Family Mission and Living Long Enough To Pass It On – Chris Cirullo

Leave a review to help other dads find the show and become better men and fathers: Leave Review

Today’s guest is Chris Cirullo.

We go deep today talking about:

  • How to think about expanding your family with more children
  • Understanding the mission and identity that God has for you and your family
  • Why most dads don’t see lasting fitness success
  • How to create habits and rhythms that will serve you your whole life
  • How to stop praying like you’re leaving God voicemails, and start listening and hearing from Him
  • Does it matter if Christians are fit?

Chris Cirullo is a former Army ranger, now coach and consultant who focuses on both individuals and organizations of impact. This includes health, fitness, and lifestyle optimization coaching with Christian fathers, as well as sales consulting for impact-driven Christian organizations that want to facilitate positive change in the world. Chris has been married for 12 years this January and he’s the father of 4 boys – with a 5th on the way.

Find Chris online at:

Resources mentioned:
Family Teams Podcast by Jefferson Bethke & Jeremy Pryor
Books: Wild at Heart by John Eldridge

#163. Family Mission and Living Long Enough To Pass It On - Chris Cirullo


[00:00:00] Now, as a Christian, I see this as our call is to become like Christ. If we believed the truth about everything in the world, all of God's principles and ways and everything all the time, then we would look like Christ all the time because belief by definition means action.

[00:00:23] All right. Dads, welcome back to the Dad.Work Podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. I'm here today with Chris Cirullo, who I met in Colorado at the Integrated Mastermind.

[00:00:31] Curt: I have been mentioning over and over actually on this podcast recently. And uh, I'm just gonna give you a quick overview of Chris, then we'll dive into what we're gonna talk about today. But Chris is a former Army Ranger now coach and consultant who focuses on both individuals and organizations of impact.

[00:00:46] Curt: This includes health, fitness, and lifestyle optimization coaching with Christian fathers as well as sales consulting for impact driven Christian organizations that wanna facilitate positive change in the world. Chris has been married for 12 years this January and he's the father of four boys with [00:01:00] a fifth on the way.

[00:01:01] Curt: Let's go dude, that's an incredible intro and I'm excited to have you here dude. How you doing.

[00:01:05] Chris: I'm good. I'm so excited to be here. I love these kinds of conversations and I don't know if you saw the smile on my face, but just even hearing you say that I've got a fifth kid is like this simultaneous like fear that always happens with every kid, right? But this intense joy, I was just like lighting up As I'm hearing you say that.

[00:01:24] Curt: Yeah, it's so good man. And well let me ask you about the fourth one then, 'cause we just had our fourth, six months ago. Did you find there to be quite a significant shift in like the day to day?

[00:01:34] Chris: Hmm, that's a great question. The way I actually describe our experience with kids is that going from one to two was the absolute hardest, and so far, believe it or not, going from three to four was the absolute easiest. Um, I feel like we were already on zone defense. We already had a different perspective on family and the blessings that children are, and so just adding another one in [00:02:00] was kind of easy.

[00:02:00] Chris: And with our oldest being seven, it was just much easier than in the past additions, if that makes sense.

[00:02:07] Curt: Yeah, totally. We found something similar, and this is just like a total tangent by the way. We're gonna get into the good stuff. Uh, but I, we found that it was easy in the way that you said, which is just like you already know what you're doing. You're sort of, at least we were more into how do you do this?

[00:02:21] Curt: But time-wise, it has been somewhat more of a challenge just because there are so many more competing interests. And so I have to find myself and my schedule being very on point to make sure everyone's getting the attention they need, make sure we're getting to all the things we need to get to. And, uh, curious what the four to five mindset was.

[00:02:42] Curt: Was it like, now that we know it's a blessing and we're good to go, we're just gonna keep going? What's the mindset with how many.

[00:02:48] Chris: Yeah, this is a tangent for sure. I'm excited about this. So this is one of the things that I coach a lot of dads on, honestly, is um, when you look at, uh, like [00:03:00] Psalm 1 27 and Psalm 1 28, both of those are profound at kind of outlining how much children are a blessing. It says that in Psalm one twenty seven, uh, children born in a man's youth. Are like arrows in a warrior's hand and blesses the man whose quiver is filled with them. And a quiver. When we were like doing research, we were like, oh, that's eight to 12 arrows . Uh, not that we're going to eight to 12, but that was like a realization. We're like, okay, that means like a lot of kids in your youth is actually a huge blessing.

[00:03:35] Chris: And it's like arrows in the hands of warrior. And then Psalm 1 28 follows up in the next passage with, um, this conversation about the man who loves the Lord. Uh, basically I'm paraphrasing. He will be blessed, and this is the way he'll be blessed. His wife will be like a fruitful vine and his children will be like olive shoots shooting up from around his table.[00:04:00]

[00:04:00] Chris: And this concept is beautiful to me because an olive tree, um, what happens is the root system actually create these new shoots, these new olive trees that pop up out of the root system. And it's a defense mechanism. Basically, if the main olive tree begins to die away, all of these other things are carrying on that olive tree's legacy in a sense.

[00:04:23] Chris: All of these other trees are being grown up. And so, uh, I started to ask myself the question, If children born to a man's youth are like arrows in the hands of a warrior, and they're a blessing, they're a heritage and a reward from the Lord, it says in Psalm 1 27, and if I'm following the Lord and I'm blessed and my wife is fruitful, and children are shooting up, do I actually believe those things? And the, the word belief in scripture is, uh, this word sti. It's also the same word used for [00:05:00] faith. When James says, faith without works is not faith, Stoss without action isn't pestis. And so if I say I believe those things that I just mentioned, then my lifestyle, my actions, my decisions will actually be representative of those beliefs.

[00:05:16] Chris: So that's where the four to five came from. We just decided that at some point, I think after two or three, we're just gonna pray about each one and figure out, okay, is our family supposed to be done or is there more? And go from there and see what happens.

[00:05:30] Curt: I love that. Thank you for that. That was so much more than I hoped for, so thank you. And uh, that's sort of been our attitude over the last little bit too. 'cause for the longest time when we got married, it's like we're gonna have four kids, and then we had two, and then reality sort of hit and we traveled the world for a couple years and it was hard to have them.

[00:05:46] Curt: And then, so there's a gap now. So we've got 10, 8, 3 and then six months. And I think the same sort of thing for us is like, this is so good, like . Why wouldn't we carry on if the Lord allows it? Like that seems like a pretty good [00:06:00] reason to do so. And then, like you just said, Psalm 1 27, 1 28, I'm reading as you're talking about them.

[00:06:04] Curt: It's like, dude, that's a promise. Like that's if you really believe that, like you said, and that's one of the things I took from integrated, like, what if you believe this more? What if you actually believe this more? And then how would you act? That's been, uh, a game changer for me as I reflect on everything I'm reading now in scripture.

[00:06:20] Curt: Like, oh, I should actually be doing everything because I'm staking my eternal life on this. That's pretty convicting. So anyway, I don't want to like necessarily stay in the weeds too much, but we're gonna get back here. The thing that I wanted to start off with, um, was gonna be mission Fit Dads, but I think it would be more interesting to go like, why do you care about this in the first place?

[00:06:42] Curt: Dude, like this is, I talked to Exceptional Men on this podcast. I'm very blessed for that. But there are, you know, 150 of these episodes and hopefully many more to come. But like, there's not millions upon millions of men that I see thinking about this kind of stuff. This seems to be [00:07:00] countercultural, it seems to be against the narrative.

