Both of my kids are athletes. They know you have to train hard to play hard. We LOVE sports…everything about the game. The coaching, learning, training, winning, lessons in losing (not as much fun), and growing as an athlete in each particular sport.
One thing I know for certain, I would never send one of my kids on a field or court without the proper equipment, practice or training. They need to know the rules, the best way to play the game, have the proper equipment, have their bodies in the right physical shape or they could get seriously hurt, not do their best for lack of knowledge in the sport, and lose confidence in their ability. We have spent countless hours and dollars on the love of sports. And I wouldn’t trade the memories or the love of the game for anything. Well…anything except the love of Jesus.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Are we making sure our kids are prepared for eternity and not just the game? I can assure you that my family struggles with this as well. It’s not an easy task. But at the end of the day, we have to remember our kids have been entrusted to us as a gift from God. To cut to the chase and not sugarcoat… are we being the godly parents God entrusted us to be?
To keep it simple today, let’s just focus on the verse from 2 Timothy.
1. Are we teaching our children to study scripture?
Sounds simple enough. But let me ask it again. Are we teaching our children to study scripture? How are we? How often are we? It does not matter if we know these truths if we do not intentionally live them out. Our kids are smart. If they don’t see us making Bible study a priority, why would they? Hearing some scripture here and there on an occasional Sunday in a sermon is not enough. Do a Bible study with them, make sure they go to a Bible study at church, pray scripture out loud with them, let them see you reading your Bible.
2. Are we rebuking and correcting our kid’s behavior, attitudes and lifestyles with scripture?
How are we disciplining our kids on a regular basis? Yelling, nagging, “because I said so?”… I’m guilty of them all. But I try really hard, along with Jay, to quote scripture to them when correcting a behavior. It gives the WHY in a Biblical way vs my way.
3. Are we training our kids to live a life of righteousness?
The breastplate of righteousness is part of the armor of God that we are all supposed to put on daily. It’s no coincidence that the breastplate would guard our hearts. How do we teach our kids to live morally in such an immoral world? We model it ourselves for starters (not easy, I KNOW). And I for one am not talking about being perfect. Unrealistic expectations lead to feeling defeated. I have PKs remember? lol, they are not perfect but they have felt the pressure of trying to be at times. We can teach our kids to live righteous lives by helping them learn the Bible.
4. Are we making sure our children are “thoroughly equipped for every good work”?
We would never let them skip sports practice or a game. We would never let them go on a court without their racket, a field without their football pads, bat, helmet, glove, ball… If we want them to play well, they have to be equipped. Why would we ever think it was ok to not equip them spiritually? Our kids have “good works” to do for the kingdom. Works they were created to carry out. Christians wonder what’s wrong with the world? If we studied the Bible a fraction of the amount of time we spent doing other things, we would know what’s wrong with our world. Our priorities. Mine too… I never write anything that I don’t struggle with myself. But when convicted , I try to do better.
Let’s be the cheerleaders and coaches our kids need. Let’s make sure our priorities are Biblical. Practice and training for sports are not always the fun part, but a necessary part of playing the game well. Let’s train up our kids to build the kingdom.