Are we properly equipping our children? Safety has been one of the highest priorities in youth sports, and continues to be one of the most innovative areas in new product development. In baseball, for instance, players can now find face protection for not only catchers; but also for batters, base runners and fielders. Many may say that we are actually overprotective, especially compared to generations ago.
Last weekend a boy named David was ready for his first inning as catcher. His coach equipped him with all of the protective equipment, handed him his right handed catchers mitt, patted him on the back and sent him on to the field. David tried hard, but he basically could not catch the pitches nor could he throw the ball back to the pitcher. He simply played far worse than the coach had ever seen him. Not until after the inning had ended did David tell his coach that he was actually left handed.
Children don’t tend to question those whom they trust. The adults in the lives of children; parents, older siblings, coaches, and teachers are incredibly influential to them. Just as David didn’t question his coach and played with his glove on the wrong hand, children follow the leaders in their midst. We are those leaders. We equip children with our behaviors, our attitudes and our language. We can buy the best safety equipment made, but are we equally concerned with them being spiritually equipped?
Sports are a fantastic way for young people to develop confidence, competitiveness, fortitude, and yes -spirituality. Do the adults in the midst of this development encourage spiritual growth or are we blinded by the perception of sports celebrity? Are we in essence, stripping our children of the protection that they can only find in faith? Or are we investing in the development of their confidence and fortitude to serve the Lord out in the field that has the most opposition of all -life. Be overprotective. Love wins!
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