“Resistance equals growth”. That was a common strategy I implemented to my clients back when I was a personal trainer. In short, if we want to make healthy gains in the gym, we need to put in the time and effort. Am I going to start preaching about health and fitness now? Yup…and then some. Follow me on this:

When we work out, our bodies literally tear muscle tissue down during use. The muscle responds by growing stronger during the recovery time, but growth isn’t possible without applying resistance first. If someone has a target goal in mind on a particular strength exercise, it only makes sense that they start with a comfortable amount, gradually applying more weight (resistance) along the way in order to strengthen the body towards their goal. Eventually, something that was once too difficult to handle or control is now manageable. Why? Because they have become conditioned to handle the weight! The same is true in life: circumstances or situations often seem like more than we can bear, but when addressed properly, the “resistance” becomes easier to handle because we are “conditioned” from prior training. Also, in the gym a “spotter” is someone who is there to watch you to make sure you are working out safely and don’t get hurt. They don’t do the lifting for you, but guide you through when the exercise becomes too difficult to handle alone. Our life “spotters” can be our family, friends, pastor, or mentors. They are there to stand guard and make sure we don’t get flattened by the heavy weight of life.


Another tip: “You ARE what you eat!” After a great workout, one of the best things you can do is eat a healthy, balanced meal as soon as possible. Put healthy things into your body and you will reap healthy results; do the opposite and the effects will be less than satisfactory. Likewise, we should always be mindful of what we are feeding our eyes and ears: put junk music, TV, and thoughts into your mind and you will eventually notice the effects in your daily actions. As for spiritual nutrition, God’s Word is the best thing we can feed our spirit. Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (ESV).

Finally, all good workout plans are based around a solid routine, and consistency will produce optimum results. A healthy balance of diet and exercise will leave you feeling strong, confident, and full of life, as will daily quiet time reading the Word and accompanied by prayer. Small changes now, over the course of a lifetime, will help to grow you in maturity in your walk with Christ and strengthen you to face any resistance life tries to pile on.

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. –James 1:4 (NASB)



Matt Haviland is the founder and director of
A Father’s Walk single dad ministry. He is the author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resource for Single Fathers and the coauthor of The Daddy Gap. Matt is also a huge advocate for mentoring and mentors a couple boys himself. He enjoys working out and almost any outdoor recreation. Matt lives with his wife and daughter in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. For more information please visit http://afatherswalk.org/ .

The Life of a Single Mom logoThe Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com