I find so many parallelisms in my relationship with Christ and my relationship with fitness.
Couple things I've found out as I've gotten older:
1. Your faith doesn't become YOUR OWN until you OWN that RELATIONSHIP and put in the work for it. Reading the bible, praying, serving, loving others, baptism, church... not rules or regulations, but something you do to learn more about Christ and grow deeper in relationship with him.
2. Your health and wellness doesn't become YOURS until you OWN that relationship and put in the work for it. Grocery shopping, filling your cart with wholesome foods, working out, being around positive people who support your goals, and drinking your water.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
I was raised in the church. The hard headed me fought this tooth & nail in my teenage years. My parents required my brother and I to attend church and Wed night youth group. There was no budging them on that. I went & thankful for my youth pastor and his wife at the time who made it enjoyable when I was rebellious and didn't want to go.
But to be HONEST, your faith doesn't become your own until you OWN it. When my cousin Alex was killed in a car accident, I was a mess. Seeing my family grieve in a variety of ways made me sick to my stomach. I'm a "fixer" and "helper" by nature. But this was something I couldn't fix. Being mad at God was an understatement, and it's taken me 10 years to actually enjoy going back home to see my family. Not because I didn't want to see them. But because of the ill feeling of the memories "going home" brought me. It was easier to be away.
In the last 3 years I've made my way back to a stronger relationship with Christ. I've healed from being angry at God. And I've returned to church. I actually go to church by myself. And no it doesn't bother me. My parents raised me in the church I make the choice to go each Sunday because I realize it's not about me. Life is about serving. Service to others. And loving others through a relationship with them.
And fitness. Sure I once was 230 lbs, but that was self inflicted to be honest. I was my worst enemy. I chose to turn to food as an outlet to deal with my anxiety and stress and pain. But you know what? I can remember my mom demonstrating healthy habits. We always had a garden thanks to my dad. My mom always served fresh fruit and vegetables at each meal. And I remember my mom always going on walks or doing fitness tapes and DVDs. In high school, I don't know how many "walks" my mom and I went on just so I could vent to her. So now that fitness is apart of my adult life, I can say thank you to my parents for encouraging me to be healthy. I went astray on my own, but I returned to the positive relationship they taught me to have with myself. My parents never once condemned me, told me I was fat or overweight. But always encouraged me to be healthy. And for that, I love myself better every single day.
Funny how things come full circle as we grow up. The things like health physically and spiritually was important to them and they are important to me now. I consider the things they taught me then are what I now consider non-negotiables.
So with that...
I've heard people say I don't go to church because hypocrites are there. Well do you skip the gym or workouts because everyone there is already perfect? No. Everyone at the gym and church are far from having it together. Both church and gym are full of broken people working on becoming better versions of themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Let this be encouragement for you parents out there. No I don't have children, but I was once the stubborn hardheaded kid. Teach them. Pray over them. And trust the process of God having a plan for them. God's plan is always better than the ones we have. Trust in that.