[00:07:02] Curt: It's often not even on the minds of the dads that I work with and they're, that's why they're coming to me. They're coming to you going like, how do I do this better? But like, you are doing this better and you care enough to know all these things. Why?

[00:07:16] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Well, why don't start with a little bit of backstory too how I stumbled into doing what I'm doing today., so as he mentioned at the top of the, the show, I was an Army ranger, so I did four combat deployments to Afghanistan. As a ranger, you cycle through these, three and a half month deployments, seven months of training, and then you circle back and you deploy again.

[00:07:41] Chris: I ran that play for five years almost. And when I got out, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I was like, I had failed outta college already. Joined the military as a result, and then I'm here going, okay, now what? The military time is done, I'm married and what's next? [00:08:00] And so I had a passion for fitness.

[00:08:02] Chris: I always have. I was a college athlete, a high school athlete. It's always been kind of in my blood. So I was like, you know what, I'll just go do fitness. So I jumped into the fitness industry and began to train people and worked as, a fitness director, kind of leading fitness teams at this local chain of gyms in Seattle.

[00:08:23] Chris: And after a few years, I began to become quite, uh, distasteful about the experience and what the reason being is. 'cause I was, I was. Helping these people with all of this quote unquote fitness experience and nutrition and all that stuff. And none of them were really changing. I mean, maybe 10% of them were having lasting change.

[00:08:46] Chris: And so I was kind of at this place where I was like, you know, I'm, I'm gonna bow out of this. I'll continue to train people on my own time in my own ways, but I'm gonna go find a different career path. And at the same time, I was [00:09:00] offered this job in SaaS sales. Um, selling to churches, believe it or not. And so I jumped into this like rocket ship of a startup company, this venture-backed startup, and with a part of that journey all the while was training people on my own time, in my own ways, continuing to flex those coaching muscles.

[00:09:23] Chris: And it was eventually I realized there's this missing component. And the missing component with all of this is helping people develop new habits. Um, and as I began to help people, uh, try to develop new habits, Again, I hit a roadblock and I was like, what is happening here? Why, why is this not working? Why is it now 25 or 30% of people that are having lasting change instead of 10%, but it's not 80 or 90 or a hundred?

[00:09:53] Chris: What's going on here? And so, uh, it took about eight years [00:10:00] and I finally had this encounter, um, with now one of my best friends and, uh, a guy named Steve. And he helped unpack to me some of these concepts around these subconscious operating systems that we have. And what I mean by that is going back to this thing, this topic of belief that we already brought up.

[00:10:23] Chris: Let's, let's kind of circle back to that. Um, if I believe something, then I'm acting it out. And you think about a person's life. If they are believing the wrong thing, they're believing a lie, something that's not categorically true, it's going to dictate their behaviors in negative ways. Now, as a Christian, I see this as our call is to be come like Christ.

[00:10:52] Chris: If we believed the truth about everything in the world, all of God's principles and ways and everything all the time, then we [00:11:00] would look like Christ all the time. 'cause belief by definition means action. But none of us are like that. And so then the question comes back of, okay, what are we believing? Are there areas of our life where we're believing things that aren't true?

[00:11:15] Chris: Those are all things that start to come up. Where this has a role in health and fitness is if I've grown up my whole life believing that I'm worthless and that I don't have what it takes. I always drop the ball or whatever subconscious narrative has been created in you, whether that's from an evil encounter that happened, or just simply your own negative self-talk.

[00:11:43] Chris: What you're doing is creating these neurological pathways that totally prevent you from, from creating change in that area. You have to then understand what the truth is. And usually the best way to do that is through discovery in prayer, quite [00:12:00] frankly. And as I discover the truth, remind myself of the truth, create new neurologic, neurological pathways, now I can actually begin to create change in habits.

[00:12:12] Chris: And my habits are what truly form me into the person that I wanna become. And so this was this journey that I went on and I realized that the, the souls of men are hurting. Myself included, we have all these wounds and things that we stuff down from the past and we carry them around. They impact the way that we interact with our wife and how we put our kids to bed at night.

[00:12:36] Chris: Raising my hand, like I'm one of the, uh, all of the things, including how we approach our nutrition habits and drinking habits and, you know, exercise routines if they have them or not. You know, all of that stuff. Everything is impacted by this subconscious operating system. And so that's really why I am so passionate about what I'm doing now, is because I'm [00:13:00] seeing change happen for the first time.

[00:13:03] Chris: And it's almost like it reignited this, like this raw, authentic passion for health, spiritually and physically in men that I've had for decades that went dormant because I was seeing no results.

[00:13:17] Curt: Right. Okay. That is so awesome to dive into a lot of stuff from that. So thank you for setting it up. I, I wanted . Just sort of make a note in here and just say, how does all of that impact how you operate as family? 'cause I think like the fitness stuff, very individualistic in a sense, but the family stuff that we're just talking about, that's also gotta come from somewhere.

[00:13:38] Curt: And I'm curious if that was also based on some of these changed mindsets or, or neural pathways or whatever you wanna call them. So, um, actually, you know what, do you wanna just, can we dive into that right now and then I'll come back to the fitness stuff in a sec. Like, did, did this impact for you or did you already know you wanted to be dad and how you were gonna do that?

[00:13:55] Chris: So I already knew I wanted to be a dad. I didn't know [00:14:00] how to approach it the way that I am today. And that was, you know, you and I met at Integrated, which is a family teams event. Family teams, uh, launched in like 2018 or 19, something like that. And I dove in headfirst when it first launched. I bought everything they had went through, every training they had, went to every conference they had.

[00:14:19] Chris: And that was a dynamic shift. Now, that was a critical piece in the puzzle because what that did is that opened up my eyes to this topic of mission, which is why I call this Mission Fit Dads right? And this topic of mission is really critical because there is this overarching mission of the church. The overarching mission of the church, uh, is really restoration.

[00:14:46] Chris: It's the Genesis 1 28 cultural mandate being, being kind of reworked in an addendum, uh, as, uh, the great commission is, is given to us. And really the church's goal is the restoration [00:15:00] of all things back to the way that they were. And it will look different in the, the end, the garden city than it did in the beginning with the garden.

[00:15:08] Chris: But the, the walking in the presence of God, living fully with him without all of the things that we're talking about, like the pain and the suffering and the, the baggage and the lies and all of that stuff goes away. Um, so if that's the overarching mission of the church, much like it was in the military for me, There is a platoon where it goes on a mission, and this platoon, uh, is consistent of four teams, and each of those teams have their own unique responsibilities When you go on a mission and all four of those teams, their responsibilities are purposed at helping accomplish the goal of the mission.

[00:15:50] Chris: And that that goal is what's called the commander's intent, and this is an actual written paragraph in a mission briefing that [00:16:00] outlines what the commander of that unit aims to see as a, as an ideal end state of that mission being accomplished. How do we mitigate collateral damage? How do we accomplish the kill capture of this terrorist?

[00:16:13] Chris: All, all the stuff is written in that commander's intent. The commander's intent of life is God's intent to bring restoration. His church has, the platoon has this overall mission, but each and every family team underneath the covering that church has their own unique mini mission, their own unique responsibility that helps accomplish the overall whole mission mission of restoring humanity.

[00:16:42] Chris: And so a lot of this kind of dovetails with, we have to know our identity in Christ, and not just the macro identity of, you're a son, you're an heir, all of these things, but how did he make me, what are my unique skills and gifts and responsibilities and all of [00:17:00] that stuff that I can leverage? And how does that then impact my family?

[00:17:04] Chris: Because if I look at Genesis 1:28 God's Original Design for Humanity was that they would operate on mission as a family. And if that's God's perfect design pre-fall, he could have created anything in the world that he wanted. He had infinite creativity and he chose to do that. Then I then I must also believe that there is value in our family being on mission together.

