The CDC and NIH have their own definitions of health for men which primarily center around men maintaining a certain BMI and body fat percentage. But the Bible defines health for a man differently than our world.
This is the 4th part of a larger series I have been doing on the modern view of health and fitness which have infiltrated the church.
A Biblical Definition of Health for a Man
A man has the spiritual duties to rule over, lead, teach, rebuke and chasten his wife (Gen 3:16, Eph 5:25-27, 1 Cor 14:35 & Rev 3:19) and the physical duties of providing for her, protecting her, having sex with her and impregnating her (Eph 5:28-29, Exod 21:10, Gen 1:28).
A man has the spiritual duties to teach, bring to maturity, and chasten his children (Eph 6:4, Prov 13:40). A father has the physical duties to provide for and protect his children (Prov 13:22, Matt 7:9-11, Neh 4:14).
A man has the emotional duty to show grace and compassion toward his wife and children just as God does toward his people (Psalm 86:15). And all a man’s duties, whether they be spiritual, physical or emotional must flow from his love for his wife and children.
If a man sees that he being hindered in any part of his duties to his wife and children, whether that hinderance be spiritual, emotional or physical he should seek help from other qualified men to remove those hinderances from his life.
Traditional Christian fitists would likely agree with all or nearly all the principles I just outlined. The problem is that they go beyond what the Bible says and do what Christ warned about in Matthew 15:9 “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.
Rather than simply agreeing with God’s command that men must provide for and protect their wives and children, fitists do what the pharisees did and add a man-made list of standards men must meet to be considered as properly providing for and protecting their families.
Before the modern age, if you lived long enough to “see thy children’s children” (Psalm 128:6), your grandchildren, that was considered a good long life. Today we say people who don’t live to see their great grandchildren have lived short lives.
This modern obsession with worrying about how long we will live based on body fat percentages goes contrary to what Christ said in Matthew 6:25 “…Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on”.
If your body fat percentage as a man is not hindering you from doing your daily duties as a husband and father then in God’s eyes you are a healthy man. If your body fat percentage is high enough that it is hindering you from doing your duties, seek help to reduce it.
From a biblical perspective, if a man can fulfill all the duties of a husband and father, he is healthy in the eyes of God. If he marries, has children and helps those children reach adulthood he has fulfilled the mission God gave to him.
In the next part of this series, we will discuss the Biblical principles which should guide a woman’s weight.