Some fathers stand on the side-lines urging you to win, needing you to win.
“Get the ball.”
“What are you doing?!”
Some fathers care more about how you make them look than whether you’re enjoying the game.
“Why can’t you work harder?”
“Why can’t you play like that other kid?”
Some fathers yell and shout and scream, abusing the coach, berating the referee, desperate that you win, for them.
“Oi ref, that’s awful!”
“Coach, coach, sub my child back on, they’re better than that other kid.”
Some fathers use shame to get you to improve. Thinking if you can harness the shame you will succeed.
“Use the hurt, let the pain of the loss sink in. Then it can motivate you.”
“Stop being a wuss – channel the anger, use the crying.”
Fortunately, for many of us, this is not the experience of our earthly fathers. Our fathers are still flawed though.
Wonderfully, for all of us, if we trust in Christ, we are adopted into the family of God with the true and better Father.
“So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:7
Our Father watches us compete and enjoys seeing how we grow, how we learn and develop through our sport.
“I love seeing how you’re learning to show more patience”
“I’m such a fan of how you are learning to respond to adversity through your sport.”
Our Father knows we will mess things up and yet still loves us. He is outrageously compassionate to us despite our sins, despite our mistakes.
“It’s ok child, I still love you, I forgive you.”
“Get up and go again. I’m here with you.”
“I’m going to walk with you through this, I’ll clean up your mess.”
Our Father is there for us when we fail or feel pain. He comforts us in our sadness, He is with us in our disappointment.
“I’m here for you.”
“Even with the pain of this injury, I’ll use it for your good."
“It’s ok child, I still love you, you didn’t lose because of your sin.”
Our Father knows everything we need and provides it for us. He doesn’t give us all we want but what He knows we require. He cares for us.
“Speak with me child, tell me what you want.”
“I’m here for you in whatever is going on.”
Our Father reminds us that it is not about how we perform, on or off the sporting fields. His love for us is not dependent on what we do but on what Christ has done.
“I delight in you.”
“I love seeing how you’re growing, how you’re maturing and becoming more like me.”
This Father’s day we delight in our Father God and worship Him. We delight in how He uses our sport, how He walks with us in the highs and lows of it. How He enjoys using our sport to make us more and more into our family likeness.
“How deep the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” 1 John 3:1
This is what we are. For eternity.
Jonny is the Resources and Communications Team Leader at Christians in Sport. He plays cricket at Cumnor Cricket Club and is one of the leaders of Town Church Bicester.
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