Going Pro?

by on February 24, 2014 » Add the first comment.

Sport closeup detailWe all have high hopes for our kids. We want them to do well and succeed at the things they try. Here in the south, in Alabama, our expectations and dreams for sports can sometimes get out of whack. Maybe we are living vicariously through them? Some of us even have a glimmer of hope that they might just get a scholarship, play in college and even make it a career. Sorry to burst your bubble, but check out these stats that the NCAA put our last year…

For baseball… only 0.6% of high school players will play professionally. If they make it to college, then the stats look a little brighter as 11.6% of college players play professionally.

For football… only 0.08% of high school players will play pro football. College football players have a 1.7% chance of making it to the pros.

How about basketball? In basketball, 0.03% of high school players will play professionally. 1.2% of college basketball players will play pro basketball.

Now that we are all depressed… why bring this up? Well, as you can tell, your kids…they’re probably not going pro. Their chances of playing in college are a little better, but that is still very hard to do. I am not trying to crush your dreams for your kids, but what if the goal of our kids playing sports is not just about an athletic future? What if sports could be redeemed for something even more important?

As parents, our greatest mission, our key objective, is to teach our kids about God. The Bible tells us that God designed the family to be an avenue to pass down faith.

We find those truths in passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:5-7, where we are reminded of our all-important role as spiritual leaders for our kids.

The most important thing about your kids is not how many points they score, what their grades are, or how much money they make when they grow up. The most important thing about your kids is what they believe about God. What they know and believe about God will shape how they live their lives and will determine where they will spend eternity.

So… maybe sports can be used to help you accomplish your mission. Maybe, just maybe, sports can be redeemed for the mission God has designed us for as parents. There is no other arena, during the growing up years, where your child’s character can be tested and put on display, like with sports. Sports are not inherently good or bad. They can be used to teach lots of good moral lessons. I want to challenge you to be intentional to teach more than just morals. Let sports be an arena where your child can learn spiritual lessons to grow in Christ-likeness.

Sports can be a very valuable tool to help disciple your kids to be more like Christ. Look for opportunities to help your kids honor God in all they say and do on and off the field. Maybe they will face opportunities to stay humble and grounded in the midst of success. Or, maybe it’s about learning to respect authority under a harsh coach, learning about sportsmanship, or how to compete when things aren’t going your way.

There is a reason that the Bible talks about sports so much. Paul, in particular uses the illustration of sports to encourage us in our christian lives…

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 says: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.” And Hebrews 12 encourages us to… “run with endurance the race that is set before us” If we are intentional, sports can be used to help us train up our kids in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). They can help us disciple our kids to be more like Christ. They’re probably not going pro, so…

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