Gotta love this. Are you ready for some football?
You will never understand answered prayer, until you have, an answered prayer. And to receive an answered prayer, you first must ask in prayer.
Teacher hunting season is here again. Every year all across America some teachers find themselves in the crosshairs of spoiled students and angry parents. Sometimes the teachers fall. They are mounted on the wall, over the fireplace, where they become the proud conversation of well-meaning parents who let the world know they stood up for their child and felled another teacher. Felled. Not failed.
Hunters pride themselves on having respect for their prey and following time-tested rules of the hunt. Except in this season. In this season there are no rules. Ladies don’t have to be ladies. Gentlemen can become terrorists. Christians can lay down the cross and take up the curse, and feel justified, maybe even noble. After all, isn’t it an honorable thing to stand up for your child?
Well, actually, no. Now, before you put me in your crosshair (I’m not a teacher, so save your tag), let me explain a few things.
1. It is not wise to fight for your child.
Follow this line of reasoning carefully. It’s a subtle paradigm shift. If you raise your child to think that you will always fight for him, that you’ll always be in his corner, no matter what, your child has not actually learned anything from you except that he always has a back-up, and that maybe you’ll help him get out of trouble someday. Youtube routinely displays such ignorance, as in the case of the woman who just last week famously stated: “He didn’t do nothin’ wrong; he just shot a cop.”
People have disrupted communities this summer because they were “standing with the kid” who got shot by a cop. Some people think that’s the right message to send, but it is not.
If your child is wrong, and you think it’s your place to fight for your child, right or wrong, you just create two wrong people instead of one. If your child is an idiot, and you defend him, you’re a bigger idiot than the child because you perpetuate the idiocy in your family line. Oops, I may have left subtlety for a moment.
2. It IS wise to fight for truth.
Rather than loyally and blindly fighting for a child, what parents ought to be doing is fighting for a principle, for truth. If you teach your kids honesty, respect, self-discipline and other virtues, then as they grow they “will not depart” from those values, so says the proverb. They’ll make mistakes, and then they’ll own up to the mistake and take their correction or punishment.
And in those occasions where they are right, and a teacher is wrong, they won’t seek blood. They’ll seek truth, and they’ll need a parent to help fight for truth. When you and your child are actually pursuing something noble and righteous and truthful, that’s a fight you can carry with dignity all the way to the courthouse, if need be, because in that instance your target is not the reputation of a teacher but rather the establishment of a principle.
3. It is always right to love your child.
If you haven’t got the subtle paradigm yet, I’ll try to phrase it one last time. Loving a child when he is wrong is good, but fighting for him when he is wrong simply perpetuates his wrongness.
Love ’em forever. But lead them. Teach them. Show them that the pursuit of honor and righteousness is more noble than a classroom victory.
Good luck this school year. When the season is over, may the only trophy in your home be a wiser, stronger, nobler child who has grown in grace and dignity.
Billy Dawson who grew up in the panhandle of Texas at Sunray, sings this song about football. Thought you might like it.
Link to a nice article about preventing injuries. Written by an Orthopedic Surgeon who played full pad football and has four boys playing full pad football today.
Here is a link to the Kansas Pregame Magazine Digital Copy
The comments below are from Tommy Nelson’s notes who preaches at Denton Bible Church.
There are things in our old life that providentially prepared us for the course of our Christian lives.
Do you know what the chief thing was in my life? It was being a football player. Not just an athlete but a football player. Football is not an Olympic sport. Only American’s play it. Olympic football would start wars. It’s just too violent.
But you know what? It gave me an edge in life that a lot of my pals never had. There were things that I was force fed that became second nature. It’s been said that unless you were an athlete, a farmer, or in the military that, with the state of fatherhood today, you probably never learned these things.
- I had to discipline my body to do what I did not feel like. Feelings were submitted to vision.
- I had to co-exist with discomfort and being stretched. Physical and emotional toughness were requirements.
- I had to submit to authority… that I often didn’t care for.
- I had to be a team man. I had to bend with others, encourage others, and recognize them.
- I had to do short term things that had no immediate recompense in order to attain to an ultimate success.
- I had to master certain skills.
- I had to maintain poise when hopelessly beaten just to keep a standard.
- I had to come back after extreme discouragement.
- I had to finish… the practice, the game, the season, the scholarship. I could not quit.
- I had to follow rules that other people didn’t because I wanted something beyond me.
