It's the start of a new season! Time of try-outs, practice, matches, meets and games. September is an exciting time, full of opportunities for your child to excel both in school and in sports. The training is tough, but the victory is worth the dedication it takes to get there!
As we all know-- winning isn't everything. The main goal in athletics isn't always to beat the opponent, but rather to play with integrity and to be the best you can be.
But winning is something , isn't it? As a parent, we often see the drive in our children to win. After all, many believe, "What's the point of training if you aren't trying to win?"
The possibility of winning is what makes competition so exciting. Discipline and teamwork are essential to life, so the opportunities your child gains through athletics is essential to building an athlete's character on and off the field. Most of all, when your child uses the talents God has given them, they glorify Him and grow into the young men and women He's calling them to be!
So, where's the balance? How do you help your children find a balance between becoming winng-obsessed and working hard towards their goals? When does healthy competition turn into unhealthy conflict-- with friends, within your family and within themselves?
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, ""Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.""
While winning is good, it isn't what God is most concerned about. Yes, He wants us to maximize the gifts He's give us, but He cares so much more about the state of our hearts. In sports, it's easy for athletes to lose perspective when they lose a game or when they become overly confident with consistent wins. How do we make sure their focus stays on Christ-- win or lose?
Here are a few prompts for dialogue as you work alongside your child to help her or him be the best athlete they can be:
- Are you treating your opponents with respect?
- Are you being a humble servant to your coaches and teammates?
- Are you showing grace when it seems like your team is letting you down?
- Are you actively making peace with those around you?
- Are you keeping Christ at the center of every practice and game?
In sports, as in all aspects of life, we should be striving to live out "I'm Third." If your child is struggling with prioritizing winning over honoring God through diligence and humility, it may be a good idea to have a conversation about unhealthy conflict versus healthy competition.
How do we raising peacemaking, competitive athletes? We have to help train their minds with as much discipline as they train their bodies. By spending time in God's Word each day, our children can stay focused on the important parts of competition.
Romans 12:2 reminds us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." When we fill ourselves daily with Truth and seek His help, we can make sure that we're living out "I'm Third," even in the midst of intense competition. Talk about a win-win!
How are you helping your child be a "peacemaker" who competes with excellence? We'd love to hear from you! Share with us onand !