Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Parents, Consider Taking Your Kids Out of Sports

Yes, you read that right.  I know, saying something like that in our culture is close to blasphemy.  Sports are more important to many Americans than God.  But I'm serious.  Sports are not evil in and of themselves.  But they can become evil when they get in the way of what's most important.

Parents, your kids need to be at church.  They need to be at church every Sunday.  They need to be sitting next to you in a small group.  They need to be volunteering right beside you at church.  And fathers, you need to be discipling your kids at home.  For me that means I'm having Bible Time with my kids four nights a week, Monday through Thursday.  That's what's most important.  It's more important than school.  It's more important than sports -- infinitely.

If you can get your kids in church and still manage to fit sports in, then do what you think is wise.  But the problem is that many parents can't find the time for their kids to be active in church, and find the time for home discipleship, and find the time for sports.  Surprisingly, parents (Christian parents) have chosen sports as the priority and if there's no time left for church and home discipleship, oh well.

Why are parents being so foolish?  Simple.  Parents are looking to culture instead of the Bible to find out how to raise their kids.  Culture values sports -- highly.  Culture says your kids need sports to develop properly.  Culture says that your kids need sports or you are a lousy, selfish parent.  The Bible, on the other hand, doesn't say any of that.

According to the Bible, your kids need church, and they need you to disciple them at home.  They also need to be protected from ungodly influences that are too strong for them to resist on their own.  They don't need sports to develop character.  In fact, playing sports with kids and coaches who aren't believers will likely be a hindrance to their development.  They don't need sports for you to be a good parent.  You're probably a better parent for keeping them out of sports, if done for the right reasons.

In 2015, re-prioritize your family life.  Get the kids out of sports and get them in church and disciple them in the home.  You'll save money.  You'll save time.  You'll save gas.  You'll save your kids.

If you insist on getting your kids in sports, let me ask why.  Why are your kids in sports?  They don't need it for character development.  They don't need it for spiritual development.  They don't need it for exercise -- they should be getting plenty of that at home.  If anything, sports will expose them to ungodly influences and make it harder for them to be fully active in church.

Wait.  I think I know why you put your kids in sports.  You're one of those parents who is hoping that your kid makes it to the NBA.  Really?  First of all, the chances are minimal.  You're probably one of those people who plays the lottery, too.  Second, should you really want your kid to be a professional athlete?  I don't think it's the kind of life I want for my kids.  I'll let God decide, but I don't think I want to push my kids in that direction.  Think about life in the NBA.  Always away from home.  Games on Sunday.  Living out of a suitcase in hotel rooms with maximum temptation.  This is not the ideal profession for a Christian who needs to be active in church, or for a man who needs to nurture his marriage and be at home so he can disciple his kids.  Yes, there is the riches and the fame.  But those are burdens, not blessings.

Or maybe you're hoping sports will be their ticket to college.  It is true that universities are handing out a few athletic scholarships, but they are handing out tons of academic scholarships.  Perhaps spending less time on the field and more time in the books will result in free college.  College didn't cost me or my parents a dime.  Because of my good grades and high ACT score I was actually paid to go to college.  And I'm sure your kids are smarter than me.  They can do that, too, with hard work.

Let me conclude.  Parents, especially while your kids are young, consider taking them out of sports.  Reconsider when your kids hit upper-middle school or high school.  And maybe just one sport.  And only if they show a special aptitude for that sport and want to pursue it as a career.  And only after lots of prayer.  Otherwise, why are you wasting God's time and money.  You only have a short window of time to raise your kids.  Don't let sports get in the way.