Monday, December 2, 2013

Spiritual Care Planning

     Ask any nurse what a care plan is and nightmares of all-nighters come to mind. It is part of every nursing program... this structure that is taught in hopes to train you in how to think through problem solving varieties of health issues. Not diagnosing diseases as doctors do, but making a nursing diagnosis of an ailment, and explaining how we are going to fix it. Something as simple as a rash, can have a 3 page write-up, covering every aspect of the rash. First we make an assessment: what is the problem?     Then we make a nursing diagnosis: What is the cause? Then we make an expected outcome: What do we want to see?  Then comes the action plan: How are we going to achieve the desired outcome? The last step is to evaluate your plan after implementing. How is it working?
     Immediately when introduced to this method in nursing school, I saw the awesome spiritual parallels. Sin is a disease of our soul, and God is the doctor. He is the one who can heal our hearts. If we are purposeful to ask the Lord to change our hearts, and let his Word take hold of our soul, He will be faithful to change our hearts.

2 Peter 1:3 "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Psalms 119:11 "Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You."

I wrote this Care Plan a long time ago. My small group girls and I all wrote a few for the different things we were struggling with at the time. It was helpful for us to share them with each other, and they have been helpful through the years in different counseling situations. It is fun and so helpful to get creative in our fight against sin.

I can honestly say that any anger I struggled with towards my husband during the first few years after having children, when he was studying in seminary, is long gone. My love for him grows everyday. It is not from me. The Lord changed my heart. He refined this area of sin for me, He took it away. I praise Him with all my heart for this work he has done in me!

Spiritual Care Plan
Anger at Spouse
(Fall 2008)

There are times when I feel angry at my husband. When his plans are different than mine, when he doesn’t do what I think he should do, or when he does something I don’t think he should do. I dwell on what he has or hasn’t done and I think in my head about what I want to say to him about it (usually not in a friendly tone). I might snap at him or give him a hard time, nagging him about it. 

Heart Diagnosis: 
Selfishness:  I want him to do what I want and when I want him to. 
Laziness:  I think that he should do more, when really, I should serve him more. 

Expected  Heart Change:
Servants Heart: Expect nothing of him and everything of myself.  Serve him faithfully no matter what he does or doesn’t do.  Focus more on how I can serve him.
Diligence: Focus on working hard all day as working for the Lord. 
Love: A love for my husband that is peaceful and steadfast, not determined by circumstances of the day.  A true love that can overlook anything, even outright sin, and love him just the same, just like the Lord does for me.

Action Plan:
The Word: I will wake up EVERY morning and spend quality time in the word and in prayer. I will read these scriptures daily:
Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  
Mark 9:35 “Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
Romans 12: 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, [each of us is to exercise them accordingly]

Romans 12: 9[Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10[Be] devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Colossians 3:8   But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

Colossians 3: 1-10   1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

Colossians 3:12-17
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Prayer I will pray every morning that the Lord will give me love for my husband and the ability to forget about what bothers me, but be enamored with the qualities I fell in love with in him.  I will pray for him.  I will use the “Praying Daily for my Husband” as a guide to help me pray daily for him.

Through the day: I will listen to several worship songs during the day that talk of my upmost depravity and remind me how I do not deserve anything or anyone. I am a total sinner in need of a savior.

Before he gets home:  I will pray once more before he gets home from work and read through a few scriptures.

When with my husband: I will put on acts and words of love for him no matter what I feel. When I start to feel angry with him: 
I will look for a way to serve him. 
I will recite, in my head, the verses I have memorized
I will silently pray for grace, peace, joy and love.