Most of my thoughts at this point in my life still surround my job as a mom. I’d like to think I’m better at it than I was 22 years ago. So along the way on this blogging journey, I want to share things I’ve learned – some easily and some not so easily. Some through God-victories and some through Tera-mistakes. Yucky, regrettable mistakes.
I’m a coach’s wife and I’m the mom of several athletes. Sitting in the bleachers is a study in human nature. There have been times that I have been amazed, delighted and utterly devastated at what I’ve observed around me… and sadly in me. There are few situations in life that test one’s character as rigorously as being the parent of an athlete. We love our kids desperately. We want them to be successful, blissfully happy, and treated well by all those around them.
I don’t believe that’s what God wants and it is a raging battle within me to allow what God wants to trump what I want for these people I call my own. And letting them be coached by someone else that I cannot control, that do not love them nearly as much as I do and that are human – sinful, mistake-making sinners (just like me) is so, so, so very hard. But comfort for you and your own can become an idol – something we put above God. Being a coach’s wife has forced me to step back and get some perspective. To think carefully about all my actions and reactions to playing time, starting positions, harsh words, lack of advancement and rewards. Here is my two cents on what the bleachers have taught me.
God is clear that He uses:
Trials and temptations (James 1:2-4)
Suffering and persecution (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Consequences and discipline (Hebrews 12:5-7)
God also makes it clear in his Word that He is:
Refining us (1 Peter 1:7)
Making us like Him (I Peter 2:21)
Teaching us endurance and patience and perseverance and maturity (Romans 5:3-4)
Hold up! Isn’t that what we want for our kids??? Not to be the best athlete but to be Christ-like??
I came across a quote yesterday by Patrick Murphy who is the girl’s softball coach at the University of Alabama:
“Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Let your kids get used to someone being tough on them. It’s life, get over it.”
Even when it is excruciating as a parent. When it doesn’t make sense. When you want to fix it and you can’t. Use every situation to teach them character and strength and maturity. We do our children no favors by trying to fix it or griping and complaining. Be a good parent and give them the big picture. Perspective. Life lessons. Ask, “What does God want to teach you through this? What does He want to accomplish in you?” This is what raises Godly, well-rounded and grounded adults.
It’s hard. I’ve been there.
But the alternative has long term consequences. Your kids’ coaches won’t be perfect. Sometimes they’re awful but God’s sovereignty gives us absolute certainty that He intends to accomplish something in and through that coach and that situation. Help your kids look for Him in it all. Keep your kids safe, of course, but don’t remove God’s beautiful process.