I love watching my kids play sports. I’m a quiet person by nature, but when a game gets intense sometimes I yell a little. And sometimes I grind my fingernails into Corey’s leg. And sometimes I think he’d prefer to sit with someone else.
As much as I enjoy watching my kids play, extra-curriculars on Sunday are hard for me. When I was growing up, Sundays were untouched by youth sports. In fact, they were untouched by pretty much anything but church and family. (I can’t think of a business that was open in my small hometown on Sundays.)
Our culture has changed, and we are faced with decisions our parents didn’t have to make. My article at Today’s Christian Woman today focuses on the dilemma we face when church activities and youth sports collide. The right answer for my family may not be the right one for yours, but I believe it is so very important Christian families think through how the can be involved in sports without pushing God aside.
Should I Skip Church for Youth Sports? 5 Principles for Making a Tough Call
I always thought it would be a simple decision to make. Church before sports. End of discussion. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But, as is often the case, the thought of making a decision and the act of making that decision are very different things.
My friend and I’d had a conversation over morning coffee about our decision to not let our children miss Sunday morning church services to take part in sporting events. That very evening I received an email containing my son’s basketball schedule for the weekend.
Two games were scheduled for Saturday and two for Sunday. The first Sunday game was slated for 9:30 A.M., smack dab in the middle of church.
I sat at the kitchen table waffling on the decision I had confidently shared with my friend hours earlier. Well, maybe it’ll be okay if he misses this one time, the little voice in my head reasoned. Weighing most heavily on my heart was the fact that I knew my son would be disappointed if he couldn’t play. Like most folks, I don’t like to see my children disappointed.
In the end, he did miss that game. He sat in church with his father, his brothers, and me while his team played a game across town. It was painful. Painful, I tell you.
But it was also fruitful. You see, my husband, Corey, and I didn’t tell our son outright that he couldn’t play that Sunday. The conversation went something like this:
“Hey, Owen, what do you think about that game being scheduled during church?”
“It stinks,” he answered. After a short silence he followed up with, “But I can still play the other games, right?”
He was disappointed for sure, but he knew without prompting from his parents what it meant to have a game scheduled during church. It was a proud mommy moment when I witnessed him come to that conclusion himself.
Making the Tough Call
The last thing I want to be is judgmental toward parents facing this common predicament. We all live in the same over-scheduled society where, in the great drama of life, church is often cast as the understudy and sometimes doesn’t even get a part to play. Christian parents are in a tough spot when it comes to church vs. sports conflicts.
It’s imperative that we think through our family priorities and make wise decisions about kids’ sports and other extracurricular activities. We are called to be a light to this world, and sometimes that light may shine brighter when it is missing from the basketball court. . .
Find the rest of the article here Should I Skip Church for Youth Sports?