We often hear the term “quality time”. Commonly understood quality time is when I am with my spouse, doing some type of activity that we enjoy and draws us closer together. This could be sitting and having a conversation, taking a long walk together, playing a game we enjoy, traveling to a favorite destination or any other of a long list of mutually enjoyable options.
But what if “quality time” were also used for self improvement? We’ve talked about improving our marriages through books and mentoring. But what about the physical side Like it or not, for many of us we just feel lousy. We lack energy, we don’t like our bodies, and the temptation is to just come home and sit. But we can do better.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
Everyone recognizes the impact of the mind and attitude to our marriages. Can I suggest the health of our bodies is a factor as well? If it is a challenge to just get through the day because we haven’t properly taken care of our bodies then how can we have the fortitude to be the best for our spouse?
The health of your body can have a direct impact on your attitude.
Let me be perfectly clear. It is absolutely possible to have a chronic health condition, such as a degenerative disease, and through the grace and power of God have a great attitude. In fact we have a friend with multiple sclerosis and her attitude is incredible! But as much as it is under your control you should be in the best possible health. Let me give you some reasons why this is important:
1) You’ll feel better and therefore enjoy life more.
2) You’ll be able to try new things that you could not do before.
3) You and your spouse will find more quality time activities that also make you both healthier.
4) You’ll have longer life to enjoy with your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc.
5) God commanded it.
Wait? What? God commanded me to be in better health? Yes. Here are words of Jesus.
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Luke 10:27
“With all your strength.” We often overlook that, but our “strength” is not just mental willpower, it is physical. If we are to be the hands and feet of Christ, part of His body, then we need to make our bodies healthy. If there is something that I am doing (overeating, being too sedentary) that limits my ability to serve God then I need to change that. Here is another:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? – 1 Corinthians 6:19
If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit we need to care of them. You would not just fill your church sanctuary with garbage and never make an effort to clean it. Why therefore is is normal for us to eat junk food and not exercise?
Let me make two practical recommendations:
1) Make a plan and commitment together to start eating healthier. I will not suggest a specific method, but Sally and I have done so for the past several years and it has made a HUGE difference for our health in many ways. If you want specific details then feel free to contact me directly.
2) Start exercising regularly together. I love spending time with my amazing bride and over the past couple of years one of our favorite “quality time” activities has become working out at the gym as a couple. It’s cheap, we are getting in better shape, and we can encourage each other. Again if you’d like recommendations just let me know.
Now go out there and get moving with your spouse!