My years of health education experience along with my advanced degree in a related field coupled with the resurgence of my Christian faith over the last decade has enabled me to get a pretty good handle on matters of health and wellness from a Christian perspective. The Life, Stress, Faith and Heath Model that I’ve developed from this experience and education has, in turn, given me a framework from which to provide wellness coaching to clients.
Many individuals initially want to know what they can do to be more successful with their health-related behavior change. That’s an easy discussion to have with them as they desire to make healthy changes in their lives as there are many practical things a person can do that will set themselves up for success with their behavior change attempts.
What I find most helpful is reviewing attitudes, values and beliefs that people have that are likely related to the behavior changes they desire to make. Our beliefs shape our values. Our values and beliefs shape our attitudes. And our attitudes shape our behaviors – both our thoughts and our actions.
All too often, I see people attempt to make changes in their actions, that are well-intended, but fail to succeed in making long term behavior change. That’s because there has not been any change at a deeper level in their attitudes, values or beliefs. You see, it’s typically our values and beliefs that motivate us to make changes. So, the more solid they are, the more likely they can be a helpful motivator to change. As Christians, the more our beliefs and values line up with the Bible, the purer our motivations will be.
When we are motivated to care for our body out of love for what Christ has done for us on the cross and because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within us – I believe we have the most pure motivation that one can have to be healthy. This motivation that comes from deep within – one that stems from loving God – can propel and enable us to make successful lifestyle changes.
Opportunity for Reflection
Look at the Life, Stress and Health Model and ask yourself, “What beliefs, based on scripture, do I have that most impact on my motivation to have healthy behaviors and a healthy lifestyle?”