This is part of a 31 day series of shepherding a child’s heart in 5 minutes a day (click here for the series intro). I pray this series edifies you as much as reading Tripp’s book has encouraged and challenged my husband and I in how we raise our children. Subscribe to the blog in the side bar if you’d like to get posts emailed to you in a weekly digest or subscribe on your favorite blog reader.
I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I’m not sure when I started organized sports, but I learned to swim in my neighbor’s backyard pool and I have vivid memories of playing soccer, basketball, and many other sports in even my early childhood.
I was shuttled to practice after practice, played in game after game, and had a blast doing it. My friends all played sports so it just made sense that I’d enjoy being with them (or perhaps that’s how I made friends). I was good – enough – and I ended up falling in love with sport. Even as an adult, it’s an important part of my life. I coach year-round and play basketball, run, and row when I’m not pregnant. It’s part of my lifestyle – and part of my vocational calling – and I wouldn’t trade my time for anything.
Purposeful goals or consequential ones?
I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t sign me up for soccer to help my sense of self-worth, something that many parents claim in their reasoning for why they sign their children up for so many things. Too many parents’ goals center around raising a child who feels good about themselves (esteeming self vs. others). I can honestly say that I emerged from years of sports more along the line of what Tripp has to say:
You should teach your children to exercise and care for their bodies as an expression of stewardship of God’s gifts.
Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart
I don’t remember if my parents expressly emphasized the motivation behind sports. Somehow I came away with this mentality, however, and will be purposefully explaining the motive behind sports to our children.
All goals should point to God
Why should you encourage your child to do well in school (at home or in a private/Christian/public school)? To learn that it is of utmost important to do his work diligently for God.
Why should we teach our children manners and to be respectful to others? Because they are an expression and application of the duty of loving my neighbor as myself.
Just as athletics should point to God as the giver of all talents and gifts and us as simply the steward, our values come forth through our goals in every area of our lives. Do we value our own advancement and achievement or do we value the lifting up of the One who gave us the chance to do any of it in the first place?