Most people have heard the statement “The family that prays together stays together”. A phrase which infers the importance and power of spirituality to a family. Yet there is another expression that families should add to their expression catalog –
The family who keeps their bodies’ tight gets to spend many more nights.
“The family who keeps their bodies’ tight gets to spend many more nights” is the companion phrase to “The family that prays together stays together”. This new expression introduces us to a previously unknown but important reality – invocation and supplication are not the only things that keep a family together.
The body and spirit are one. Families would be wise to recognize that there is an undeniable, unbreakable connection between the two.
If families are going to stay together – remain among the living, not only will we need to pray but we are going to need to understand and appreciate our bodies for what they truly are – temples.
Thanks to science, we have the ability to discover all we need to know about the ancient temples. Likewise, science has the ability to tell us all we need to know about our individual temples. At last check, science details that our individual temples are not functioning as prodigiously as the great temples.
Great temples are constructed using the finest materials which is why several temples that were constructed many centuries ago are still in existence today. Conversely, our temples are composed of unhealthy materials – Soul Food, fast food, high sodium intake, sugar sweetened drinks, high fat, high carbohydrates and minimal quantities of essential vitamins & minerals. The composition of our temples illustrates a disquieting reality – our temples are crumbling before all other temples.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Minority Health reports some startling facts about the health of our temples:
- African-American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese.
- In 2011, African-Americans were 1.5 times as likely to be obese as Non-Hispanic Whites.
- In 2011, African-American women were 80% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.
- In 2007-2010, African-American girls were 80% more likely to be overweight than Non-Hispanic White girls.
The designing, planning, engineering and constructing of the great temples were overseen by the best engineers of the day. There was no allowance for poor planning and execution. The mandate was clear – to make sure the temples illuminated the creator’s supreme skills and abilities into perpetuity.
Our temples were created the very same way and with exactly the same mandate. Insurmountable thought and detail went into our design, plan, engineering and construction. Nonetheless, our temples are falling apart rapidly, dying and decaying – in the twinkling of an eye – due to our individual poor planning and execution. It is shameful that Our Creator’s showcases are not holding up as originally intended.
The fault is ours. Not only are the materials we use to sustain our temples inferior but our plans and execution to prolong their existence is equally abysmal. In short, we don’t just eat the wrong things but we compound and expedite the collapse of our temples when we exclude exercise from our daily schedule.
A national survey indicates that 50% of African-American men and 67% of African-American women report that they do not exercise daily. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Minority Health further illuminates our refusal to follow the guidelines that sustain and maintain our temples:
- In 2010, African-Americans were 70% less likely to engage in active physical activity as Non-Hispanic Whites.
- In 2011, 55.2 % of African-Americans did not meet federal physical activity guidelines.
- In 2011, only 23.2% of African-Americans met the federal aerobic guidelines.
- In 2011, only 18% of African-Americans met the federal leisure physical activity guidelines.
Let’s Stay Together
If the Black family is going to stay together, a key is ending our love affair with food. We “treat” ourselves to poor nutrition during “good times”. We “comfort” ourselves with poor nutrition during “bad times”. And we just eat poorly all the rest of the times. This is not a recipe for staying together.
Instead of loving and living to eat, it’s time that we start a love affair with life. An affair that includes healthy eating and exercising to live. An improved - plant-based - diet and an increased daily exercise regimen is only the beginning of a love affair that will give you more than just a few extra nights together.
In fact, studies show that your life and the lives of each member of your family could be extended by 3.4 to 4.5 years if they adopted the proposed diet and exercise changes. Moreover, an improved diet and increased exercise routine can give you more money to spend during the time you are on this earth. How does $34,153 to $385,725 sound to you?
I pray that you would agree that more time with the family and more money to share with them is something worth saying AMEN!
BMWK - Click here and take the test to discover if you are treating your temple like a monument or a tomb.
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