Friday, May 2, 2014

Is it ok to be on the soccer field on Sunday morning?

There is this big controversy in the CHURCH about CHURCH VS SPORTS- how we may be harming our athletic kids by allowing sports on Sunday.
I struggle with this. Am I damaging my athlete in the long run? I have to be honest and say that I have struggled with this. My husband and I have prayed on this, and we have a conclusion....but I have never been brave enough to share.I know friends who do no agree with me within my church,and thats ok.

Today I went back and asked myself again, and I wrote my response....

my background:
OK, I grew up that CHURCH was number ONE on our priorities. I was at  every service available, every activity.....EXCEPT when we had soccer conflicts...HOWEVER, it was clear to my brother and I from my parents that God is with us daily, every millisecond, we can worship HIM and should worship HIM all the time. That said, obviously they also stressed the importance of corporate worship- BIG TIME. I went to everything at church, I wasn't into sports, and I was very into YOUTH GROUP. I am who I am in a big part because of all my time at church in my middle and high school years. I had an amazing youth pastor- Mark Long, and his even more amazing (to my life) wife Frances. They taught me, they prayed with and for me, they had me in there home whenever I wished. Watching their relationship, their love for God, along with watching my parents is a HUGE part- a part I know GOD used, to bring me to the relationship I have with HIM today- stronger than ever, desiring desperately to know Him more and more. I was always wanting to please as a teen, and felt pressure to be liked, I didn't have the best, if any self esteem----I was a christian, but I have to admit if we are being honest here, I made some BAD choices. Frances and Mark and my parents loved and fostered me through it....and then in college, I made even more....I am afraid enough that Frances and Mark were so hurt that our relationship severed....I regret and mourn that to this day-----but anyways, back to the subject.....Out of my friends from youth group in my graduating year- more are christian families than not. Some have totally gone the other way, some are youth pastors and elders. Mark and Frances helped shape us all, and continue to do in other youth as they continue to do youth work. A better youth pastor/wife you could not ask for.
I did miss some Sundays for soccer growing up as my brother was a talented athlete. He didn't go to youth activities at church as he was in soccer. I believe He also didn't go to church in college, I don't know what choices he made.....
I do know that I today I have a very Christ centered home, and I believe my brother does too.

So........still haven't answered it....that was all background, but vital as is my history.
I say yes. Here is why.
an example from the daily life of a 10 year old travel ball athlete who does miss some Sundays, and misses week day church activites often due to soccer.
Just the other day my athletic travel ball daughter- age 10- had a school project- the end point was to be a poem- but they were given ten areas of life and asked to put it in a phrase that describes but doesn't outright give the identity of the area away...
So she is working, and comes to me and asks for help with a couple, and then she says, "Mom, why is God in almost every phrase I am writing?". one example was what do you love to do in the summer---- she wrote  God's beautiful prisms coming off the every changing water as I splash.(THE LAKE). I wanted to cry, I may have a bit.... I said "Well, its because God is the center of our lives,  so its normal for Him to come to your mind as you write on each of these areas."
and this is when I knew. I stewed on it, and now I am writing it out loud for all who choose to read...
I SAY YES, its ok for my two athletic kids to play soccer on Sunday. God gives some kids athletic talent, athletic desires. Should we put a damper on them? Should I not allow my kids to play travel ball because they will miss church sometimes??? God gave them the talent.
Don't get me wrong, I think that CORPORATE worship is VITAL, and we are there more than we are not if you count the Sundays, but Christ said where more than 1 are gathered, and even at soccer we have time as a family those days to praise and pray to HIM.
We stress to our kids that God is with them every moment. That we can worship every moment, everywhere, anywhere. We pray with them daily. Again, in truth, I think we can do even more at home.
We have slacked off on nightly bible study due to soccer practice and bed times...I think this is a mistake...what is 15 min really? This we will restart.
If we infuse God into everyday by example, by reading His Word, by praying with them....does this not instill Christianity? We talk about how they can show Christ through them at school, and at soccer.
We have 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 on our wall.
We have ROCK signs all over the house, bathrooms, bedrooms-
C- Cheerfulness
K- Kindness
traits that a christian should display,and we share how these are biblical traits, we talk over these often.
I share with them the verses I meditate on and pray for daily over them.-(verses I was given at a bible study and I use daily (there are 30, so generally one for each day of the month)
This is just me journaling my thoughts.  It is just a truthful tale of how we live and how we came to the decision that Soccer on Sunday will not make our kid grow up to not be a christian.
None of us know how our kids will end up. Who will they be? Will they be a follower of Christ.
I know that all of mine have prayed to become a Christian, I know they show fruit now.....I believe that nothing can take our christianity away from us....but no, I don't know the choices they will make or the roads they will follow.
I will not be able to fix every problem for them...
 But I can KNOW FOR SURE that Husband and I are stearing them towards God daily, and I can PRAY that they will choose God time and time again as he first Chose them.

I would love any response. I know we all don't come to the same conclusions......

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