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Whole Health: Faith's Role in Family Wellness

Today's world would tell us that physical health is important, yet sometimes it feels like we're being sent mixed signals. Hustle culture and putting off marriage and kids seem to be more common nowadays.

There's importance and value in slowing down, spending time with family or building a family, and establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse. Maybe you don't feel called to family life, but for those who do, God honors both lifestyles.

So how do we as followers of Jesus navigate the hustle culture that pulls us away from prioritizing the physical and spiritual health of our family and ourselves?

Faith can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health. It can offer encouragement and empowerment to seek and desire balance in our lives.

The Connection between Faith and Health

According to Meier Clinics, holistic health for Christians involves paying attention to all aspects of human nature. Christians believe that God has designed humans to be whole people, both physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. (Meier)

A comprehensive analysis led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital emphasizes the importance of integrating spirituality into patient care. Their findings indicate that spiritual practices and community participation are associated with healthier lives, including greater longevity, lower levels of depression and suicide, and reduced substance use. The study highlights that for many patients, spirituality influences key outcomes like quality of life and medical care decisions. Incorporating spirituality into health care supports the whole person, acknowledging the significant role of faith and spiritual community participation in promoting overall health and well-being. (Tix 2023)

Practical Tips for a Healthy Family Lifestyle

You might be wondering how you can work practices into your daily life that promote better health as a whole. It's simpler than some might think.

Prayer: Regular prayer can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and enhance mental clarity. These practices encourage mindfulness and can lead to a state of peace and calmness.

God calls us to pray in all circumstances. Prayer is a powerful tool to empower us, uplift the spirit, and draw us closer to God.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Prayer can be readily done alone or with your kids. Encourage prayer time before a meal or before bedtime. Incorporate it into your daily lives and allow space for your children to participate. This boosts your family's relationships with one another and keeps God at the center.

Gratitude: Cultivating gratitude has been linked to improved mental health, reduced stress, and a greater sense of well-being. Keeping a gratitude journal or regularly acknowledging blessings can foster positivity.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)

You might ask your kids to share what their grateful for, or perhaps have them write something on a piece of paper and place it in a gratitude jar that they can pull from later.

Whatever way you plan to incorporate gratitude in your lives, simply focusing on all that God has given us can have a huge impact on our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Community Worship: Participating in worship services provides a sense of belonging, which is crucial for emotional health. It can also uplift spirits, enhance social support networks, and reduce feelings of isolation.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)

It's easy to have church fall to the very bottom of our priority lists. We've got our jobs, kids and their activities, parent-teacher conferences, managing household chores, trying to make time for our spouse, potty training a toddler, taking care of the dog or cat, and the list goes on.

We get it. There's so much that may be going on in your life. No one is asking you to give those things up, after all, many of those things are good things!

But when we don't participate in community, whether it be on the weekends at church, or a small group or bible study during the week, we are missing out on a huge contributor to our emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

And not just ours, but our kids too. They have the chance to make friends and you'll have the support and encouragement you need through parenting and marriage. The positives outweigh not making it part of our weekly routine.

Scripture Reading and Study: Engaging with the Bible can provide comfort, guidance, and wisdom, helping individuals navigate life's challenges and grow in their faith and personal lives.

A bible study is the perfect place to dive into the Word and learn more about God. It can offer encouragement and clarity. Our kids can participate in kids' programming at church on the weekends and learn more about Jesus at a level that they can understand.

Sabbath Rest: Observing a day of rest can contribute to physical, mental, and emotional recovery, reducing burnout and improving overall well-being.

Whether that be Saturday, Sunday, or another day of the week, setting aside a full day of rest and refresh, offers a variety of benefits for you and your family. A Sabbath doesn't mean you can't do anything all day - maybe a Sabbath day looks like cooking together, playing board games, going to the museum, or watching a movie. It's a time spent away from distractions and work, and striving to live in the moment.

It's a chance to reconnect to our family, recenter on God, and recharge after a long week of commitments.

We invite you to explore these spiritual practices further and discover their impact on your life and well-being. Join us in creating a space where we can grow together, support each other, and shine brighter as a community.

Let's embrace this faith journey together, making steps towards a more fulfilled, healthy, and spiritually enriched life.


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