[00:17:30] Chris: So if I understand my identity, I understand what I'm wired for, what God has created me for, it's inevitable that that perfectly plays into how our family is supposed to operate. And so when you start to think about all of these things put together, the challenge for most men is, how how do I cultivate a lifestyle where I can prioritize mission?

[00:17:54] Chris: Prioritize family and raising children and being a good father and a good husband, as well [00:18:00] as being physically and spiritually fit. Because both of those things are absolutely critical if we're talking about stewardship for a male. That's just the reality of it. We need to be emotionally sound, spiritually fit, physically capable, and that cannot overstep and completely destroy the reality of our calling and our mission as a family and individually, uh, and how we are leading at home.

[00:18:31] Chris: It's critical.

[00:18:32] Curt: It sounds like that's, uh, that's very much what I talk about. Hard to kill, easy to love, equipped to lead. It's both extremes. And then brought back to center in a mature masculine frame and as a leader. And I think that that covers a lot that I wanted you to cover and I appreciate that. 'cause now I want to dive in a little bit specifically, and we're gonna get into the fitness pieces.

[00:18:54] Curt: I think we're gonna get into the habit creation, the neural pathways and stuff like that. But you said discovery and prayer [00:19:00] is the answer to a lot of things. And I think that that seems difficult for people to accept in the face of the individualistic I can do anything culture. So could you dive into what you mean by discovery and prayer and then how to put them to use to this end?

[00:19:18] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I think to your point, culture has kind of created a narrative for us that we can go be whatever we want, do whatever we want. And the reality of that is not true, in my opinion. Uh, and actually I think that's, I would argue that's fact. But, um, the, the question then becomes, uh, if I can't do all of that stuff then, then what do I do?

[00:19:48] Chris: And discovery and prayer is really the only way to understand what's going on under the surface. And most people, when they think about prayer, they think about leaving God voicemails. They think about, [00:20:00] Hey, I'm just dropping this voicemail for God and I don't expect him to listen, and I don't really expect him to respond.

[00:20:06] Chris: That's what our kind of whole paradigm around prayer is. And I would argue that prayer is actually communion with and walking with God. And, uh, I'll, I'll take a, a, a side road here for just a moment to unpack kind of the, the framework for this. Uh, in the garden you see, Adam and Eve walking with God in the cool of the day is beautiful.

[00:20:33] Chris: Like they're with their creator walking every day and together with him now the fall happens. That gets disrupted. And so then you see enter the tabernacle. And the tabernacle is created, and there's all sorts of garden imagery around the tabernacle that connects back to. So the Hebrew readers and, and, um, folks involved in that tabernacle creation would have seen the direct [00:21:00] imagery back to the garden.

[00:21:02] Chris: And so they would've known, oh, this is now the place where the presence of God resides, much like it was in the garden as we once of God reside. And that's where we meet the presence of God as the tabernacle. And then that transformed into the temple. And then eventually after Christ comes, you see what we, we are the temple.

[00:21:21] Chris: The indwelling spirit lives in us. And so we now have this ability to have that garden like experience this side of the fall by way of the Holy Spirit in communal prayer. And so I would say you could label this all sorts of stuff. This might be contemplative prayer or listening, prayer or silence and solitude or uh, whatever.

[00:21:47] Chris: There's probably a million different ways that people have labeled it, but it is actually sitting and realizing that you can tap into and experience the presence of God right now [00:22:00] anywhere. 'cause he is always with you and he wants to speak and he's got things to say to you. And most of the time it requires us.

[00:22:08] Chris: However, to get super quiet, we have these crazy things called smartphones. We have. You know, all of this stuff calling us all the time. We've got busy work schedules, we've got four or five kids and you know, all these things going on. It's absolutely critical that we parse out the time to sit in the presence of God and to receive from him.

[00:22:31] Chris: sometimes that's total silence and feels like nothing happens. And sometimes you feel like you get almost like a download if you will. Like you have this realization of, oh, I am made for X, Y, and Z, or he wants to do this now, this week through me. Or maybe even it's just a sense of like, Hey, call that person.

[00:22:52] Chris: Do that thing. Right? These are all examples of discovery in prayer. And the more we do that, the more regular [00:23:00] it becomes, and we then have the ability to more clearly hear from God himself, affirmation about the way he's wired us. why am I here? What is it that the Cillo family is supposed to do?

[00:23:15] Chris: Illuminate that to me like, and, and Colossians one, nine talks about this as spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul says, I have not stopped praying for you that you would have spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you'll bear fruit in every good work. You'll walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

[00:23:34] Chris: You'll increase in the knowledge of God. Like all of these things that are post, uh, spiritual wisdom and understanding. And Paul had just finished spending six to 18 months preaching to this church. Like they didn't need more information. They needed a spiritual awakening of a particular piece of wisdom or understanding, and that is what was gonna help them then walk in a manner worthy of [00:24:00] the Lord.

[00:24:00] Chris: Bear fruit in every good work, grow in the knowledge of God. That's what's happening. And so discovery and prayer, I think is just one of the ways we begin to enter into that and let the Holy Spirit do his work on our mental faculties.

[00:24:15] Curt: Hmm, that's so encouraging. And this was one of the things that I took away from integrated. I've been a Christian for like a year and four or five months or something like that. And so I come across things and I'm like, . I didn't know you could do that. I don't know. You could pray like that. And so as we were led through this imaginative prayer or whatever you call it, I was like, oh, I can listen.

[00:24:34] Curt: Because that voicemail analogy was exactly what I felt like, and whole identity piece, as listeners will know is what's going on over the last six weeks for me as well. And it started with a crisis of identity in so far as what I was doing in my business. It wasn't feeling right. I was definitely out of alignment in some places.

[00:24:53] Curt: And so I started looking at scripture saying, well, who does God say that I am? And it was very much this whole, [00:25:00] well, my identity's in Christ, I don't even know what that means. Like how could that possibly mean anything? So I went and looked. It's like I am statements. I'm a son of God. I'm adopted son of God, I'm a citizen of heaven.

[00:25:10] Curt: I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. All these things, like you said, that are general . But it was integrated again where I was like, Ooh, who does he say that I am? And can I just rest in that? Because it, it was very interesting actually walking into that room of men for the first time. Um, my ego puts myself forward in exceptionalism in the realm of fatherhood, family, leadership, marriage.

[00:25:37] Curt: I've had to do that. It is my business. It saved my life and here I am. And so interesting. Even though I like to try to remain humble, I'm not perfect. And I walk into that room with an expectation of giving it to God and just being his son. But I noticed that I felt naked and I'm like, what is going on here?

[00:25:57] Curt: Like, it's just a group of guys. But [00:26:00] every single guy in there basically had what makes me feel exceptional, which is knowledge of fatherhood, knowledge of marriage. And they were doing it probably better than I was. And so God was almost tapping me on the shoulder there going like, are you sure you want to just be my son?

[00:26:13] Curt: 'cause that's what it feels like. You just have to be you. That was very confronting for me and convicting and has led to, uh, a lot of imaginative prayer. Like you're talking about listening and it's so beautiful that it starts with like, I love you. It starts with the substi substitutionary sacrifice.

[00:26:32] Curt: And I think I've been meditating a lot on that man. Like I think if we really, truly. Meditated on what it looked and felt like for Christ to be crucified, but then to imagine a father who would make that sacrifice for us in our sin when we were still enemies of God. As I'm reading through Romans this week, like, man, it is life changing and mind blowing, and I'm just, you know, continually finding these little explosions of wisdom and [00:27:00] glory and goodness.

