Integrating Into a Whole Person


These first few days may seem a little philosophical to some of you. Just bear with me. Next week, I’ll deal with more practical, everyday things.

When I think about myself, it is easy to think in compartments. The Christian part of me goes to church, reads my Bible, prays and ministers to others. The mom part of me homeschools, trains, disciplines, cooks, does laundry, plays and reads books. The wife part of me goes on dates, has conversations and dresses up to look as nice as possible. I could go on just as you could because we are complex in the roles we play.

However, when we think of cherishing life, all those parts of us really fit together. There are not clear lines of demarcation between my Christian persona and my mom persona, or between my homeschooling and my work and my laundry. I am one person filling multiple roles all at the same time.

So, why does that matter?

If you have ever been unhealthy on a spiritual level, you know that it affects your emotions. You feel sad, guilty, worthless or angry. It also can affect you physically. You lose your appetite, you get stomach cramps or headaches. In that state, you may not be able to perform cognitive tasks such as balancing the checkbook or following a recipe as well, therefore it affects you mentally.

The same thing is true if you are unhealthy physically. Battling a disease may affect your spirituality as you have less energy to spend time with God or you question Him in allowing the disease. Your emotions and mental capacity can be challenged depending on what type of illness you have.

This shows us that we are a whole person. To be unhealthy in an area of life is to be off balance in the other areas as well. Since we are so relational, being unhealthy in any way also affects our relationship with our parents, husbands, children and even our homes. You vowed to never snap at your children, yet a bad day at work has the potential to cause you to speak to your child in an irritated tone when he spills his milk. You love your husband with all your heart, but a migraine can cause his usual behavior to aggravate you.

We must recognize this integration to truly cherish ourselves. We must cherish ourselves in order to truly cherish others. And we must cherish others to make the mundane things of life worthy of cherishing.

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