Faith & Fitness for the COURAGEOUS Man
By Laurette Willis –
“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6, NKJV).
Have you seen the movie Courageous yet? Our family really enjoyed it. There’s lots of action, a compelling story, humor, top-notch acting, and it is built on a solid foundation (the Word of God and the Father’s great love for us). The movie’s subtitle is Honor begins at home.
As the promotions for this movie state, “Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature. Raising their children in a God-honoring way. That’s courageous.”
How does the Courageous Man Combine Faith, Family & Fitness?
When we come home from a hard day at work, the last thing many of us want to do is think about anything more physical than elbow-bending (as in fork-to-mouth, repeat, and 40 reps).
In the movie Courageous, police officer Adam Mitchell (played by director and co-writer Alex Kendrick, father of six) and his teenage son Dylan start building a new relationship with one another, and fitness becomes an important part of it. All Dylan seems to want to do is “play video games and run a 5K,” says Adam.
Parents realize that in order to build (or rebuild) a relationship with their child, it takes becoming interested in what interests them. Adam decides to lay aside his personal comfort zone for the greater good of blessing his son. He and Dylan begin running together, and their relationship deepens as Dylan sees his Dad’s love in action, not just in words.
Love is spelled T-I-M-E.
Why compartmentalize faith (Sunday only), family (around the dinner table…when we’re not watching TV) and fitness (does watching football on TV count?)?
The Courageous man (and woman) puts God first–so why not ask the Lord how to make fitness a part of your family time together? No matter what the age of your children, you can begin making fun physical activity a part of “what we do as a family.”
Here are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning—and your bodies moving!
- Walk Together. The Family that walks together, talks together! Take a leisurely stroll 30 minutes after dinner. Make it a new family tradition. Enjoy each other’s company and walk at a gentle pace for 15-20 minutes to help digest your food. This will also keep you from snacking after dinner. Take a portion of scripture and talk about it. How can you apply it to your lives?
- Go to the Gym or Church Fitness Center. Take your son or daughter with you. Work out with light weights (not on the machines). Show your kids how it’s done.
- Play Indoor Fitness Games. Remember Twister? You can still play that as a family! Add an element of scripture memorization by writing verses on cards. Call out all or part of a verse with each move. See how many verses you can remember (if you don’t wind up collapsing into a giggling pile before too long!).
- Train for a Charity Race—a walk, run, or bike race! Train as a family team or with one of your children. Use the time to encourage your child.
In the movie Courageous, Adam says, “I think the Lord is requiring me to call out the man in my son.” That’s something Dads get to do for their family members—emulating our heavenly Father by “calling out” and encouraging the best in their sons, daughters and wife.
Take the lead, Dad. Be Courageous. Be a Fit Witness for Christ in spirit, soul and body. Your family will follow–and will honor you for it.