Soul Care – What is it and How do you do it?
Soul care isn’t a priority for most Christian women. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably praying that soul-care is something we can cross off our to-do list and leave to God.
In fact, most of us don’t realize that our souls need care. But the truth is, our souls need just as much, if not more attention, then any other part of our lives.
In order to establish an effective soul care routine, we need to begin by understanding what the soul is.
I like to think of it this way; as a human, we reflect the trinity of God, body, spirit, and soul. God the Father is the soul, Jesus is the Body, The Holy Spirit is the spirit.
Body, Spirit, Soul
Just like God, we are created in three parts as well; body, spirit and soul.
Our body is our physical being; our bones, muscles, brain, and tissue. It’s everything you can see with your eyes. It’s the vehicle our souls use to get around in this world.
Our spirit is the breath of life that God breathed into us that keeps us alive. We’re not aware of our spirit most of the time, and it doesn’t really belong to us. When we die, our spirit, -life energy- returns to God.
Our soul is who we really are, it’s our mind, personality, and consciousness. When we talk about self-care, we’re mostly talking about soul care. Mental healthy, at its core, is soul care.
Like a car
If we were like a car: Our body would be the vehicle, the driver would be the soul, and the gasoline would be the spirit. We need all three working cooperatively to journey through life.
Your soul is the part of you that gets to decide where you want to go. Your soul is the part of you that is awake and concious, it’s more than just your mind, it’s who you truely are. And that’s why soul care is so important.
Now, when we talk about self-care, especially in the secular world, we tend to talk about taking care of the body. Getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy food. And this is absolutely essential. We need our body to be in good condition if we are going to be truly effective in this world. We want to ensure that we are taking good care of the temple of God. But we need to go deeper and ensure that we are also taking proper care of our soul.
Soul Care Vs. Self Care
Soul care is all about taking care of who we really are. It’s intentionally training our brain, which is part of our body, to do the will of the soul which longs for God, rather than the will of the flesh.Soul care is all about taking care of who we really are. It's intentionally training our brain, to do the will of the soul which longs for God, rather than the will of the flesh. Click To Tweet
This can be challenging because brains are designed by God to be lazy.
The brain and mind are very different. Your brain is just a muscle that sits inside your skull. It’s a big fancy computer that was created to be as efficient as possible. (Ie lazy)
Your brain is a lot like a google search bar.
You ask it questions, and it comes up with answers. Ask brilliant questions like, “How can I become God’s good and faithful servant“, and your brain will start looking for brilliant answers.
Ask bad questions like; “Why am I so stupid, fat and lazy” and your brain will find an answer.
But your mind is the part of you that has ideas. Your mind has opinions, attitudes, and beliefs. And your mind works with the brain to keep you alive.
Your Mind and Your Brain
But your brain and mind don’t always co-operate.
Because for most people, your mind wants to thrive. You’re dreaming big dreams and imagining the possibilities, but your brain just wants to survive.
For example, if you’re a mom like me, you might have had the experience of watching your children sleeping peacefully and been overcome with a wave of love and affection. Suddenly your brain jumps in and reminds you that they can die.
Or, on a lighter note, and you’re trying to focus on something important like planning your work schedule, and your brain decides to takes a break to sing the “daddy shark song”…
…you know what I’m talking about.
Our minds are a part of our soul. When we worry or get depressed, it’s a soul issue. Of course, mental issues can be caused by the brain, but it’s still the mind that is ultimately affected.
Maybe you have been diagnosed with a deficiency of serotonin, and that’s causing depression, your physical brain is doing something that is affecting your mind and therefore your soul.
It’s like if you injured any other part of your body, a broken leg would also affect your mind because you’d be thinking about what’s wrong and how to fix it.
So, how do we care for the soul?
Soul care involves quality time with God.
In the book of Psalms David asks the question, “why are you downcast oh my soul?”
The soul has moods and needs to be in a place of abundance and love. If we’re going to grow and thrive as human beings, then our souls need to be nurtured and loved.
As a child and youth care worker, I discovered that children learn best when they feel safe. If you want children to learn their alphabet and math, they need to know that they’re in a relatively safe environment. Because if they’re scared, there’s no way the can focus on numbers and letters.
And this makes sense when we look at the fact that Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow.
Think about it this way, Jesus knows that we can’t learn about the love of God when we’re afraid for our lives. This is why so many people don’t know about the love of God, because they’re busy worrying about the next bill and keeping food on the table. And so our souls become weary and we burn out.
Therefore we need to be intentional about creating an environment for ourselves in which we are capable of learning about the love of God. We need quiet time.
One of the best ways to do this is by spending time in the word of God. The word of God was designed by God himself to be refreshing. And if you’ve ever tried to read the word of God and just found it boring, I want to encourage you to keep going. The Bible, just like coffee, is an acquired taste.
The Bible is also full of examples of how other people failed. This is a huge blessing for us because it means that we don’t have to make every mistake ourselves. We have the advantage of being able to learn from those who came before us.
Jesus is Self-Care
The only way to learn about God, his laws, love, and expectations is by reading His word for ourselves. When we fail to spend time in the word of God we are depriving our souls of the bread of life.
The reason Jesus said that “man does not live on bread alone” is because he knows about our three-part nature. He knows that we need to nourish and care for our souls just as much as our body, if not more.
Jesus is the ultimate form of soul care. Jesus is self-care. If we want to live healthy vibrate lives we need Jesus. He is the bread, water, and the way. When we have Jesus, our souls are efficiently and effectively nourished with everything they need to thrive.
Soul care is the best form of self-care. Of course, both go hand in hand, if we want to keep living here on earth, we need to care for our bodies, and if we want to enjoy eternal life we need to care for our souls.
The first act of soul care is accepting Jesus.
Until you’ve accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and savior everything you do will have a limited effect. But when you accept Jesus, everything you do comes under the power and authority of God and things begin to get really exciting.
Hell is the default for all of us.
We are given this life for one purpose, to come into a relationship with God, through Christ. If we fail to do that, no matter how successful or good we are, we will have gained the world but lost our soul.
And although our bodies die and our spirit goes back to God, our souls were created for eternity. The question is; Where are you going to spend eternity?
That’s why I said that the first act of self-care is salvation.
Without salvation, nothing else matters.
The second act of soul care is a relationship with God through Christ.
The second act of soul care is developing that relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus. When we accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves in and helps us get to know the Father. As we commit to studying the word of God, the Holy Spirit begins to unlock the scriptures.
As we learn to care for our soul we begin to adopt the mind of Christ. This is essential because when we are born again, we need to begin to think in a new way.
The beauty of adopting the mind of Christ is that it eliminates suffering. As we begin to think the way Christ thinks we discover the truth, that all things are working for our good. Even hard things. Disasters and trauma lose their sting in the face of the truth of God.
Without the mind of Christ, it seems impossible to understand how serious loss and grief could possibly benefit us. How could murder, terrorist attacks, rape, miscarriage, or anything like that be for our benefit?
Adopt The Mind of Christ
The world will tell you it can’t. But the Bible tells us that it can.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And when you understand for yourself, how this is possible, you can elimiate suffering in your own life.
So take care of your self. Take care of your soul. Give it the bread of life. Water it from the eternal springs of our Lord Jesus Christ. Set up your life in a way that allows your soul to thrive.
The perfect love of God, will cast out all fear and you will be able to enjoy life at the fullest level. Even in the midst of pain, you will find hope.
A healthy thriving soul makes you resilient in life.
Soul care helps to ensure that you’re able to stand firm in tough times.