Just continuing my thoughts on Christian men, my job as one, and the failures I see happening all around me (myself included).
Health and Fitness
As a man we have a responsibility to maintain our health and fitness by keeping ourselves in shape. Whereas I think women should keep themselves fit for their husbands more for fun, I think men need to stay fit more for business. My wife should be able to rely on me to do the majority of the heavy lifting and manual labor around the house, within reason, of course. I should be taking care of the yard, moving furniture and what not where it is required. It doesn’t hurt that being fit also keeps me sexually attractive. More importantly, however, I think we need to stay fit because it gives our wives, and ourselves, assurance that we can perform in an emergency situation. I know plenty of people who do everything they can to be prepared in case of emergency. They store water, non-perisable foods, batteries, flashlights, etc – but they are very out of shape and would never last in an emergency situation where they would be required to do something physical such as hike a long distance or pick up/move something heavy. When the chips are down our families need to rely on us to be able to perform to the best of our abilities to keep them safe. A weak man who spends no time preparing his BODY for emergency use is at a distinct disadvantage.
In days long past, before computers and automation, the majority of men would have to work manual labor. Farming, carpentry, climbing, swinging hammers – all this was just a typical days work. They may not looked like strong men, with a bodybuilder physique, but they WERE strong men! How many of us have had a grandfather who, even in his advanced age, had rough hands with a grip like iron? Or an uncle who, even though he appeared scrawny, could pick up 80 pound bags of concrete like they were nothing? These men lived a rough life of manual labor, and it kept them in relatively good shape. I, myself, had to swing a hammer for a short time for a job I had out in the oil fields. I only had the choice of a 5 lb or a 10 lb sledge, not much weight overall, but swinging those hammers for eight hours a day, every day, started to make a difference. I could tell my arms were getting bigger, even from such light weight. Once I left that job and went back to computers all those gains left.
It’s easy for modern man to get lazy and forego working out to maintain his body. I sit behind a computer for most of the day and when I get home, mentally, I am tired, which makes it difficult for me to get up and want to exercise. Typically, though, I find when I DO get up and exercise it helps to clear the fog from my brain, as well as give me a boost of energy. Being 40 years old, my body certainly doesn’t respond to exercise the way it would have when I was 20, but I can tell the difference when I am consistently spending some time lifting weights and eating right than when I am not. Even spending just 30 minutes a day lifting heavy weights makes a big difference, and for young men out there it can have a very positive affect on their physique.
Another problem, particularly for me, is maintaining a healthy diet. My wife likes to cook and she’s good at it. Being from Oklahoma means she is well versed in making rich, flavorful foods and – the desserts! Dear lord in heaven the desserts. As tough as it is, though, I have to try to maintain a good, healthy diet by eating right, or eating less, when I eat ‘less healthy’ fare.
I recommend Nerd Fitness for any man who, like me, sits behind a desk all day punching away at a keyboard. The site is comprised mostly of people like us, computer-jockeys, who suffer the same issues we suffer with diet and exercise. They also know how to make it fun and integrate with the quirky world of online gaming and ‘nerdism’.
I am adding this extra paragraph as it came to mind a few hours after the original post. I’m feeling a little under the weather so my brain isn’t really working all that well!
In addition to general work around the house and physical reliability during emergencies lets not forget that most of the time us husbands are, really, our wives primary source of provision. I know this is not the case in every situation, some women have great jobs that could sustain them alone, but many, like my wife, have jobs that would never be able to sustain the lifestyle we live now. The healthier I am, the longer my expected lifestyle and the longer I am able to provide for my wife without her having to worry (so much). Naturally any man should be putting SOME money aside into a retirement or emergency money fund, and at some point and time it would probably be wise to take out a life insurance policy to help ensure that your wife is taken care of in the event of your untimely demise, or even just to keep her cared for after a long healthy life. I know its not often something nice to think about, but death is an absolute assurance for every man, and the bible encourages leaving something behind for loved ones:
Proverbs 13:22 (KNJV)
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.“
On a quick note, this is why I don’t a lot of translations of the bible past the NKJV. This scripture pulled up on Biblegateway.com under the NIV translation which changes the word man to person. As I said in my previous post in this thread, the words of God are not recorded haphazardly, they are chosen for a reason. I know the NKJV is still quite a distance from the original greek or Hebrew, but I always understood that it was translated under the strictest of guidelines. A slight change of words makes a big difference that, to me, is wrong.
Will continue with more when I have more time.