By Michelle Barringer
What does your journey of rest look like? Do you even have one? Here’s encouragement for you today, dear wife.
The Journey of Rest
“There’s no rest!” A young mom of five children and a wife who is weary spoke these words to me. I heard exhaustion. I also heard resentment.
My heart broke for her because she believes a lie: there’s no rest for a busy wife and mom. I know this lie. I believed it too long, and my life reflected me living the lie.
Many wives think the ideal woman does all the things, every single day. I want to put an end to this mindset. When we try to do everything every day, 24/7, 365 days a year, well, that’s not possible.
Whether or not we have children, we women can keep ourselves busy from sun up until sun down. The question is, should we?
The answer is no.
We don’t honor Jesus when we never rest. We also don’t honor our children, our husbands, or ourselves when we keep going and going and never rest. The never-ending race produces a false image of who we are.
We are human, not robots. We will run out of energy or make ourselves sick if we don’t rest.
Results of Not Resting
Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way. Besides getting sick from not resting, resentment started filling my soul. I aimed my feelings of indignant displeasure at my husband and children.
I started noticing how easily annoyed I became at the slightest issue: a dirty dish left on the coffee table, shoes in the middle of the floor or paying bills while my family played. I thought those things were meant to intentionally offend me. Not-so-nice thoughts entered my mind.
I believed a lie I had to keep up with everything. Attached to that lie was an underlying sense of being wronged by either my husband or children. This caused a lot of frustration, anger and disappointment.
Two Truths About Rest
For a long time I thought I just had to keep going. Take on more. Do more. “No rest for the weary” became my motto.
I remember lying facedown on my bedroom floor crying to Jesus. Poor Michelle, so tired and overworked. Don’t you see, Lord, how much I always have to do and my family doesn’t seem to have any clue? What a pity party I had!
I didn’t get the sympathy I wanted. Instead, I got the truth. Actually, two truths that redirected my life.
Truth number one: Resentment had become a stronghold in my life, because I was lacking rest. Jesus was not going to let me get away with it. In fact, he told me to get rid of it. In Colossians 3:8, he tells us straight out to get rid of anger, hatred and bitterness. Since resentment is a relative of these three, I knew I was busted.
Then came the second truth: Have I not commanded you to rest? (Exodus 20:8).
“Um, yeah, I remember you said something about resting,” I admitted. Busted again.
Rest needs to be a part of our life. Rest is obedience to the Lord’s commandment. When we don’t rest, we are disobeying God.
Rest was one of the main remedies for my resentment. This took some time to change. But praise Jesus for the journey of rest. Resting has produced more blessing than all my exhaustion-filled days of busyness ever did.
Now, I have a new motto: It’s better to rest than to become resentful.
Permission to Rest
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
Jesus gives us permission to rest. In fact, he commands we rest. Stop feeling guilty for resting. You need rest. Build rest into each day and each week. Give yourself permission to rest. The Sabbath is a great place to start.
Rest can look different for each of us. Think about what helps you relax and re-energize. Here are a few ideas:
- Daily schedule 30-60 minutes to rest (read a book, watch television, take a bath, go for a walk, nap)
- Pamper yourself weekly (get a massage, paint your fingernails, go shopping by yourself)
By intentionally starting a journey of rest, you’ll feel much better overall.
Wife Step: Get quiet with God and ask him to reclaim rest in your life. Pick one of the tips above and apply it this week.
Michelle Barringer is a writer, speaker, blogger, Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a full-time learning and development consultant. She has a master’s degree in communication. Michelle is currently writing her first book in the wee hours of the morning.
You can join Michelle on social media @michellerbarringer on Instagram and Facebook and her website www.michellebarringer.com where she writes about faith, purpose, and perseverance sharing true stories and biblical insight.
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