- I had to do something with excellence just because of personal pride in who I was.
- I had to represent a school and a group of people with distinction.
I didn’t realize the benefit of football growing up because ball players were all I knew. But then I got in the ministry with regular folks. I discovered that many of the things that had become instinctive to me were alien to them. So often they did not dream for something greater than themselves. Often, they had a habit of quitting what they began or often not committing to anything that would curtail their freedoms. Too often when things got tough, they would take off. Many of them could not function on a team or be responsible to duty. Many could not submit to authority.
But I found out that these attributes were not original to sports but to the Bible’s view of successful living.
- Dream! Have a life that goes beyond you.
- Do the short term things that will lead to ultimate success.
- Finish… Finish… Finish. Quitting is a learned art.
- Be excellent in all you do with a sense of personal pride in who you are.
- Discipline. Make a habit of quiet times… prayer… giving… church.
- Live higher than the crowd. Have a moral standard that sets you apart.
- Achieve. Let each year take you intellectually higher and ministerially higher and farther. Let no year pass without a sense of growth.
- Be a team man able to work under authority.
Live on purpose. Not just on passions and instincts.
Denzel Goolsby on winning the award and the loss of his father on the same day.
My friend Randy was a big guy and had been a star high school football player, All-League, All-Area, All-State. He went to college the fall of his freshman year to get a college degree but he also wanted to continue to play football.
The first scrimmage, that August, he was assigned to play defensive end. On the very first play from scrimmage the offensive guard pulled, came down the line and hit my friend in the chest, then put his hands in the arm pits of my friend, picked him up and tossed him backwards. The offensive guard then said to my friend, “That was your warning. The next time I come down here I am going to kick your ass!” Two plays later the offensive guard did exactly that, pancaking my friend. The rest of the scrimmage, my friend got his butt kicked, play after play after play.
My friend wondered, after that practice, if he had made a good choice to try and play football at the collegiate level.
Early in the evening, on the night Jesus was arrested, Jesus told Peter, that he Peter would deny Jesus three times before the cock crowed that night. Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” Well later on that night, after Jesus was arrested, Peter did deny he even knew Jesus three different times. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And Peter went out and wept bitterly.
In life we can get ourselves in over our heads pretty quickly. Maybe I should not have done this or that or maybe it is to late now. No matter what you have done, God gives us a second chance. Even if you have drifted away for a period of time, God is waiting for your return and He has a job for you.
My friend in college, he ended up playing some pretty good football, after his humbling start.
Jesus ended up building the church upon Peter the rock, but only after Peter was humbled.
God likes to put people to work after they have been humbled.
Matthew 23:12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
My first high school football practice, as a freshman, was to begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The head football coach had a meeting with his team the Friday before to give us our football equipment and tell us what to expect. He told us to be there at 6:30 a.m. to get dressed and be ready to run out the door of the field house at 7:00 a.m. sharp. There was no compromise in the coach. We had to do things his way not our way.
I was nervous when I got up Monday morning and did not get much sleep. Since I would be walking to the football field that morning, I would need to leave before the sun was up. Being freshmen, we had heard the coach was a tough taskmaster, he yelled a lot and that he would demand great effort on everything we would be doing at practice and if we didn’t pay attention like he wanted, he would make us do up downs forever.
That nervous feeling I got that first morning of football practice. I have felt that same nervousness numerous times through out my life, like when I left home to go to college. I felt it when I went to my first job after college. I felt it when I called my wife for our first date. I felt it when my wife said it was time to leave for the hospital to have our first child. I bet you have experienced the same thing over and over in your life also.
When is the last time you felt nervous about something? In most situations where I felt nervous, I was not in control of any of them. When you join a team you are no longer in control. How you respond to the situation is under your control.
We love to be in control of our situations. When you joined the football team did you try to change what the coach wanted you to do? (Sure some of the guys tried to get the coach to stop making us do so many up downs, but that didn’t help us any.) You must conform to the football coach’s way of doing things to be transformed from a bunch of individuals into a football team.
When we join God’s team we need to treat it just like joining a team. Yes, you will be nervous the first time you walk in to a church worship service. But we need to accept God for who He is and that we are the ones that will need to adjust our lives accordingly. God does not change and our transformation may at times be painful. (Just like football practice.)
Let me encourage you to rejoin God’s team today. If God knew Jeremiah before he was born, God knew you before you were born also and He has been seeking to find you your whole life.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.