[00:27:00] Curt: So, um, anyway, I'm just, I'm on fire right now.

[00:27:04] Chris: Well, it, it's interesting, so the, the identity piece is, is really so key and, and you called out this kind of tension that a lot of us will feel is like there are. Of those kind of macro identity pieces that we have to believe in our core, which is, I'm a son, I'm adopted, I'm an heir, you know, I, uh, I'm a king.

[00:27:26] Chris: Uh, uh, whatever it is that you're pulling from scripture, that is true about the human race in light of Christ's sacrifice and atonement. Uh, yes and amen. But all through scripture, God is also giving individual people. New names and new descriptors about what they're designed for. Like, uh, he described Moses in one particular way and he described Gideon as a mighty war like Gideon, the mighty warrior like, uh, uh, Israel.

[00:27:56] Chris: So Jacob becomes Israel after he literally wrestles with God is [00:28:00] now his name means one who wrestles with God. Um, and then you end up with Saul and Paul. You got Peter from, uh, Simon, uh, to CFUs, if you will, like all of these things throughout scripture where God is giving someone a new name and it's an identity exchange that's happening.

[00:28:19] Chris: It's saying, no, you are this and it's beautiful. And if we, if we see how common that is, then we know that, oh, God likes to do that. He likes to affirm things. And so I don't talk about mine a lot, but, but my identities, uh, that he has given me in prayer have been really both challenging and affirming. So the first one he gave me was the unlocker of men.

[00:28:48] Chris: And I was like, whoa, okay. Looking back at my life, that is exactly what's happened. One of my friends jokes around and he, he calls me Chris, the paradigm shifters thrill. 'cause every time you talk [00:29:00] people, paradigms get exploded. And I was like, all right, I kind of see that, but, and now when he gives me this name, I'm like, oh, that's what other people are experiencing is this unlocking.

[00:29:11] Chris: He called me servant warrior, and then he affirmed to me, he said, be careful that you remember that in the right order. Because I come out of a warrior background, like, like it is not fight. First it's service. And then the last one he gave me really bristled against me. And he, he called me the nurturer and I was like, nurturer, I'm not a nurturer.

[00:29:38] Chris: I struggle at that. And what he reminded me was, no, you're believing all these lies that cause you to act in a certain way, but the way that you're acting and the way that you've acted for the last 36 years is not indicative of the way that I made you. And when you're believing the truth about who you are, [00:30:00] I have created in you the innate capability to actually be those things. And so, uh, that's my encouragement to everyone listening too, is that we, we've gotta receive spiritual understanding and, and wisdom around the things of Christ and our position as sons and as the first of many brothers and all of the things that we are, but also, who are you and what are you made for, and what are you supposed to be doing?

[00:30:31] Chris: Because God does like to call those things out, we're never, we're not gonna know unless we're doing that in prayer. Right?

[00:30:37] Track 1: What might that look like? Is it very much just trusting the spirit in that moment and just praying and silencing yourself? Or do you walk through a certain process?

[00:30:45] Chris: Uh, I find that this tends to happen the most in one-on-one, uh, environments where myself, and, and you know, like my friends and mentors and other people that do this are, are actually working one-on-one with guys. [00:31:00] Um, that tends to be the place where. It comes up the most, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't continue on your own.

[00:31:10] Chris: Um, I would say a, a couple of key things when you're going into this listening prayer is we want to be sure that we're not deceived. So the number one thing I encourage people to do is to, is to ask the father to silence the enemy. And then I actually openly rebuke the enemy. And I, I say, you're silenced, you're not allowed to speak.

[00:31:33] Chris: Uh, you know, and I ask the Lord to, to cast out anything away from us that is not of him. Then I ask him to quiet my own thoughts. Still my mind, um, quiet me down 'cause I'm running a million miles an hour and there's stuff circling all the time. And I want to know that what I feel like I'm hearing from you is from you.

[00:31:54] Chris: And then Paul says, we can have the mind of Christ. And so I ask the father to give me the mind of Christ, that [00:32:00] I would know his will, that I would understand him, that I would hear his voice clearly, and then I would trust. And so what I begin to do is I just write things down that I am feeling like I'm hearing.

[00:32:13] Chris: And if there's action associated with it, like call that person or, you know, uh, give give this thing to somebody or whatever it is, then I do it. You know, when I first started learning this, I was driving home and uh, I'm driving through the neighborhood and I felt like the Lord said, take your kids to the pool today. 'cause we live literally right next to the the neighborhood pool. And I was like, nah, I got a couple hours of work to do. I got some things going on, you know, and I get home and I'm ready to jump back into work because I kind of brushed that off. And then my wife turns to me and she goes, I think you should take the kids to the pool today. And I was like, okay, okay, okay. You know, and it's moments like that God speaks to us all the time, but in my [00:33:00] quiet is when he gave me some instructions, some direction. And so, yeah, I, I mean, we can talk about this all day. I want to get into any of the other stuff that you have slated for us, but I think this is a huge, critical, foundational piece to life.

[00:33:18] Chris: As a father and a husband, we have to know these things. Otherwise, we're gonna flounder through life. We're gonna feel like, what is it that I'm doing? And this is why, um, John Eldridge had this book Wild At Heart, that has been a bestseller for like 20 some odd years. Why? what he's doing is giving men permission to live an adventure, to have a battle, to fight, and to pursue a beauty. It's like you need to pursue the woman, you need to have a battle and you need to live an adventurous life. And men are like, yes, that's in me. Uh, that is, that is exactly what I feel. But life just feels dull. It feels none of those things. [00:34:00] And I would encourage people that you become invited into pursuing the beauty of your wife to, uh, living in a battle and living in adventure.

[00:34:10] Chris: When you begin to understand why you are on this planet, why did God make you at this time in this season of humanity? What are you here for? And then all that stuff starts to take care of itself and it gets really exciting.

[00:34:25] Curt: Yeah, it is really exciting actually because I've noticed even in my own life, I had these assumptions that were kinda like God was looking out over the sea of people and he is like . Okay, Kurt, like, I'll let you in. And I was always looking over my shoulder, almost waiting for the next shoe to drop. And it was only recently where I went, oh, I don't have to feel bad for the gifts that I have.

[00:34:47] Curt: I don't have to fake humility because these are gifts he's specifically given me so that I could do the good works, which he's laid out for me. For me, for him like that is so much different than, [00:35:00] oh man, I'm kind of good at this, but like, I'm just gonna pretend that I, you know, I'm not gonna say thanks 'cause the person might think I'm whatever.

[00:35:06] Curt: And it's like, thank you Lord. And that enc that increases my responsibility. I was just reading this morning in Romans maybe 14 or 15, and he basically says the strong should, um, I, I don't wanna say this the wrong way, but put up with the weak of faith. Because that's our burden as people that he's blessed not to get ours, but to encourage and uplift those who don't have what he's given us.

[00:35:33] Curt: And that's just like the, the servant, as you said, mindset as a family leader especially, is like, man, I've gone through periods of my life, especially pre being a believer, where I'm like, why don't my wife and kids like meet my standard? Do I just have to like suffer? Well, I deserve X, Y, Z. And it's like, no, no, no.

[00:35:52] Curt: The reason that you're up here, so-called up here in your own head is you can bring them up too. Like you being strong means that you have the strength to be patient [00:36:00] and humble yourself. So anyway, I do have a million questions, so let's continue on path. Um, but actually, you know what, let me just say a quote that you said to me the first time we chatted on the phone a week ago.

