Don’t let exercise come before family
by Billy Graham
April 12, 2014 01:03 AM | 932 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: My wife gets after me because she says I spend too much time at the gym. I admit I do go there every day for several hours or so after work, but God wants us to take care of our bodies, doesn’t He? — M.J.

A: Yes, of course God wants us to take care of the bodies He has given us, and proper exercise is certainly part of that. The Bible says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

At the same time, I urge you to take seriously what your wife is saying, and ask yourself why you’re spending so much time at the gym. Frankly, the reasons may be hard for you to face honestly, but you need to do it anyway, both for your sake and the sake of your marriage and family. Are you seeking to escape from your responsibilities at home? Has the gym become your social life? Or are you too preoccupied with your physical appearance?

Whatever your reasons, face them honestly, and if they need correcting, ask God to help you get your life back in balance. Your family needs you — and you need them. Don’t let anything come between you and your responsibilities at home.

Most of all, has this taken the place of God in your life? God not only gave us a body and a mind, but He also gave us a soul so we can know Him. Make Christ the center of your life, and then make it your goal to live for Him. The Bible says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Q: I have a friend who doesn’t bother with God or church most of the year, but as Easter approaches she suddenly gets religious — goes to church, observes Lent and so forth. Do you think she’s a real Christian, or is it all fake? — Mrs. V.G.

A: Only God knows your friend’s heart, and whether or not she sincerely wants to follow Jesus and has committed her life to Him. Perhaps a seed of faith was planted in her heart as a child, and as Easter approaches she senses a need to have it grow.

However, the Bible does warn us against simply going through the motions, but not allowing God to touch our hearts and lives. In other words, if Christ means nothing to us most of the year, it may well mean that our faith is not real, and our sudden burst of religious activity isn’t genuine. The Bible says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

After all, if we truly understand who Jesus is — the divine Son of God who died for our sins and rose again by the power of God for our salvation — how can we treat Him casually? How can we live as if He were unimportant? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Pray for your friend, that during this Easter season she may come to understand how great God’s love is for her, and respond by giving her life without reserve to Jesus Christ. Pray, too, that as we approach Easter this year you also may see Jesus in a deeper way, and commit your life more fully to Him.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.
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