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Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Sports?

March 2, 2016 | by: Josh McCarnan | 0 Comments

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Church Body Life

The Gospel Coalition had a timely article for us to consider...below is an abbreviated version, but you can read the entire articlce HERE.

As I walked into the middle school auditorium for a recent school event, another mom asked how I was doing. I told her our family was grateful to be able to breathe again after finally finishing soccer season. “Our family never breathes,” she said, and proceeded to describe how travel soccer overlaps with travel lacrosse all year long. They were going to try squeezing basketball into their son’s schedule as well. She listed each responsibility in her family’s schedule like a badge of honor.

I was exhausted just listening.

Playing with Idolatry

Here are some guiding principles to help navigate the sports scene.

1. Sports are not bad.

2. My family does sports in our community rather than outside it.

3. We must set limits.

4. God has called our family to worship with our church on a weekly basis.

5. I want my children to find stronger community with fellow Christians than with their sports teams.

6. When “breathing” is not optional, it’s time for a heart check.

What are we communicating to our children about priorities when we have time for all of their sports but never to read God’s Word together?

Grace for the Sports-Entranced Family

While these guidelines provide a helpful framework for us to approach sports in a healthy way, their power is limited. No matter how many rules I put in place, my heart still bends toward counterfeit gods (Jer. 17:9).

Am I guilty of being a sports idolater? Yes. Does this mean I may continue modeling this pattern of behavior for my family? By no means! (Rom. 6:2). Rather, in God’s amazing way, he continually takes my idolatry and redeems it by the power of his gospel. He gives me opportunities to model for my children repentance and the outpouring of his grace (Rom. 5:20). And he continues to grow us as we live in this tension.

Thankfully, my greatest hope lies not in our family’s ability to navigate sports without idolatry; it lies in God’s faithfulness to grant grace that leads us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Read the entire article HERE

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