This is an excerpt from my book Spit and Polish for Husbands:
I present the code of a knight, a biblical blueprint for every husband who seeks to reach the pinnacle of God’s favor. It is an extraordinary challenge, but we have been endowed with a spirit who enables us to overcome. This blueprint is visionary, but because we have been given insight we can see its fulfillment. It lies beyond the goals most people set, but we have been equipped to reach out and grasp the joy of freedom from sin’s bondage. We can all live this life victoriously, because we are more than conquerors in Christ. (See Romans 8:37.)
A Knight’s Discipline and Preparation
1. A knight exercises his body in order to increase and maintain his strength. Without bodily discipline, he will not be able to defend those within his fold of protection.
Most men enjoy the thought of having muscular bodies, bulging biceps, rock hard abs, and pectorals that make their shirts bulge at chest level rather than over their belts. But for the majority, it’s just a dream. As the mind wanders into what it takes to get those muscles—gut-busting labor, hours of sweaty, lung-piercing agony, refusing a second slice of Boston cream pie—many men realize why they don’t already have that kind of body. It’s hard work! It hurts, especially missing out on extra pie!
As they say, “No pain, no gain.” The desires of the body are powerful, both in what it yearns for and what it cries out against. When the desires of the flesh rule the mind, the body relaxes, eats whatever it wants, and disdains exercise. It becomes flabby, and it drags the mind down with it, resulting in complete laziness and a Jell-O® mind in a Crisco® body.
As Christians, we don’t need grotesquely overdeveloped Mr. Universe bodies. We need strength, tone, and physical vigor. We, like the apostle Paul, should discipline our bodies and make them our slaves. (See 1 Corinthians 9:27.) Our Spirit-filled minds are to gain control over our bodies, and the rigors of exercise help us to maintain that mastery. And, most important, the benefits of bodily strength spill over into spiritual virtue as we wake up with ease, face the labors of each day without dread, and give confidence to those whom we protect. Our mental faculties are more acute, and our discipline, by itself, gives us the confidence to rule over the desires of our bodies.
Another bottom line (pun intended) is that our toned bodies will please our wives. No woman seeks to be married to the Pillsbury DoughboyTM. Although he’s a cute guy in his white chef’s hat, and he makes great chocolate-chip cookies, the greasy little gnome giggles when a woman pushes on his cholesterol-coated belly. When your wife pushes your waistline, you want her to say, “Wow! Now that’s a nice set of abs!” We can’t all be great cookie bakers, but I’m sure each of our wives will be glad to make the trade, getting an “Oh, boy!” instead of a doughboy.
I know some of you may have illnesses or handicaps, and you’re not able to get into great shape. That’s okay. Just commit to becoming as physically fit as possible. The goal isn’t measured by the size of your muscles; it’s accomplished in your mind’s control over your body. It’s the strength you exude simply because you have dominion over your desires. It’s the joy of victory in a world that accepts defeat.
Be strong for your wife; she’ll appreciate it. If you have children, they’ll love seeing a fit and trim dad. Your strength will give them confidence. Plus, the ability to have dominion over your physical body will allow you to triumph in your spiritual walk. Whether in food or drink, grief or anger, joy or exultation, you’ll be able to respond to your inner drives according to what is needful and proper.
Categories: Thoughts from the Heart