Believing caregivers, how do I reconcile that scripture says to put others before me whereas the secular world says put me first?

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Is anyone else having a challenge of doing things scriptural, verses what the secular world says. As in scripture says to put others before me whereas the secular world says put me first. I know what is right, just wondering if others may struggle with this. And how do we mourn the loss of ourselves without sinking into depression? How do we have joy in the midst of our trials and tribulations? It seems that as time passes my patience doesn't hurt as much, (must be experience), but still everyday I start wearing down where my patience begins to hurt a little and I am struggling not to let it be seen. I spend a lot of time in prayer and in the word, that is the only way I have the strength to do this, putting myself aside. But as a faulty human being, I am still in a struggle and seek like minded individuals who understand. May God bless all those who are loving their loved ones to the best of their ability.


Doesn't scripture say to love your neighbor as yourself? Doesn't that imply you are to love yourself?
Smeshque, I bet it would be worthwhile for you to explore your situation and struggles with this in depth with a pastor or counselor at church, get their feedback about it too. I don't think serving others means we have to be doormats or pretend we don't have our own valid needs. Or boundaries. For instance, I can strive to think of others above myself, but I don't think Jesus requires me to accept abuse.

It's an interesting topic, isn't it?
Hmmmm. Where in scripture does it say to put others ( not God) before yourself? And in what context?

Hillel, a contemporary of Jesus, said " If I am not for myself, who will be? " One has to protect oneself in order to be of service.
So, there are certainly places where scripture talks about putting one's self last and ministering to the needs of others. Yes, and yes.

Putting one's self first means different things to different people. To some, it's means egomanaically demanding that ALL of their needs and wants be fufilled immediately with no concern about how those demands impact others.

This is NOT what we mean on this board when we saw you need to put yourself first.

What we mean is, if you don't consider one's own NEEDS--for food, rest, privacy, a livelihood, socialization, then you become worthless as a caregiver. You run the risk of burning out, becoming seriously ill or dying. The statistics on death amongst caregivers is truly appalling. A dead caregiver does no one any good.

We don't mean ego-centrically putting ones' self first. We mean it in the sense that Maslow, the early 20th century psychologist meant it when he talked about the hierarchy of needs. If you don't take care of yourself, you will be of little good to anyone else.

Getting adequate respite from caregiving is not selfish. It allows you to do a better job.

As an analogy, we rest on the Sabbath. It allows us to perform all of our mundane tasks better during the week. Resting on the Sabbath is not "lazy". It is restorative.
One of my biggest hurdles in dealing with my narcisstic mother and sister was realizing that I needed to put God first in all. I was very busy all my life catering to both of them now its God, me then loved ones. It was a hard thing to realize. Seek His Face. I had been seeking an craving for love and affection from my mother and sister. I wont ever get that. God was always there and buffered the painful moments and it got worse and worse untill I saw the light. It came through at various times. the impact and realization was a slow build up.
Once we put God first he handles all our cares. Its the same with the stress of care giving I learned I had to stop trying to make everything right, still learning to let go and let God. I see results. Friends and all were telling me I dont let my sister do anything. I have always been the Cinderella. Cooking cleaning, solving every problem trying to make everyone happy and take away their pain. the people who care about me that way are dead and gone. God sent angels to my rescue as I learned the reality that my sister and mother were only about themselves and I was truly being used as the footstool I felt I was.

After an illness my job let me go. I had unemployemnt for a good while. And I found it hard to find a job. I persevered to no avail. My landllord sold her house I had to move back in with my mother. I helped her find this house, fix it up kept it up for years, many years, what ever was need I did. She would curse me as I cleaned and waxed floors, every event I hadto fight as I put up a tree or fixed a big dinner. I thought I was this or that. When prayed not to have to go there because things got really nasty and painful and I didnt burn the bridge but =my pride was hurt to go back into the hell hole. Here with nothing no car no job. I was treated like an outcast. so many natural rights were violated, it was very painful and ugly. My pressure stayed high and the doctors kept threatening to admit me if it didnt go down in hte offfice after a stat med.

