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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are You A Caregiver? What About Caring For Your Spouse?

I apologize for a lapse in blog posts recently.  I was functioning in the role of caregiver for close family members during the past two weeks.

As I spent time out of town helping my sister recover after surgery, I began to reflect on what qualities caregivers exhibit most during their time with those they minister to.  Notice I used the word “minister”.

For the Christian, being a caregiver must include not only acts of kindness and mercy, but also walking in the Spirit.  

There is a woman in Scripture who comes to mind when I think of good works and charitable deeds.  In Acts 9:36 Luke tells us about Tabitha (which is translated Dorcas).  She was loved by many and was known for making colorful garments. Dorcas cared for those around her by sewing tunics and sharing them with the less fortunate. When she became sick and died, it was Peter who prayed for her to be revived as a testimony to God’s resurrection power.

In I Corinthians 12:28 the gift of “helps” is listed as essential for the church to function as God designed it.  There is a diversity of Spiritual gifts and callings, but one Spirit.  A gift of mercy and hospitality is necessary in the Body of Christ to care for the flock of God. 

Here are a couple of interesting statistics from the 2009 study funded by the MetLife Foundation for the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP:

-          Half of caregivers say their loved one lives in his or her own home (51%), while 29% live
together with their care recipient.

-          Half of caregivers (53%) also say that their caregiving takes time away from friends and other family members. Those who have sacrificed this time with family and friends are far more likely to feel high emotional stress (47%) than are those who have been able to maintain the time they spend with family and friends (14%).

There are many in the nursing profession that will tell you that it is their “calling” in life.  Nursing is the quintessential service oriented occupation.  It is one based on selflessness and sacrifice. The gifts of mercy and compassion flow effortlessly. I am convinced that there are natural gifts and God ordained gifts that are given to each believer in order to enrich the lives of others.

Patience, longsuffering and gentleness are three of the Spiritual fruits that are often evident in caregivers.

When the Apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13:1-3 that love is the greatest gift, verse 7 lists how difficult loving can really be.  Endurance is the key to bearing up under the weight of love that is tested and tried.  If we have not love – we have nothing to give that is of importance.

Paul also emphasizes in Ephesians 2:10 that we have been created in Christ Jesus for “good works” which God engineered and prepared for us in advance. 

As we draw on our God-given strengths, we are challenged to demonstrate our fruits (Galatians 5:22-23). 

When I consider the time and effort I put into my caregiving duties with family members, I realize that I should do no less for my own husband.  

Women generally don’t have an issue with caregiving – but I have become acutely aware of the fact that I may not always extend the same mercy, longsuffering or patience to my spouse as I would with someone else.  I have been convicted of that very fact since I have returned home to my daily routine and responsibilities.

My husband deserves the same care and concern I would show for any other family member in need.  So why do I often dismiss his needs, but run to help someone else? 

May God continue to help me prioritize and submit to His plan for utilizing my caregiving gifts at home.  I don’t want to discover later on that I let my own agenda sideline God’s plan for being a loving and care centered wife in my own household.

Can I get a witness here?  Do you struggle with caregiving in your family and at home? What helps you stay God-centered as you minister to your loved ones?

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.


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