[00:36:11] Curt: Um, and this goes into sort of the, the how. That you are helping guys? 'cause I wanna talk maybe next about how to create these pathways, how to go into the habits. We do a lot of this work inside of our brotherhood where we pair the habits with the vision and they both have to connect. Otherwise, you know, comfort's gonna win out.

[00:36:27] Curt: But you said, I can't help these people really change unless God first helps 'em really change. And I think that's probably what you just said. But maybe starting from that, do you want to go into how you actually work with guys to create lasting change? 'cause it's way more than fitness. I have to assume.

[00:36:44] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. So what I, what I specifically do, I, I, I've, you know, for, for the, the sake of actually putting some boundaries around it, I just call it the, the mission fit framework. And, [00:37:00] uh, so there's a coaching experience and, and essentially guys get, uh, an invitation into all of these categories kind of simultaneously. So first and foremost is like we, we have to. Provide the environment where we can start taking action. Uh, you know, whether or not that's gonna be lifelong fruitfulness yet is to be determined. But the basics, like, hey, a full fitness program, uh, a nutritional approach and guidelines and, you know, your shopping lists and all the stuff that you might expect from a basic, um, fitness program.

[00:37:39] Chris: Um, I am, uh, of the opinion after, um, you know, 12 years of doing this, that most men will benefit significantly from, from, you know, a non-personalized workout program and nutrition plan. Um, the reason why most [00:38:00] people don't see lasting change is 'cause they don't follow through and they don't stick to it. It's not because it's not customized enough or whatever, it's because they're doing 60% of the work. And it's not working as well as we thought. And we kind of fall off and we circle back in a year and a half when we feel more bad about ourselves than we did before. And now we're walking in guilt and shame and we're like, I should probably get onto a, a fitness routine.

[00:38:26] Chris: Again. That's the cycle that a lot of men that I work with end up following, and so. Um, they, they need to start with that, but all the while then we need to also be focusing on how do we introduce habit development in a healthy way. One of the biggest mistakes that I think people make with habits is, number one, they don't align it to the vision, which I love that you guys are doing.

[00:38:52] Chris: It's like, it has to serve the thing that I see as the outcome. Remember this commander's intent, uh, [00:39:00] that determined all of the action for the subordinate elements, and in the same way the vision dictates then what kind of training and execution need to take place. And so from a habit standpoint, the second thing that people make mistakes on is they make them too big.

[00:39:16] Chris: They're too bold. We go shoot for the moon and we try to do way too much. So, uh, one example of how I help people enter into this slowly is they have a habit where they have to execute 25 pushups every single day. And there's gamifications built into the app so they can track their streaks and how far they've gone or how many days they've gone without missing.

[00:39:40] Chris: Uh, and my, my challenge to them is, uh, high performers never miss twice. So it's like, it's okay to miss a day here or a day there, but you never miss days back to back, and that's gonna help you. Science has shown that that will help you develop habits equally as well as [00:40:00] not missing those days. Here and there, there's really no impact on the actual development of the habit.

[00:40:06] Chris: Um, the second thing to think about with that is when I create a habit, it needs to be something that I can sustain for life. If I can't sustain it for life, then why am I trying to build the habit? And so when it comes to exercise, I want to become the type of person who exercises every day. I don't want to become the guy who loses 20 pounds of body fat and then gains it all back plus a few extra pounds a year later. I want to create the lifelong change. And so, uh, doing something as minimal as 25 pushups, it can be done anywhere on the planet anytime of the day. You can, you can probably do it with C O V I or the flu or whatever, like you could get it done, right? Like you could do it for the rest of your life, barring severe injury or disability. Then the second thing is, is [00:41:00] journaling two sentences every day. It's like, man, journaling is the missing art of processing emotions with the Lord and actually discovering more of what we've been talking about this whole time. Um, but most people don't do it. And most of the time it's 'cause we don't have a journaling habit.

[00:41:21] Chris: So in order to do the creation of a journaling habit, I require two sentences every day and that's it. And the sentences could be, I feel tired and I don't want to do this right now. And that's okay. But if you're doing that every day, then that's gonna cultivate a habit of journaling. And eventually that journaling time turns from two sentences to, oh, I just looked up and it's been 15 minutes and I've got like three pages of stuff and I feel better.

[00:41:51] Chris: Like I just unloaded some things and I met with the Lord and he told me some stuff and you know, it's crazy. What happens then? Um, two, [00:42:00] uh, Um, two meals of whole food ingredients every single day. It's like you can have one meal that's off. If you're, you know, eating 68 to 80% of your food intake with really healthy whole single ingredient foods, um, then you're in a really great spot. Um, and those are things that you can do anywhere in the world as well. So there, those are just a few of these, but this underlying habit formation is also just kind of running under the surface the whole time. I'm, I'm going through a coaching program with guys and then there's a content piece and there's 12 weeks of micro content because we all need micro content.

[00:42:45] Chris: We all have a lot of stuff thrown at us all the time. If it's not five or so minutes or less, then we're probably not gonna listen to it. But maybe once a week or once every two weeks, we just don't have the time we have over, um, scheduled ourselves. [00:43:00] So this micro content goes through everything from all of the things you need to know about testosterone and, uh, nutrition and exercise programming and sleep, but also prayer and Sabbath, and creating an ideal week, developing your morning routine, everything A to Z.

[00:43:21] Chris: And they're through this over 12. Is the cool part. And these are the weekly coaching calls. And so getting into an environment where people are actually listening for the voice of God, they're, they're practicing the stillness, they're getting practical support, uh, maybe being walked through exercises, um, in, in the area of prayer, uh, that's where you begin to unpack some of those things and exercise the muscles that you can then take to do in your own quiet space.

[00:43:53] Chris: And if you're doing all of these, like you've got the main action, you've got the development of habits that are core for [00:44:00] lifelong, um, habits, uh, and you're dealing with the baggage, um, and actually I guess it's not us as much as it is God dealing with the baggage, God creating the change, then the rest of the change becomes sustainable.

[00:44:16] Chris: And so all the puzzle pieces have to be put together. Um, so you can see in there if you really dig in, you've got emotional health. You've got spiritual health, you've got physical health. Um, I, I coach guys. I mean, I had a conversation the other day with somebody about how to sleep, train their three-year-old because they were struggling to get sleep, to wake up, to have quiet space to exercise.

[00:44:42] Chris: All of these things were result of their children weren't sleep trained. And so I coached him on that and gave him insights on how to do that. And boom, his kids are sleeping through the night, now he's sleeping seven to eight hours a night. He is getting up at five o'clock, he's getting his workout in.

[00:44:58] Chris: He's got quiet space. His whole world has [00:45:00] changed. So I think the family integration piece is also something you cannot miss. It's like all of this has to be practically wired together. And, and quite frankly, I don't see anybody on the planet doing this. And so that was like this call, oh gosh, I've gotta step into this if no one else is doing it.

[00:45:21] Chris: And I had to create it for myself. Then how many men would benefit from something like this? Like it's exponential. So,

[00:45:30] Curt: Yeah. Me too, man. And it sounds actually like we're very much on a similar wavelength. We've also got habits as sort of the foundational piece in a sense. We've got skills training, more like a relational and emotional skills training just for what we do. And we've got the legacy, uh, the vision piece.

[00:45:48] Curt: We've got the community, we've got the coaching calls. And so it's like you need, I've found that this is like the most useful place for this work to be done because like you said, it's one day, it's leave training, one day it's communicating with a [00:46:00] wife one day. It's the fact that, you know, you've missed a bunch of habits and you're not sure why.

