Growing up I did not follow sports closely even though my dad and brother did. I had no idea that there were different leagues. For example, I didn't know it would not be possible for the Baylor Bears to play the Dallas Cowboys. Or could the UT Longhorns make the Super Bowl? Or take basketball, could the Mavs wind up in the Final Four? But I married a huge sports fan and began to learn the facts and leagues. Over the years our family has attended many and various types of games from t-ball to professional. And even as recently as last year, we shortened a trip to Italy to watch Dirk Nowitski play his last game EVER for the Dallas Mavericks. Being a fan of our favorite teams can be a fun hobby BUT it can also get out of hand and become an idol. And what about our own children playing sports? The same can be said. Sports can teach kids about team work, healthy competition, working hard and accomplishing goals. OR it can be about elevating self over others, winning over character, identity over truth. What does it look like to RUN the race successfully as related to sports?
While there are many ways to honor the Lord in this area, consider these to attain and maintain a balanced mentality about sports in our homes. Consider R-U-N.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
R- Recognize that there is room for differences. There are not many clear absolutes in choosing sports and the impact on our families. Christian families will land in different camps on this and no one has this issue completely figured out because every child is different, and every family is different. Show respect and grace in this area, knowing there is freedom with biblical boundaries. Select soccer or YMCA? We do not have to all do it the same. Just as the Lord doesn’t call us all into the same jobs, neighborhoods or schooling, one sports answer does not fit every family. Process with others who share biblical values, but in the end, we will all give an account for the stewardship of our own time, talents and treasures.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
U- Unite and communicate with your spouse. Being unified will build a strong marriage and family. Kids learn quickly when parents are not in agreement on an issue. Time, other commitments, finances, family dynamics, geography, and even talent, will all play into these decisions. Make decisions as a couple for your family. Remember too, that it is easier to start something than stop it, so be careful. Consider the impact that decisions about sports will have on not just the child in question, but the whole family.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31
N- Navigate decisions using God’s word and prayer. Allow the Lord to lead and guide. Bring in others who also use scripture to inform.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18
So as the calendar, seasons, and sports opportunities keep coming at you, R-U-N the sports race well!