When you think of the average American male, what do you picture? If it’s the same type of guy I’m thinking of, it’s a man with a receding hair line, a decent sized gut, flabby arms and a pair of man boobs! The guys physical activities involve going to work and exercising his eyeballs while in front of the TV. The guy doesn’t really over eat, but he definitely doesn’t do anything to stay in shape. When his kids ask him to play basketball or anything related to physical activity, it only takes moments before he becomes nauseated and has to re-assume his position in front of the television in order to avoid passing out. Yet, he still does, sawing logs.
With our modern conveniences, it’s easy to fall into the beer gut mentality, where the word “exercise” has little to know meaning. Diabetes and high blood pressure become a very common side effect as a result of this lazy lifestyle. Medicines are subscribed and enriched opportunities are lost. Instead of being addicted to wholesome activities, we can become enslaved by poor health and prescribed drugs.
Basically put, the guy above is an old beat up Dodge Pinto with a broken down, leaky engine. And the funny thing about that scenario is, his odometer is showing low mileage, yet, misuse and neglect has him run into the ground.
So today, I wish to be as BOLD as I can be. Even if you’re not overweight, if you don’t have an exercise routine, and actively following it, this is for you too.
It is our duty, as men and protectors, to stay in shape
On another blog of mine, I wrote a blog post about the three P’s of fatherhood. In that article, I outline the three primary responsibilities of a father.
Today, I am focusing on just the third responsibility, but in no means is it third in importance. If you’d like to read the actual source of those three P’s, you can read A Proclamation to the Family.
A man who truly cares for his family, should also care about his own ability to protect them. So I pose this question for you… how can a man properly protect his family, should the need arise, if he is out of shape. Seriously. Think about it. Can you picture the man I outlined above, chasing down a vehicle which contains his kidnapped daughter, climbing a six foot fence or swimming out to rescue their child in a lake or rushing river?
Extreme situations call for extreme preparedness. Maybe it never happens to you or those you love, but for some, it’s only a matter of time before it does.
Are you prepared for that moment?
Maybe I’ve watched the movie “Taken,” with Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace, one too many times, but I seriously doubt it. These sorts of things happen every day, in real life! If anything, action flicks should be an extreme wake up call to all of us who love action flicks. Whenever I watch an action movie, it’s motivating. It just puts more fuel in my tanks to get my but up and exercise. I don’t want to be the Dad who has to sit back and watch as someone else fulfill my responsibility as a protector.
There’s no single person more qualified for the job as their children’s protector as their own Father!
The moment you become a Father, whether it’s an accident or completely intentional, you are responsible and accountable for your child’s safety and well being. It is your job, from that time on, to prepare that child for the dangers of the world, and then protect that child when they cannot protect themselves. This responsibility isn’t optional! It’s yours whether you choose to accept it or not. I see too many men, fathers, who shirk this responsibility as if it were optional.
A family is weaker without it’s father and a nation is weaker when we stop caring about our own children enough to leave them in someone else’s care and move on. Whatever differences parents have, if at all possible, work them out and say together. Make it about the children if you have to. They’re worth it. Forget yourself.
One Warning: If your only reason, as a man, for exercising, or getting into shape, is to impress others, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Sure, I like to look fit and in shape, but I don’t do it to impress others. I do it because my family deserves to have a Husband and a Father who is healthy, strong and fit to be their provider and protector. I’ve seen families torn apart because of vain men, men who spend more time taking pictures of themselves and posting them to Facebook than they do on dates with their wife, or staying active with their kids.
Don’t exercise for the wrong reasons. It’s an addiction that can and will destroy you.
My philosophy in life is to prepare for the worst, but expect the best. We must stay optimistic while maintaining the attitude that, all will not ALWAYS be well in Zion. Sooner or later, something could possibly happen that will require you and I to be at our best, in our best physical condition, in order to prevail.
Call me a skeptic, a worry wart or whatever you’d like. I call it preparedness.
The alternative is….to do nothing.
Good luck gentlemen… and may you have the strength when you need it the most.