[00:46:02] Curt: So we've gotta dig into that. Um, but like, man, there, there's, so I. Much content out there about just be harder, stop being such a wuss, get up at three, smash your habits and you know, you can. So just do it. And if you don't, then like, you know, what's wrong with you? And I fell into that trap for a long time because speaking of identity, my identity was that of perfectionist, that, of taking on literally everything from every, everybody never thinking it was enough.

[00:46:35] Curt: So constantly piling more on and being crushed under the weight. But I could do it, therefore I would. And you know, this was not healthy. I very much, uh, want everyone to understand that what you just said about those habits you can do for life, that's the best way to do them. I was just going like, well, I can do this indefinitely, so I'm just gonna like pile on more and more and more.

[00:46:55] Curt: And eventually it was crushing. So what I'm trying to get at here in relation [00:47:00] to like . Trying harder versus giving yourself grace. How do you think about that balance? Because I think there's a ditch on either side where on the one hand you just try to do things of your own strength and you just power through and you don't listen to your body.

[00:47:14] Curt: On the other hand, you're like, oh, I don't need to do that actually. Like, I'm just not feeling it today. How do you apply a rule or principle or something in this case, uh, so that guys can sort of stay on that middle path of getting stuff done but not being hurtful.

[00:47:27] Chris: Hmm. Yeah, I hope this is okay to say, um, because I, I, I think a deep dive in this area is like worth, uh, the time. Um, but Jeremy Pryor, who leads up family teams, this, uh, conference that both Kurt and I were at, um, he has a podcast, the Family Teams podcast, and he had my wife and I on to talk about, uh, some of these very similar things.

[00:47:54] Chris: And the way I would describe how to approach what you're asking for is, it's called rhythms [00:48:00] over goals. And rhythms are these things that happen cyclically that we can order around, uh, kind of everything being all inclusive. So a goal would normally create this experience where you put the blinders on and you're chasing this particular goal.

[00:48:19] Chris: And maybe it's a habit that you're chasing, but the blinders are on and it's like, I'm going to do this at all costs and everything else is gonna kind of fall, second or third in line to these things. Rhythms are very different. Uh, I have my clients create a, a ideal seven day week, and they literally use a block schedule and they fill every single hour with their ideal way of spending time.

[00:48:49] Chris: Now that might include a four hour block. That's just family time. Turn my phone off. That might be, I have a three hour block on Friday mornings for my wife to go, [00:49:00] just do whatever she wants. We call it a her, her, uh, mom break. And like all of those things need to be put on the calendar. What would a perfect week look like for your family? Then the inevitable will come where that gets completely disrupted. And I would say that 70% of the time you will not, you will not execute your seven day rhythm perfectly. 70% of the time will be a failure in, in the eyes of the western, you know, uh, hustle, grind culture in the west. And that's okay. So an example, I went, uh, I had to fly to Oregon and drive a truck back to Texas a few weeks ago.

[00:49:46] Chris: Uh, paired that with entering into a busy season where I was speaking at a conference and I was meeting with a bunch of guys and all this stuff happening over the course of three weeks. And I did not exercise for three weeks, not once. [00:50:00] And that's okay. Like I didn't shrivel up and die. I'm still very fit and capable, and it didn't, the most important thing is it didn't create anxiety in me.

[00:50:14] Chris: Whereas, you know, five or six years ago, it would have, and I'll talk about that, uh, in, in just a moment. What, what changed that? Um, but. What happened on the Monday after that kind of three week period ended, I was eating two pounds of beef a day back on my meal plan. I was exercising. I knew what Monday was supposed to look like, my ideal Monday, and I was able to start there. It didn't take me two to three weeks to recover and kind of reorient myself like it often does for a lot of men. When things happen, your family members get sick and it's like everything blows up, right? Well, how quickly can you recover back to the [00:51:00] rhythms that you have set as your ideal kind of weekly approach? And I think that, and you can think about that on a daily rhythms. A weekly rhythms. A quarterly rhythms, all of those can be kind of determined so that you know, okay, this is what I'm aiming for generally speaking, and when things get off, I just pick up where I left off. It's okay. Now, what did that for me was fasting.

[00:51:28] Chris: Um, I, about six years ago, uh, the Lord told me to fast from exercise and I was like, uh, I haven't gone more than like 10 days without exercise. And I was, 'cause I had a, a traumatic brain injury and I had to rest, you know, and he was just like, trust me. So I did 40 days of no exercise and I came out the other side and the Lord had kind of broken off those [00:52:00] idolatry things from me, right?

[00:52:02] Chris: And so I don't think everyone needs to do that or have a long period of fasting if the Lord says to do it. But what I do think is important is when we, uh, deprive ourselves of the things that we, uh, idolize. And we've gotta be honest with ourselves about that, like the accomplishment, the habit development.

[00:52:21] Chris: We can idolize all of those things. If we deprive ourselves and readjust our perspective on those, then we can enter back into them in a much healthier way. And then if you enter back in and you do it with, uh, a rhythmic approach rather than a goal oriented approach, then you end up having a, a, a much more successful experience.

[00:52:43] Curt: dude, I literally am In these seasons that you're talking about right now, I feel like I'm just coming out of some of them. There has been so much of that old identity, I suppose, the old pathways that [00:53:00] said you must do X, Y, and z. To be liked, approved, not rejected, whatever those things are. And it was the exact same experience.

[00:53:10] Curt: You stop posting on social media for a while and you're like, oh no, my business is gonna go down. Or like the f the food and exercise thing, I got really like, really wound up in being perfect. Like dude, my chronometer every day was like a hundred percent perfect on all my macros. And I man it like at the beginning of this year, almost ran me into the ground and I had to go and get blood tests and like there's some weird blood stuff going on and hormones were outta whack.

[00:53:39] Curt: I was like, huh, this isn't healthy. This is actually awful. And yet it was very difficult to stop because of what I told myself, if you don't do this, you are a loser because you could. And that was so hard to break off until I. I just like cut myself off on purpose. And [00:54:00] I didn't do my, you know, monthly fitness challenge, commitment to myself.

[00:54:04] Curt: And I was like, what happens if I just stop? And it was very painful. Like I had to really trust and like you said, step into what God had for me, which was not misery, which was not anxiety, which was peace. And that's been the recurring theme lately for the last couple weeks, is just, I mean, Jesus says, my peace I leave you with.

[00:54:24] Curt: And then when he comes to see them, um, you know, after his resurrection, he says, peace be with you. And it's like, I didn't, I didn't accept that I was looking for my piece and my piece was completely unattainable because it was reliant fully on me. And I think maybe that's the, that's the crux of a lot of this is you can have the habits, but unless he wills it, it doesn't matter.

[00:54:45] Curt: Like you're not gonna do it. Does that make sense?

[00:54:48] Chris: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I, and I want to drill into another piece here that, that I think is really important is, is kind of going back to the mission orientation piece, right? Um, because [00:55:00] if we don't have a crystal clear picture of where we believe God's calling us to be in 30 years, one of the things I walk through all of my clients on day one is, uh, understanding your family's unique mission and mission statement and creating and crafting or optimizing your family's mission statement and all the pillars for your family.

[00:55:27] Chris: Then leveraging that to go, okay, Lord, give me a vision, an actual vision. What does it look like in 30 years with my family? What do you want that dynamic to look like? What do you want my grandkids and their in? You know, like, what does that look like? How beautiful is it? What's our relationships like?

