of us is Super Woman. You have limited time and physical energy. You also have only so much you can give mentally, emotionally and spiritually before you’re completely drained. That’s why it’s vital for you and me to take a break during each and every day to refresh ourselves. We do NOT need to feel guilty about this. Even Jesus “often withdrew to desolate places” (Luke 5:16) to take a break from the demands of people and refresh his soul. We also need to step out of the desert and onto a lush oasis for a half hour or so in order to rehydrate our souls. We just need to make sure we choose a healthy oasis.
What is your oasis? What recharges your batteries? What refreshes your soul? Reading a good novel (not a smutty one though!)? Lying on your bed surrounded by fluffy pillows? Drinking a cup of coffee while writing in your journal? Reading a chapter in the Bible and then closing your eyes to meditate on what God is saying to you? Taking a bubble bath? Scrapbooking? Listening to worship music while sitting in front of the fireplace? Checking out tasty recipes on Pinterest? Dancing to 70’s music in your living room while no one is watching?
I’m learning lately that I can’t give away much of anything to anyone else, including my husband, my children or my grandchildren, if I’m not filled up myself! So the question is: how do we get filled up? Well, certainly part of the answer is spending time reading God’s Word and asking Him to help us truly know His love for us. You might want to meditate on Ephesians 3:17-19 which says, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
However, I believe we also need to take time to fill up our senses with all that God has created for us to enjoy! I’ve noticed that when I literally take a few minutes to sit in the sun and gaze at the beauty of God’s creation, I get filled up. I’ve noticed that when I snuggle my granddaughter in my arms and read her a favorite story, I get filled up. I’ve noticed that when I sit in front of a crackling fire with a cup of tea, I get filled up, in a good way.
We all need to take time to enjoy what God has created. It’s not a guilty pleasure if it’s done in moderation, and as long as it’s not a sinful action according to the Bible. These things fill us up, and when we are filled up, we actually have energy and joy that we can give away to others. So, what fills you up? What brings you joy and a sigh of contentment?
In a recent prayer time, God gently confronted me. He asked me this simple question. Are you going to be a slave to your to-do-list today, or are you going to focus on bringing me glory? Another way of putting this is: Are you working tirelessly to bring yourself glory as the “perfect wife’, “perfect mother”, perfect Christian, etc, or are you releasing your day to God and asking him to show you what to do and what NOT to do in order to bring HIM glory?
Oh man! Busted. To be honest, I tend to drive myself to always do more and do it better, because I want to look good in other people’s eyes. I become exhausted and stressed in the process. The good news is that God didn’t design us to be people-pleasers. Yes, we are to love people, but our focus shouldn’t be on doing whatever they want. Our focus also shouldn’t be trying to look good in people’s eyes. The Bible reminds us in Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?”
I am confident that if you and I were both to release our days to God and ask Him to guide us, we would find much more peace! We would be free of performance-exhaustion. We would find freedom from approval exhaustion. Instead, we would be free to follow God’s promptings, which will lead to greater joy and peace than we’ve ever known. In fact, if you listen for God’s voice, he might even tell you to take a nap or relax while listening to praise music! God’s Word promises that those who seek to follow Him (instead of following their own agenda) will enter peace! (Isaiah 57:2 says, “For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace.” And Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
For many women, especially moms of young children, making love to their husbands seems like yet one more thing on their to-do-list! For an exhausted wife and mother, the idea of carving out time to be physically intimate with her husband sounds about as thrilling as running 15 miles on the treadmill at the gym at 5 o’clock in the morning!
But here’s the thing. We know that most men have an extremely high sex drive. It isn’t their fault. God made them that way. 🙂 So, one of the kindest and most loving things we can do for our husbands is to meet their sexual needs. We need to strive to build a robust sex life with our husbands, and more than likely, you’ll enjoy it too! To be honest, if we don’t have a vibrant sex life within our marriage, we’re setting up each other to subconsciously look for that excitement with someone else. That’s why Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”
The question is: How does the exhausted wife (and mother) build a robust sex life that both she and her husband enjoy? Well, I believe she takes a really good look at her schedule of activities and responsibilities to see if there are any things she can cut out. I bet there are some things she could reduce or cut completely! Secondly, she asks her husband for help! Can he put the kids to bed so that she has time to wind down and start thinking about enjoying physical intimacy with her husband? Can he do the dishes after dinner or help the kids with their homework so that she can decompress and maybe take a bubble bath before she and her husband head to bed?
Ask your husband if he would be willing to help with some tasks in the evenings so that you are more able to build a robust sex life with him. I bet it is a trade he is willing to make!