I’m not trying to say that it is necessarily wrong for children to play organized sports. My point is simply this: Being a member of an organized traveling baseball squad at age ten doesn’t add a single day to one’s life. In fact, many of these activities get in the way of much loftier pursuits. People turned boys into men and girls into women for most of recorded history without dragging them around town with their tongues hanging out in an effort to keep up with their overachieving, undereducated, theologically illiterate peers as they try to win trophies that will eventually gather dust in a basement somewhere.
If I teach my son to keep his eye on the ball but fail to teach him to keep his eyes on Christ, I have failed as a father. We must refuse to allow trivial, temporal pursuits to interfere with the main thing. Making the team is a tremendous achievement; however, it must be put in its proper perspective. No sports endeavor will ever be as important as becoming a man or woman of God. ~Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith, p.20
Whew! I can almost hear you all clicking over to the comment page! I completely agree with what Voddie is saying here. Because Luke and I think along the same lines on this, none of our kids have yet participated in organized sports. It will be a matter of their interest and talent in that particular area if they ever do. It will not just be a way for them to have social interaction. Big A has shown to possibly have a gift in dance; we are not ready for the expense of dance classes, but are considering it down the road. I was reading the Jeub family blog last night, and noticed they only do one extracurricular activity for the family at a time. Their one son, however, has shown real ability in gymnastics, so they have allowed him to get involved. I like this approach. So many times I see parents putting their kids in activities for other reasons than the child actually having potential in it. Maybe the parent wants a break, or, as Voddie put it on the previous page in this same chapter,
We believe that somehow we are depriving our children of experiences that will make them more liked, more respected, more normal. Hence we trade in the biblical standard for a cultural norm that hovers just below mediocrity.
That phrase “a cultural norm” stands out to me. The effect our culture has had on us as Christians has been on my mind lately. It would seem that I would do many things in life differently if I didn’t have the influence of my culture on me. So many controversies within our faith (birth control, obesity, finances, homeschooling, etc.) wouldn’t be issues at all if we got serious about what God’s word said about it. It is quite thought-provoking.
What do you think about Voddie’s position on sports? Too harsh? Too backward? Do you think the “cultural norm” is all that dangerous? I’d love to hear.