This month we have been talking about taking care of ourselves. Taking care of our bodies is very important and there are many reasons to do so. The most compelling of those reasons is that God designed and created our bodies. As a creation of the Almighty God, they are precious in His eyes. The Psalmist said, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” Psalm 139:14.
We have been created to do good works for Him. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” When we feel healthy physically, then we are better able to work more in His kingdom. If we are tired and unable to get out of bed we are far less effective in working for him. Why then would we not care for what he has given us?
The next logical question, then, is HOW do we take care of our bodies? Today we will look at several things we can do, but keep in mind that this takes research and commitment. Taking ownership of our own bodies means taking time to understand how they work and what they need. Begin taking time to study about the wonderful creation that God blessed you with at your conception.
First of all, start where you are. No one looks at a marathon runner and thinks that they can just go right out and do the same overnight. Children may dream about being an NBA star overnight, but in reality, it just doesn’t happen. However, having a goal in mind is not a bad idea. It is important to have realistic goals in mind. If you have only been on the couch, then maybe a good first step for you is to walk to your mailbox everyday. You can slowly increase it each week by adding a bit more distance. Or maybe you want to walk it faster. Whatever you do, keep in mind your own limitations and experiences.
In the area of nutrition, a good first step might be to simply give up something you know is not good for your body. Simply replacing your soda with water can do a whole lot for helping your body be healthy. Our bodies require water and many people do not drink enough. This is an excellent first step. A good verse to remember in this area is: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12. Do not allow things to control you through addictions. Examine your diet. What do you consume each day that you do not want to give up? Coffee, soda, or sugar are things to begin thinking about. These things may not be unhealthy occasional choices, but consuming too much of these things are not good choices on a daily basis.
Second, be diligent. If you decide to walk to the mailbox everyday, but then you only do it one or two days out of the week, then it’s not going to help much at all. Daily work is what is going to help your body the most. Rest is important as well, it is good to have a day or two a week to give your body a rest period, but otherwise daily work is necessary for your body. Paul tells us, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) One definition of discipline is: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training. A regimen indicates repetition. All discipline is best done consistently. Keep at it.
Next, keep your goal in mind. Maybe you do want to run a marathon. Work slowly. Start by walking, then running short distances, then longer and longer. Listen to your body. Running may not be what your body needs. Knowing the difference in aches and pains that are necessary to reaching your goals and those aches and pains associated with serious problems can be tricky. If necessary, seek the advice of professionals who can help you ascertain the difference.
Finally, ask for the guidance of your Heavenly Father. We are commanded to pray. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7. God cares about you and He will care that you are trying to make changes in your life to nurture your physical body as well as your spiritual. He will help you. Pray for Him to help you in your research as well, that you may find the things that you specifically need to do. All of our bodies have differences and require different nutritional and exercise needs.
So, decide today what changes you need to make to your diet and exercise regimen. Make a plan and stick to it! Create short and long-term goals for you. Don’t forget to bring God along on your journey to better health.
My prayer for you is that you may diligently seek and find that which you need to be healthy. Just as the apostle of love said in one of his letters: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2
Dawn Pasley is a preacher’s wife and a homeschooling mama to five. She and her husband attend and work with Ferriday Church of Christ in Ferriday, LA. In the past year she has enjoyed her journey to becoming a Trim Healthy Mama, including completing the couch to 5K in December and continuing to run this year. Besides caring for her two footed family members, she loves training her husky-lab puppy to be her running partner.