My boys are crazy about football.
Their obsession with football is interesting to me. NFL games. College games. Fantasy Football games. They've even trained the five-year-old to complete the plays they have written for their own backyard games!
I enjoy watching games with them and I have learned quite a bit about football as a result. Today I would like to share with you some basic football terms and how they can relate to some pretty important biblical truths that you can pass on to your football crazy kids!
1. False Start – Psalm 27:14. Every once in a while during a game, a team gets all lined up and one player moves out of his position before he is allowed. This is called a false start and results in a penalty.
In the same way, we can be guilty of moving ahead of the Lord. God's timing is perfect and we need to wait for Him! Use this term to teach your kids the importance of waiting on the Lord and trusting God with the future.
2. Fumble – 1 John 1:9. A fumble is when a player drops the ball. While a fumble can be costly, it does not necessarily mean the game is lost. The player who fumbles must get back up and continue on with the game.
In the same way, we need to make sure that we do not let our mistakes define us. When we make mistakes, we must get back up again and get on with our lives. The next time you witness a fumble during a game, relate that fumble to our mistakes in life. Ask your child if he can think of any people in the Bible who “fumbled” in their lives. How about Moses? King David? Peter? All three made huge mistakes, but all three got back up and finished strong. You and your child will fumble from time to time. Don't let your fumbles define you – get back up and finish strong!
3. Tackle – Philippians 4:13. Whoever has the ball is the target for all the other players. This is the person everyone wants to tackle to the ground, no matter how hard it might be to get him down.
Are there issues in your child's life that he needs to tackle today? The next time you watch an amazing tackle during a game, talk to your child about all the effort that went into that play. Encourage him to tackle his problems the same way . . . to go after them just like the defensive line goes after the guy with the ball! Remind him that he can do ALL things through Christ who gives him strength.
4. Interception – Romans 8:28. Sometimes a quarterback throws the ball and a player on the other team catches it, resulting in a turnover. The play does not go quite as the quarterback had planned.
In the same way, our lives do not always go as we have planned. The next time you witness an interception during a game, relate that interception to the disappointments we have in life. Share with your child a time when your plans got all turned around and you had to allow God to take over and help you adapt. Then encourage your child to allow God to take control of all areas of his life — especially those areas of disappointment and pain. When the ball is in God's hands, great things can happen!
5. Touchdown – Philippians 3:13-14. The ultimate goal of the game is to score as many touchdowns as possible. In the end, it is the team with the most points that wins.
As the football game progresses, remind your child that we already know who wins in the “game” of life! We are on the winning side and it is our job to keep our heads in the game, no matter how hard it gets. One day we will receive our prize and all of our hard work will be worth it.
The next time you watch a football game with your kids, take advantage of the time and turn the plays into teachable moments. God can use a false start, a fumble, a tackle, an interception, and a touchdown to get your children into the Word!