Contemporary women commonly feel overwhelmed (covered over) with responsibilities to care for her family, manage the household, participate in community affairs and work a job away from home. All too often, all these things devolve into a condition we call ‘nervous breakdown’.
‘Nervous breakdown’, according to the Mayo Clinic, is an unhealthy response to stress.
I have good news and bad news. The good news? Stress motivates us to improve performance. The bad news? Long-term stress has a deleterious effect on your health.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) points to two actions that will relieve stress: relaxation and setting priorities.
Specific to women, instead of the yoga recommended by NIMH, I suggest starting your day by reading the Bible, meditating, and praying. Please understand the difference between a Bible study and reading the Bible. A Bible study increases your knowledge and a daily reading of the Bible will cleanse and sanctify you [Ephesians 5:25-26].
A point to ponder: God identifies wisdom and the church as feminine.
Wisdom: “knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action”
So, we have a simple plan to start the day with a “washing of water with the word”, quiet meditation and prayer. These steps will take care of the matter of relaxation. Let’s move on to the matter of setting priorities.
No doubt you have flown on a commercial airplane. The FAA requires safety instruction at the beginning of all commercial flights. What is the instruction on oxygen masks? That’s right: PUT YOUR MASK ON FIRST. Why? If you don’t take care of your self FIRST, you will be unable to care for anyone else.
Can you handle a little more from the Bible? If yes, then I urge you to read Proverbs 31:10-31 in more than one version. You will begin to discern a pattern. The Virtuous Woman has priorities. First, she takes care of herself. Second, she takes care of her family. Third, she takes care of the remainder of her duties, even working outside the home or running a home-based business.
Virtuous: “agreeing with or following moral and ethical principles;
All you have read up to this point is not written to support one man’s theory on how a woman should live. I’ve lived nearly a half-century with a virtuous woman who follows the Biblical model – my wife, a mother of four children, who is my business partner of over 30 years.
Philippians 4:13 (Amplified version) says, “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
Can you handle it? Yes, you can! Just remember to put on your oxygen mask first before others who may need your assistance.