Spiritual Sustenance for the Weary
There are two main roles the church can play in helping weary women.
Obviously, there's a spiritual role. The church can be actively aware, learning or acquiring knowledge about the stresses and strains on women and families.
The church can organize specific times of prayer, when women (young mothers, especially) can come together with child care available—even for an hour, once a week. There, women can gather and have coffee and chat, knowing that for that hour, they can just relax, be refreshed, and then go back home and feel uplifted—not just emotionally and physically, but spiritually as well. The fellowship of other Christian women can certainly uplift you spiritually.
Be creative, but the key thing is to be aware of women’s needs.
In days gone by, a mom would come from the hospital with a baby and virtually be put to bed for two weeks. Family and all other support networks would step in. Mom would just eat, feed the baby, and everything else was taken care of.
Our society has changed radically. That does not really happen anymore. You might come home the day you've had the baby and within a few hours, there are meals to be cooked, other kids to look after, and, in the middle of all this, you're supposed to care for the new baby and recover from the trauma of giving birth.
All ages of women in the church can, if they have free time (let's not be putting pressure on every woman in the church to be fulfilling everybody's needs), reach out to a young mother with children and say, "Can I take your kids for an hour? We don't have to go out. We'll just go to another room in the house and we'll have fun. I'll read some stories to them. You go up to your room. Get a coffee, read a book, pray, do whatever." Another example would be providing food. This is something that is done pretty well in the Christian church when moms come home with new babies.
These are practical solutions. Be creative. But the key thing is to be aware of women’s needs. The church has a big role to play in supporting women specifically.
- How Husbands Can Protect Their Wives from Burnout (Shona Murray, David Murray)
- Infographic: The Common (Yet Neglected) Problem of Burnout
- 4 Cultural Factors That Contribute to Our Epidemic of Burnout (David Murray)