[00:55:47] Chris: What's my business like? Uh, am I, have I been working my tail off for the last 30 years and ignoring my family? You know, like you catch the good vision and then you ask yourself the hard question of saying, [00:56:00] if I change nothing about what I do right now, knowing that habits and, you know, these I idols that we have, and the, the things that we do with our time and the mindsets that we have, those only will more solidify and expand as time goes.

[00:56:18] Chris: Right? You see the grumpy old man sitting on his porch that like, you know, you think of Grand Tomo, right? Like the, the movie, uh, uh, he didn't, he wasn't always like that. That began to galvanize over decades of being this grumpy guy. And what's really interesting is you get a chance to look out 30 years, Hey, if nothing changed about my bad habits and my bad mindsets and my bad approach to X, Y, and Z, where would I be?

[00:56:46] Chris: And then you've got these two comparing visions where you're like, oh man, there's a gap here. Now I've got a vision for where I want to go and I can understand what the gap is. And my primary motivation and focus [00:57:00] is to actually fill the gap with the right habits, the right approach, the right systems.

[00:57:05] Chris: Not just whatever fitness plan or whatever family approach or whatever everybody else is doing that was good and Christian or whatever, but what is right for the vision that God gave me for my family? And then you, you start to get these guys that are like an example would be, I disappear and I do, uh, it takes me a half hour to drive to the gym.

[00:57:29] Chris: I do an hour and a half of CrossFit and a half hour to drive back and it's like, well, you're taking two and a half hours out of the day to go do this, and you're leaving your, your wife hung out to drive with the kids from five to seven or whatever. And it's like, that doesn't align with the vision you have for your family.

[00:57:46] Chris: And so all of our rhythms and activities have to then come into perfect alignment with the vision in order for all of this to work properly. I think that's another huge element to this.

[00:57:56] Curt: Yeah, absolutely. And that, um, [00:58:00] man, there's, there's so much here and it's so much more than fitness, but it's like, this is why guys don't get the lasting fitness piece is because everything else is outta the way. So I just like, you know, coming into this, if you guys wanted to get the quick, here's 1, 2, 3 to get fit.

[00:58:14] Curt: I mean, it kind of is because this is the real way to do it, but there is so much more, and if you've been struggling, it's probably because you don't have these pieces in place. But I also was curious about your thought on this, and this is just like literally a question that I have, um, as a new Christian especially.

[00:58:29] Curt: And, you know, I read today about not, not worrying about things that could be disagreeing in the church, um, in Romans today. So like, keep that as a background here. But what do you think about this argument between Christians should be fit, Christians should be, you know, cer certain health parameters because I, I see arguments on both sides and for me it seems more

[00:58:55] Curt: Self-evident that I think we're better off being fit in a sense. Um, for [00:59:00] me, I found that my discipline in the gym or eating, I think probably goes a long way to spiritual discipline and temptation and stuff like that. But I can't be like, oh look bro, you're not fit. You're clearly like, don't believe I, I can't make that call.

[00:59:15] Curt: So do you want to like get spicy here and just maybe go into that a little bit? Um, I don't wanna like throw you under the bus if you don't want to go here, but, uh, I am

[00:59:23] Chris: No, this is great. This is great. Um, so it's interesting at, uh, integrated, um, February, um, when we were in Austin, I gave a talk on this very topic,

[00:59:36] Curt: Oh, let's go.

[00:59:37] Chris: um, . And so, uh, this is, this is one of my favorite topics. Uh, I think it's really, really critical and, and I would say just like full disclosure, I'm on the side of Christian should be fit.

[00:59:51] Chris: Um, and I'll unpack why. Um, so I think that, you know, somewhere along the early church years, the Gnostics [01:00:00] became a really big, you know, uh, player in everything. And they were basically looking at this separation between, you know, the spiritual and the physical. And all that really mattered to agnostic was the spiritual.

[01:00:11] Chris: There was no resurrection of the body. Like there was all sorts of like weird stuff going on with them. And I think that, quite frankly, um, I think that began to bleed into the church and it never left. Um, so the, the first thing I'll, I'll talk about is the Genesis 1 28 that we've already mentioned several times be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earths subdue it, rule over the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky, and over every living creature that moves along the ground.

[01:00:41] Chris: And then Genesis three, six, um, you know, you, you look at, um, also, uh, She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate. There is, there's so many different things that go into, uh, the original experience for [01:01:00] humanity and what broke. But I want to highlight that God basically created a body on purpose. He is going to resurrect that body. We see that in Revelation. Uh, and so if we kind of deduce down, it would appear that God holds the human body in the human form in very high esteem. Because he is not doing away with it. Sin entered and everybody got really unhealthy and all of this brokenness and all that stuff.

[01:01:35] Chris: And he is not just kind of clearing the slate. He's going back to, okay, human form, garden fully needs, fully met, that kind of stuff. other thing to think about, uh, is that we are this beautiful expression of God's nature, but also limits. So God has given us a complex brain, um, [01:02:00] and it is a fragile and limited expression of God's creative brain In his mind, uh, God gave us rhythms, uh, similar to what he did.

[01:02:10] Chris: Uh, when he rested on the seventh day. He hardwired into humanity, into humanity, rhythms, and the need for rest. Every seven day, God designed us to need movement in order to thrive. uh, we needed nourishment in order to move. And he paired in his grace, paired our movement, uh, in order to nourish. So basically what I mean by that is, uh, we had to cultivate the ground to create the food in order to nourish our body. So eating was a result of having already done work hard, physical labor and cultivating good food that God gave us to cultivate. So all three of those were intertwined work and nutrition and exercise [01:03:00] and eating, all of that stuff. Um, and then God designed us to sleep. He could have created anything. He could have created anything he wanted, and he designed us to need to sleep for one third of the day, every single day.

[01:03:14] Chris: What is that about? And so as we think about God's perspective on the human form, Our body and how it operates is an expression of God imposed limits that when seen in the proper perspective should drive us to worship and stewardship, worship and stewardship. Okay. Then there's a couple practical reasons that I would note for why Christians should be healthy and fit.

[01:03:42] Chris: And um, number one, it teaches us stewardship when things are hard. So when you're, when you're really low on financial resources and you see a need and you feel that whisper of like, Hey, I'm supposed to fill that, that's stewarding those resources and it's hard to do that. [01:04:00] And when it's, you know, exercise and nutrition and denying ourselves the, the sweets or whatever all the time, those things are hard.

[01:04:08] Chris: Um, the other thing is leadership. Kids learn through experience. They, they learn through observation. So if we wanna lead our families, well, we need to lead them by example in all areas. And the question I have to ask fathers is, do you want your kids to be fat, sick, and unhealthy? And every father would say no. So let's go back to how do our kids learn? My kids copy everything that I do, and it's annoying sometimes , but, but this is one of those beautiful areas where your leadership really matters, uh, the perspective of others, whether or not we like it in our businesses, people will judge us based on appearance. if we want to be, uh, stewarding our businesses and our work in a really healthy way, we've also gotta recognize that [01:05:00] if I look really unfit, really unhealthy, or I'm obese or whatever, people are going to equate that, right, wrong or indifferent. That's just the reality. They're gonna equate that with.

[01:05:10] Chris: You don't have self-discipline and you're not trustworthy, and that is a really sad thing to say. But that is also the reality of the world that we live in. And so if we want to be thinking about maximization in some of these other areas, fitness serves us healthy. Testosterone levels. If you want to be a multi-generational father, reproduction and vitality to handle four or five kids, that is really critical and key. Um, couple other things too. Uh, mental health, like we know that mood and performance increase. When people are healthy and fit when they're exercising, um, we know that people who exercise daily see about a 15% boost in performance. Um, [01:06:00] you know, all of that stuff. But, but by and large, the, the, the most important thing I'll say is if your heart stops working or your body fails you decades before it's supposed to, it doesn't matter what you've built financially, it doesn't matter what you've built in your family or at a business standpoint or a ministry standpoint.

