Life can get busy. Have you ever thought about adding a strength training routine into your life? I’m not talking about digging out your dad or brother’s dumbbells and try bench pressing 50 pounds. I’m talking about strength training your spirit – the part of you that is connected to Almighty God. You say you want to be a strong, effective Christian during your single years—how do you plan on doing that? Try adding strength training to your morning routine. We know that life is a battle; especially for a Christian, it is a spiritual battle. Paul said to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” ( 1 Timothy 6:12) Fighting the good fight of faith is wearing, tiring, and even heart-breaking at times. We must equip ourselves for the fight.
Here are eight reasons why a Christian young lady should strength train:
- Lose Weight
The Word of God instructs us to “lay aside everyweight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Carrying around extra pounds physically can cause health risks and threaten our future health. Likewise, unresolved sin, or being defeated by sin, will spiritually weigh us down and cause us to be ineffective for Christ. Seek for victory today, and don’t let the extra pounds of sin weigh you down.
- Increase Muscle
Have you ever played a sport against an opponent twice your size? You take one look at her and think, “there is no possible way I can beat her!” Strength training your spirit by staying in the Book and bathing your life in prayer will help you see your Enemy and give you the added strength to overcome the Enemy. “Be not overcomers of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
- Increase Endurance
Last Teen Winter Camp I experienced the illustration above…my female match for the “Steal the Bacon” game was a girl twice my size. I was terrified! “I am going to die,” I thought to myself. When my number was called, I began running through the thick snow to snatch my “bacon,” and eventually my opponent and I met in the middle. Tug-of-war became the game and I was giving it all my might. Pain began to infiltrate my entire body… “just keep fighting,” I told myself. My endurance was decreasing by the minute. How similar this scenario is when fighting a spiritual battle. We fight, we pray, we persevere and still we feel like fainting. Endurance comes only from the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Often during times of spiritual discouragement and fighting, I’ll claimed this familiar verse: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, IF we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9) Don’t give up! Seek the Lord daily for endurance in the battle.
- Fight Sickness
Physical sickness can occur from a myriad of reasons. Poor diet, food allergies, stress, hereditary, and the list goes on. Once again there is a spiritual parallel: feasting on worldly things, not balancing our home, work, and church life, allowing our agendas and to-do lists to keep us from growing spiritually, letting family and traditions take first place above serving God, and again, the list goes on. An anemic, lethargic Christian will never see fruit in their life.
- Prevent Weakness
Have you ever skipped a meal? Breakfast is my most commonly skipped meal and the strange thing is by lunch time, I’m really not that hungry. If you starve an appetite, eventually you will lose it. The same goes for our spiritual meal. If we skip reading, meditating, and memorizing God’s Word, eventually that hunger will go away. If our spiritual hunger goes away, we become weak and once again, ineffective in the Lord’s work. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) Food is a daily (sometimes hourly) necessity—should not our walk with Christ be the same?
- Increase Strength & Flexibility
Just as physical strength training increases overall body strength and flexibility, likewise, strengthening your character and being flexible with your time is essential in the life of a godly young lady. Your single days will allow you the most spare time. Yes, I know you think you are busy now and you enjoy having the freedom to come and go as you please. But God is most pleased if a single person gives of their “spare” time to the work of the Lord. Marriage and children will decrease the spare time you have to offer to the Lord—use it while you can.
Life is getting more and more busy because we are taking on more and more things. Some of these things are good, some necessary, others not so necessary. However busy you choose to be, if it is not a gratifying busyness, you will end up disappointed, unthankful, unhappy, and depressed. What better strength training to involve yourself in than the work of the Lord! In other words, serving the Lord through the local church by ministering to others. A selfless view on life, despite how busy you may be, will keep you happy and joyful in any situation, whether it’s on the road of ease or in the way of trials. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)
- Restful Nights
Have you ever had a good workout? Maybe you power walked a couple miles, ran through the neighborhood, or babysat for a few hours. There’s nothing like physical exercise that makes a person sleep well. I’ve gone through periods of terrible sleep but by adding exercise into my routine, I found that rest came easy and the amount of sleep needed became shorter. Have you ever had a spiritual workout? What I mean is, have you invested time into another individual spiritually? Bible studies, discipleship, mentoring, and even just encouraging is a spiritual workout. It involves preparation, study, time, effort, energy, and love. Oh, but the peace and gratifying rest that comes in exchange for the hours of hard labor! Yet another strength training tool to add to into your life.
Physical strength training is extremely beneficial and can have lasting effects on your overall well being. Spiritual strength training is extremely beneficial and will not only have lasting effects on your overall well being, but also for all of eternity.
Jackie had the privilege of being raised in a pastor’s home where she was personally mentored by her mother. She has a passion for teaching and encouraging young ladies throughout their teenage years.
She and her husband, Chris, serve the Lord together at LVBC and currently have four children, Robby, Lauren, Daniel and Matthew.