You Can't Love Well When You're Exhausted


When you're physically exhausted, you have little or nothing to give. That's why rest, a balanced diet, and regular exercise are so important.

“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading to its hope; it can outlast anything” (1 Corinthians 13:7 Phillips).

Have you ever felt like you don’t have any more love to give?

Love is exhausting. It’s work to really love. Most people don’t understand that their physical condition has a strong impact on their relationships and ability to love.

It takes physical energy to listen to people, to put their needs first. Have you ever tried to appear like you’re interested in your child when you’re dead tired? You’re not listening because it takes energy to listen. 

What happens to your relationships when you’re run down? Little issues become big problems when you’re tired. You’re cranky, defensive, and critical when you’re physically low. On Monday mornings I’m usually drained, so my family knows Dad’s cranky until I get my Monday nap, then I’m back to my normal, sensitive, compassionate self! It’s not a spiritual problem. I’m just tired!

What are some habits that physically refresh you? The Bible is full of them. Here are a few: 

Rest. “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest” (Psalm 127:2 TLB). Rest is so important that God put it in the Ten Commandments: Every seventh day, you are to rest. If you’re not taking a day off every week, you’re breaking one of his commandments.  

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is get some rest. It’s amazing how much better things look after a good night’s sleep!

Balanced diet. “You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (Psalm 119:73 TLB). It’s a no-brainer, but choosing fruits and vegetables over chips and cookies will give us more sustained energy. We know what to do. We just need to do it. 

Regular exercise. “Honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:20b NIV). Our bodies were made for activity. In Bible times they didn’t have to exercise because they walked everywhere and did physical work. But today, in our sedentary culture, you really only have two choices: fatigue or fitness. If you choose fitness, it has to involve regular exercise.  

Talk It Over

  • Why do your emotions so strongly affect the amount of physical energy you have, and vice versa?
  • How can you create margin in your life so that you are getting more rest?
  • Think of some ways that your family can get healthier together. Why is it easier to get healthier when you do it with other people?

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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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