“Was Jesus In Little League?”

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.

7 Replies to ““Was Jesus In Little League?””

  1. Definitely agree.

    We’re not against sports, but this culture is certainly got parents twisted in knots getting their kids into everything. It’s incredible. It shocks me how many otherwise thinking parents let sports take over family life, church attendance, etc. bowing down to the almighty activity schedule! Sad.

  2. I completely agree!

    On a side note, I’m so disappointed that I missed Voddie when he was in town last weekend. I did not find out in time or I would have been there!

  3. I agree too. I have made it a goal to only have the kids involved in one thing at a time. Family time is sacred. When we do have something at night- it is hard. We miss bedtimes, etc…

    I do think that some children may benefit from being in something to help improve social skills, though. It can help with their confidence if it something they are good at. Collin apparently has social anxiety and won’t speak to most people. We have been gradually testing out different activities to see what he is comfortable with. I have seen him talk to more and more kids in the last few months, but it breaks my heart to see him not interacting with kids his own age. It is something most of us take for granted.

  4. I think that family time and time spent serving God are WAY more important than running here and there to child centered activities. My Mennonite neigbors seem to get it right. Once a year the parents are spectators at their children’s sports activities (the last day of school). Other than that day, the children play on their own in their few minutes of free time.
    However, if the father feels the activities are important, and the mother doesn’t, but respectfully pleads her case, and the children participate….how will she react?
    Hopefully with respect to her husband’s position of authority and with a smile on her face, WITHOUT complaining, and by making the best of the situation. Most importantly, by trusting God to work through all situations to bring about Godly character in her children.

    A house divided against itself cannot stand.

  5. I love it! We plan to let the boys choose to be in the Boy Scouts if they want to and follow in Daddy’s footsteps, but he would be involved. With sports and other activities, we will pray and take it from there. I’ve always found it much more fun to have “sports games” and activites with friends, and maybe they will too. 🙂 Right now, we have become the place where other children like to be, and I really like that. It was how I grew up.

  6. P.S. To clarify, I agree with the article. I know that there is not one best way for each person or family; so either way might be a sacrifice of some sort for someone. But all the extras are just that-extras if there is time and space and if it adds rather than takes away.

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