At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, “Do you understand what cooperation is and what teamwork is all about?” The little boy nodded in the affirmative.

“Do you understand that what really matters is not whether we win or lose, but that we play together as a team?” The little boy nodded yes.

“Good,” the coach continued. “And, when a strike is called, or you’re thrown out at first, you don’t argue, curse, attack the umpire with a bat, or throw dirt in the opposing team member’s faces. Do you understand all that?”

Again the little boy nodded, “Well, sure, coach. That’s what you taught us.”

“Good,” said the coach. “Now, please go over there and explain all that to your mother.”

I’ve been to a few Little League games when the above conversation needed to take place! It’s sad to see parents who act in an irresponsible manner because you know that they are teaching their children (and others’ children) to behave in a similar manner.

God has given those of us who are parents an awesome responsibility: not only to teach our children what is right, but to live in such a way that they can see that we are willing to practice what we’ve been teaching them to do.

Moses told the parents of Israel to take the laws which God had given them and “teach them diligently to your children… ” (Deut. 6:7). But before telling parents to do that, he warned them, “Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it… ” (Deut. 6:3).

Before we can teach a love of God and others to our children, it must be in our own hearts. May God bless those of you who are parents as you strive to do just that. May your life be so filled with a desire to follow God that your children will be open to hear all that you have to say to them.

Alan Smith
Bulletin Digest (February 2011)

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