But during that time. So many angels came into my life. I did a lot of crying, I mean crying like a baby. and praying it was during that time that I didnt want for anything I needed, I couldnt ask a thing from my mohter or sister. My sister was evening giving her cans to people in thestreet. I would go visit my son and pantry goods I had neatly placed and depended on would be thrown out. I and going on and on I can right a book. Ishare it to say when I realized all I needed was God. Singing Praise and prayers took me a long ways. Sometimes I forget but back then people would say I had a glow even in the mist of all that turmoil. Dont forget you are God's child talk to Him . I read a lot of psalm. One of my favorite pslams is the 28th because the LOrd is my strenght and my shield. I was also told to read the 37th by a lot of people . I have quite a few favorites. I think you read and find the ones that touch your heart .
Above all, I know to put God first and give it all to HIM. I do understand we need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to provide optimum care for others. Psalms 143 is my go to. My problem is myself, I haven't been blessed yet to figure out how to not feel pulled in different directions. When my Dad was alive it was easier. I did not feel guilty taking some time for myself, because they had each other. My Mom has been a caregiver since she was 15, and now she is lost not having that anymore. I feel so responsible for helping her find things she enjoys doing. Since my Dad passed, my husband and I have distance. He is good to Mom but he doesn't carry any of the weight. He doesn't seem to get it when I ask him for help. Just to sit and talk with her for a bit give me a moment to refresh. He just doesn't understand, so I am becoming rese tful of him, of which I don't want to be.Praying on the matter. So I feel stuck in the middle of them, and trying g please them, I cannot do anything I need to do to refresh. So my time is taken from sleep time, at night when everyone is asleep, I feel relief. I read,study my bible and pray, until I sleep. This is just life, we all have trials and tribulations if things were perfect we wouldn't need a Saviour, Jesus. Thank you all.May God bless
Oh I just lost my post. Keep praying. Realize that a lot of our issues are more spiritual warfare. Religion and beliefs are a deep subject. But I dont know where I would be if I did not beleive and have a relationhip with My Father In Heaven. Its awesome what I have seen him do in my life and my stuggles. I dont think it will ever be to easy for those who are good in heart and beleivers because its spiritual warfare. We have to keep praiseing and thanking God for all even the smallest blessing for the pink in the horizon. Because He is at work for us his children we get in the way sometimes. I ve heard it said when we work God rests. I lam still learning to let go, stop trying to fix things, life. Its when I am overwhelmed and helpless that I can let go and dang on if things dont take a turn. I try to stay in prayer , praise and Thank God for everything no matter how minial.
Smes, it could be a lot of reasons or issues involve with your husband not being more involved. I hope you have a breakthrough with whatever bounds are involved with that issue.
My twisted and my mother have both hated my guts and had no boundaries in letting me know it. To this day I cant figure it out and I subconciously ignored what they had been telling me all along.

This caregiving is a tremendous load, its hard to watch a loved one deteriorate no matter what the history. I had to stop back and let God work. It was the only way to keep my sanity. Its okay for us to take a break and nuture ourselves and build on the love out side of lthe person we take care of.

DDDuck I love your last post
People have their own idea of what is moral, scriptural, etc., but, to me, I feel that God provides us with resources and intelligence. We are able to access when additional care for a loved one is needed, by assessing the situation.

There are places who are equipped to handle care....sometimes, much better than a sole family member in the home, because they have shifts of staff, proper equipment, on site care, etc. There are also others who can come into the home to help with care. I think we may need to consider if we are actually putting the loved one's needs first and not our own desires to care. And if I'm struggling with feeling overwhelmed, feel guilt for no apparent reason, am incredibly sad or depressed......I'd try to resolve that by being more pragmatic about the reasons why and how I might correct it.
I love the Bible and I do follow it but I don’t agree with your assessment is correct. The scriptures about putting “others needs ahead of our own”....empathy... is to help us appreciate others may be in need of our help and not to be overly self absorbed in our own needs and concerns, like similar scriptures in the Bible. In a society that has individuals that make decisions at the expense of others lives...their families, their clients, etc... a collective lack of empathy can open the way to horrible situations.

That said, the Bible does not indicate that you run yourself into the ground for every need there is for the same Word states “let your yes mean yes and your No..No.” so there are situations that call for a no...but the only person that can assess that would be you, since you are in this situation.

We should appreciate the need for balance- that we do what we can, but we have limitations- as you had mentioned. Accept your fence and say “no” to those situations that put you and your health at risk.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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