Caregiving is one of the most fundamental tasks of life, and it can be full of difficulties.
Caregivers often share that, at times, they feel tired, lonely, and frustrated—even hopeless. That’s why I want to encourage caregivers today!
My husband Ken has cared for me for more than four decades. As a seasoned caregiver, Ken can tell you that in the midst of the daily realities of caregiving, it is important to develop a clear vision of your essential God-given calling.
If you are a caregiver, Scripture can help you grasp how compassionate caregiving is much more than just a duty—that it is a means of service to God that can be full of joy and blessings!
A strong scriptural frame makes it possible to hold fast to this vision while grappling with the challenges that come with caregiving.
The Bible shows us how caregiving is a means of serving God and sharing his love.
I have chosen ten passages that highlight various themes related to caregiving, and can help prepare your mind and heart for the rigors of your calling.
The love of God (1 John 3:17): “But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
Loving others (Philippians 2:4): “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Do good to all (Galatians 6:10): “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
Be salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16): “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
God cares for you (1 Peter 5:7): “…casting all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.”
God sees what you do (Hebrews 6:10): “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.”
Bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2): “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”
The centrality of love (John 13:34–35): “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
An example of caregiving (Luke 10:30–35): Jesus replied and said, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’”
Serving Christ by serving others (Matthew 25:35–40): “’For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
I pray that these verses will bless you on your caregiving journey!
As you contemplate God’s promises and calling for your life, ask him to show you how his blessings can be found through the caregiving process.
When her husband Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at 55, their life went into disarray and caregiving became consuming for Susan. Following Dave’s passing in 2019, Susan founded her ministry to caregivers, providing a path from surviving to thriving in Christ.