Yes, it's the new year and you're probably thinking about physical health now more than ever. Great! We all know the importance of health and exercise. Most of us also know we should be intentional with our time and choices. Sometimes, with the balancing act of work and family responsibilities coupled with commute times, we are often forced to make choices of what will stay in our schedules and what will go.
I wrote how the godly father can be intentional about education. Don't miss that post. As father and husband, your family needs you to be the leader in your home—in every area. It's why Manhood Journey published their Field Guides.
Back to health. Unfortunately, for many of us, the easiest thing to cut from our busy schedules is exercise. We fail to see how our physical desires and cravings point to our spiritual needs for a Savior—Christ. While that might seem like the best thing to do in the struggle for life balance, it’s a terrible idea. Why? Because your health is not only important to you, your health is important to your family. So, what does this mean for you if you aren’t exercising regularly?
First, there are negative health risks when we aren’t eating correctly and aren’t exercising. Next, it means you will have to be intentional to find time within your schedule to get to the gym, run or do some other form of physical exercise.
The focused father is intentional about health.
“The focused father is intentional about health."
The focused father goes beyond the common excuses when it comes to taking care of our health. To give you an idea, I’ve listed out a few of the most common excuses when it comes to overall health and fitness. Basically, what the unfocused father thinks and below each excuse, I’ve added what the focused father thinks:
Unfocused Father: Eating healthy costs too much money.
Focused Father: Yes, eating healthy costs a lot ing the short run. But, in the long run, I’ll probably spend less and feel better.
Unfocused Father: I don’t have time to go to a gym.
Focused Father: Yes, it can be hard to find the time for the gym, but I can certainly find an hour at least three days a week to benefit your health.
Unfocused Father: I don’t have a gym near where I live.
Focused Father: While I don’t have a gym near me, there’s one near where I work. If I tweak my schedule, I could workout there.
Unfocused Father: I can’t afford a gym membership.
Focused Father: Yes, a gym membership may be expensive. But, some gyms cost less than $10 per month. Better yet, my community has a workout facility, I’m already paying fees for it.
Unfocused Father: I can’t make any of this work for me.
Focused Father: Okay, even if I can’t find time in my schedule, have no gym available, and have no money for a gym membership, I can still find workout videos for free on YouTube from the comfort of my home.
Do you hear the difference in these two dads? Your health is important—especially when you consider your children. As fathers, we want the best for our kids. We want to see them succeed and we want them to be healthy. For many men, our own health issues combined with a desire to be around for their kids leads many men to get intentional in the area of fitness and exercise.
In addition to working on your own healthy choices, it is important for your children to understand the importance of healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s go from unfocused to focused as it relates to health and our children. Here are some intentional things you can do with your kids in the area of health:
- Lead by example when it comes to proper diet and exercise.
- Remember how connected the physical is to the spiritual—and vice versa.
- Encourage them to reach for fruits and vegetables rather than cookies and sweets for a snack.
- Encourage them to drink water over sugary drinks.
- Look for opportunities to go for walks, jogs or runs with your kids.
- Encourage your kids to play outside rather than spending hours of screen time.
- Plan camping trips, kayak trips, swimming, skiing or other outdoor activities.
- Challenge your kids in pushups, pullups or situps—and consider doing them with your kids.
Feel unfocused at home and in life?
You can be intentional at home and in life. Focused Father helps you get the focus you need to thrive where it matters most.
About the author > Rick Prall, M. A.
Rick is an editorial director for Dave Ramsey at Ramsey Solutions in Nashville, Tennessee. An ordained minister, and has been married to his wife, Helene, for over 34 years. Rick and Helene have two grown children and one grandchild. Rick plays acoustic guitar on the worship team at The Glade Church and enjoys playing disc golf. Grab his Field Guide Focused Father.
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