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How Parents can be an Example of a Healthy Physical Lifestyle

Campers in a pool

As parents we are called to not only “train up a child in the way they should go” but we are also encouraged to “be an example to all the believers” …this includes our own kids too! Cole gives us practical and biblical tips for being great examples for our kids!

Scripture

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Reflect

Setting a positive example comes naturally for many adults in the areas of academics, our study of God’s Word, or maybe even consistent attendance at a worship service. However, when it comes to our physical bodies the mantra is often, “do as I say…not as I do”.   

How can we set the example when it comes to living a healthy physical lifestyle?  There is huge benefit in our kids learning early on how we can be good stewards of our physical bodies before we dig ourselves an unhealthy hole to crawl out of or develop unhealthy habits that are hard to break. 

Here are 3 simple ways to incorporate a healthy physical lifestyle into family life:

  1. Take family walks…even if it is only 10 minutes to the end of the block and back…you’ll be amazed how much just a little movement outdoors will help bodies, attitudes, and overall dispositions.  Our family loves to do this right after dinner.  Eating together and then going for a walk is a great way to spend the evening.  Take a ball to throw or kick around and continue great conversation from the dinner table. 
  2. Make eating healthy a family affair.  Challenge your kiddos to only eat out once a week.  Make it a contest to see who can eat their vegetables first.  See who can go the longest without dessert or without drinking soda then celebrate the winner.  The Lord teaches us that although things are available to us they are not always profitable…commit to eating what is profitable to your whole body! 
  3. Rest.  Do your kids see you rest?  Do you replenish yourself?  Rest is an integral part of our health and as a society we are resting less and less.  Go to bed early. Sleep late…if even every great once in a while.   Do you stay up to see that next Netflix episode that plays automatically or do you set the example for getting adequate rest by turning it off and heading to bed?  Do you nap every once in a while?  How about a mandatory Sunday FOB (camp term… “Flat on back” or “Feet on bunk”)?  We run 100 mph most of the time…let’s set a great example of rest for our kids by scheduling margin for rest into our routines.

The Lord tells us in 1 Corinthians that our “body is a temple of the Holy Spirit”.  Although these bodies of ours are only temporary we are called to be good stewards of this temple while here on earth.  Let’s set the example for our kids to live a healthy physical lifestyle. 

Camper Corner

Ok…here is your chance to challenge Mom, Dad, or any other adults…let’s be active and make decisions that will lead us to positive, physical health.  What changes can you make in your daily movement, your eating, and your rest that will help you feel better and take care of your temple?

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