If you’re like any of the thousands of other families around your state. One or all of your children are participating in a sport…or two. We Americans think very highly of our sports.
Each day in our country, thousands flock to stadiums of all levels to watch the game. From “bam-bam baseball” to the MLB, we love games. We love competition, and most importantly of course, we love to win!
There are many things we can learn from playing a sport:
teamwork, good work ethic, encouragement, the rules of the game, how to take turns…how to be a bad sport.
Unfortunately, along with watching my own children compete, I have been witness to many parents acting like fools in front of other adults, the opposing team and of course, their own children. This past weekend I was watching one of my sons, 14U-soccer team, play a nearby town for a regular season game. It was not the league championship and by no means was it anything more. Simply, a game.
I was actually sitting in a non-fan area since I had two little ones I had to keep my eye on while they played on the playground nearby. So I was a little surprised as the referee all of a sudden stopped the game and went over to the coaches and talked with each of them separately. Immediately our coach went over to our fans and politely asked them to keep their comments to themselves. Although the opposing coach did not follow suit. Which actually did not surprise me as he was angrily hollering at his own team most of the game.
When I asked my son if he knew what had happened he explained that the other team’s fans were being verbally disrespectful to the referee. It was a great ride home as we talked about how we should act when things don’t go our way and how we respond to disappointment in games…and in life. To act like fools over a game is pretty ridiculous in my mind. But more importantly what example are we setting for our children? As believers, what example of Christ are we being. I was reminded of 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “…be an example to other believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (HCSB)
If you are a believer.
If you are a parent.
Please heed these words of Paul.
When you’re in the stands,
set an example.