How Christian Women Can Avoid Burnout
Burnout is a real issue that many Christian women are facing today!
Today women hold half of all management and professional positions in the United States and female business owners represent one of the fastest-growing markets in the country.
In business, as in many other walks of life, the achievements of women are breaking records in just about every field of employment.
Christian women are a strong presence in the business world today. However, there is another, challenging side to the successes of women. Many Christian women who are seeing great successes in the business world are also having to face the reality of ultimately experiencing burn-out.
What causes highly intelligent, creative and energetic Christian women to melt down, give and sometimes simply walk away from a productive career? Can anything be done to help?
Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter in her book, High Octane Women, draws on over fifteen years experience and expertise in stress management to explore the unique challenges that high-achieving women face. Here are four basic points in Dr. Carter’s book that all working Christian women should pay close attention to. These four points are strong causes of burn-out.
- A drive toward perfectionism—feeling that nothing short of perfection in all aspects of life is required for success.
- The increasing demands in the lives of high-achieving women. They are often expected to do it all—handle a stressful job, maintain a committed relationship, bear children, and assume primary responsibility for the care of home and family.
- Limited or no resources or support.
- Technological innovations, such as BlackBerries and laptops, that have made it seem as if they’re on the job 24/7.
Dr. Carter has some good advice in handling these stresses; however, the Bible can give even better advice. Three scriptural messages that every woman needs to notice and hear again and again can be found in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates…”
Exodus 23:12 (KJV) Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
Burnout and stress are a reality for many women today. This is nothing new. Jesus spoke these words to his followers in the first century.
Matthew 11:28-29 “…Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Christian women do have an answer to deal with burn-out. The challenge is to follow the advice and guidance of the Savior.