Parents and idolatry in sports

By September 30, 2010 Parenting

Idolatry in sports

Many of you have mentioned how much you enjoyed the parent’s session we held, and we’re certainly appreciative.  Hopefully it stimulates conversations among parents and within the home that all contribute to honoring Jesus Christ in word and deed.  This note/blog is intended to help further the conversation amongst us as we work to be “doer’s of the Word.”

First, a confession.  I’m the worst sinner that I know.  Not a day goes by that I can claim full obedience to either the first or the second greatest commandments.  And sports/competition have always brought out the worst in me.  Even to this day, I wrestle with my sense of pride that gets bruised…I hate to sit by parents of the opposing team because I feel anger brewing if they are winning.

Why?  David Powlison writes the following which I’ve modified for parents of athletes, “James 4:1–3 teaches that cravings underlie conflicts. Why do you fight? It’s not “because of our record or playing time or coaching or…”—it’s because of something about you. Parents and athletes who see what rules them—cravings for affection, attention, power, vindication, control, comfort, a hassle-free life—can repent and find God’s grace made real to them, and then learn how to make peace.”

My conclusion is that the biggest obstacle that I face in becoming a parent who is able to shepherd my sons and daughters through the world of sports is my own idolatrous heart.  When I come to a point of confession and repentance regarding my own cravings that are the root of my conflicts, then I’m able to access the blood-bought grace of Christ.  And then I can see clearly to be able to point my own children to that same redeeming grace!

Rich Mullins once wrote, “Things of earth compete for the allegiance I own only to the giver of all good things.”  Let’s pray together that the Lord of grace would be our strength in this fight for the allegiance of our (and our children’s) hearts.

I would recommend the following youtube video by Tim Keller entitled “counterfeit god’s” on idolatry as something to chew on as it relates to sports.  I’ll see ya in the stands!

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