[01:06:21] Chris: Uh, it's all for Naugh. If you can't pass it along properly, if you couldn't facilitate and cultivate those same things in your children and in your children's children, it's like you need to be around, and this is one of my bones to pick with retirement. I.

[01:06:38] Track 1: Oh bro.

[01:06:39] Chris: old, old men should not be retiring. They should be pouring into young men.

[01:06:43] Chris: They should be invested in what God's doing until the day they take their last breath. And you see, when people retire, their life just takes a, a super downturn. And the guys who are vibrant are the ones that are engaged in life and engaged in ministry, engaged in business, no matter whether [01:07:00] they're officially quote unquote retired or not.

[01:07:03] Chris: And so, uh, health is wrapped up into, into all of these things. So the, those are some of my opinions that you've got the stereotype of, you know, we are the temple. Like, how would you care for the temple? Like, those are, those are, everyone has heard those things. These are my theological and practical reasons.

[01:07:20] Chris: Like God created a body and he is restoring it, redeeming it, resurrecting it. If he's gonna do that, you should care about it as much as he does.

[01:07:29] Curt: Let's go . Love it. Thank you. I'm so excited that you actually had like a really good answer to that. Uh, because I, my, my friend will on Instagram has had posts on obesity in the church and they're awesome and convicting, but it's also very uncomfortable for I think the so-called modern man even in the church, which to be quite frank was part of the reason that I didn't even look into Christianity for the longest time because it looked effeminate and weak and like they didn't care.

[01:07:56] Curt: I was like, oh, well if it's not real, they clearly don't believe it because [01:08:00] like it's looks awful. And I think that that is very important as well. And God will work through whatever means and his will and his ways. And so I'm not saying I don't think that, you know, if you're an obese believer then like something's wrong with you.

[01:08:14] Curt: But I do think you will have a much better and more . Glorifying life. I would say to God, if you get this all under control, because man, I like we, we work with a couple of guys who are, you know, losing weight and it's all about the stories. Like why? Why did you just grab that cookie? You're not hungry.

[01:08:33] Curt: It's like, oh, well that's because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Whatever happened before, whatever belief you have yourself. So I think that if you do find yourself in that, if you're listening to this and you're like, man, this is convicting. I do need to get outta this, but like I've tried, I think that, you know, what Chris has talked about this whole time is exactly probably what you need more than anyone perhaps.

[01:08:52] Curt: Are you finding that in as well, like guys who just haven't been able to get this.

[01:08:56] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. No, I was gonna, I was gonna say it's [01:09:00] important that you're calling that out, that that's, you know, in the church seeing, uh, let's just call it the obese pastor on stage leading everyone in spiritual formation, right? Like, in my opinion, um, that is an oxymoron that that doesn't compute. Because to your point, I am obese because there's certain subconscious beliefs that I have that are leading me to actions that take me out of stewarding the, the resources God has given me.

[01:09:29] Chris: And I'm, I'm more unhealthy physically, but as a result mentally and spiritually, uh, than than I should be. And so if you're gonna take on the role of leadership, um, much like we talked about with leading kids by example, we need to lead our communities by example as well. And every one of us is believing lies.

[01:09:53] Chris: If we believed all truth, like we said earlier, we would always be acting like Jesus. We would believe the truth and that we would [01:10:00] live out the truth. And in every area, whether I'm anxious about finances, when I know God's my provider, uh, if I'm, uh, desiring to, you know, uh, uh, mask pain or, uh, anger or emotional stuff with food or whatever the thing is, all of those have these underlying stories like you had called out that have to be dealt with.

[01:10:27] Chris: And if we don't deal with them, then we're in a really painful spot. And so I think that it's less about having the fit body and it's more about what a fit body or an unfit body, most of the time with exceptions represents about the internal state of a man. And I think that is why I try to address these together.

[01:10:50] Curt: Yeah. And that's a good, really good, and I'm glad that, I mean, it, it is unfortunately requiring of courage to even talk about these things because of the culture that we live in. And I think that [01:11:00] culture is seeped into the church from what little that I know. Um, it's not acceptable to call it anything about how people look or whatever, because they are marginalized for some degree.

[01:11:10] Curt: But that's a bit of a whole other issue I would suggest. And I think the, the crux the matter is that you would do better for yourself, your family, your lineage, God, very likely, if you had some, you know, I, I don't wanna say even control, but just some basic principles in place to ensure that your mindset is aiming toward the right thing.

[01:11:33] Curt: 'cause I think oftentimes, I mean, what happens when you . Our overeating, for example, food or the comfort that comes from eating can become an idol very likely. And that's where I think we need to, like you said before, establish discovery and prayer and maybe even work with a coach. Very likely. I think a lot of people in this, you know, lone wolf environment, think they can do it alone.

[01:11:55] Curt: I couldn't, I got really far. And that last step in the last, you know, a hundred steps [01:12:00] now have required coaches, mentors, brotherhood, whatever. So anyway, we, I could go on for many, many years for all of this kind of stuff, but I really appreciate your time today on all of this kind of stuff. Do you want to give us a couple of places we can go?

[01:12:12] Curt: I know there's a, a cheat sheet for listeners. Um, do you wanna just give us a couple places to find you for guys who wanna know more?

[01:12:20] Chris: Yeah, primary pace you can find me is mission fit. Do co mission fit co. Um, and if you head to mission fit co slash dad work, then uh, all one word. And, uh, I've got a cheat sheet that I've designed just for the listeners of this show. Um, and so, uh, head over there and check that out. Um, that has some of my favorite strategies, um, tools and frameworks for thinking about, uh, different components of health and fitness.

[01:12:55] Chris: So you've got some spiritual formation stuff in there. Uh, you've got your, [01:13:00] uh, nutrition stuff. You've got my favorite kind of muscle building, um, tips and strategies, those kinds of things all live in that document. So, um, uh, and actually it's a, it's a notion document, so you guys will be able to kind of copy and save it directly to your notion workplace, if you guys use that.

[01:13:16] Chris: If not, you can download it and it's peasy.

[01:13:19] Curt: Dude, great idea. Thank you very much for offering that. I will, uh, go and download that as soon as that's ready. And I'm looking at my notion right now, so there's, it's gonna live. Uh, Chris, thank you very much brother. This has been incredible, uh, for me and hopefully for the listeners. So, uh, I appreciate you.

[01:13:32] Curt: Thank you.

[01:13:33] Chris: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Leave A Review – The Highest Impact, Lowest Cost Way of Supporting the Show

Are you enjoying this podcast? Do you want to say thanks, and help more fathers find this episode? Please leave a review for the Dad.Work podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Ping me at or on Instagram @dadwork.curt and send me a link to your review and I’ll give you a shout-out on the podcast!

Leave A Review

Free 10-Day Elite Dad Challenge

Lead Your Family, Save Your Marriage, and Raise Great Kids

10 Emails. 10 Challenges. 10 Days.
Life-changing Results. Join us 👇

Get our FREE 14-day Better Man, Better Dad Email Series to learn the best tips, tools, and practices I used to suffer less, love more, and parent confidently.

Get our Free 14-Day Better Man, Better Dad Email Series

Learn some of the fundamental tools, practices, and tips I've used to suffer less, love more, and parent confidently.

Become a better man, husband and father...and never miss an episode.

Join the Dad.Work Email Newsletter