Girls and Sports… A Biblical Design?


One of the questions I consistently receive as a parent is what sports do your kids participate in?  That is an interesting question to me.  I’m not against sports and in fact I was a kid that was carted all across the state of Iowa when I was in school.  My parents sat countless  hours in school gymnasiums waiting for me to spend 4 or 5 minutes every hour or so to battle for position on a wrestling mat.  I wasn’t a half bad wrestler through high school but as I think back on it now I consider the tremendous amount of effort I put toward this pursuit.  I don’t know if it was wasted effort because it shaped me in some ways that I wouldn’t be the man I am now and God had His Sovereign Hand over the whole thing, but I consider the things I could have worked for that would be far more beneficial to me now.

I don’t write to offend anyone so please consider what I say before you come to a conclusion.  I also write as the father of  four daughters.  For me that is a different conversation than if I had four sons.  I would want to raise sons to be men.  Not juveniles, not adolescents, but men.  God fearing men.  Men that will stand in the gap and fight for the gospel.  Lord willing.  But I write as a father of girls.  So I need to insist on a different standard.

I’m not raising girls to act like boys.  I’m raising girls to become women.  God fearing women.  Not adolescent and or juvenile girls, but godly women that strive to serve the Lord and only One True King.  That is not an easy task because they are sinners.  And because they are sinners something needs to break the hard and stony hearts that control them.  Three of the four are unbelievers and I’m thankful we can trust God to do rightly, but as for me, I must strive to teach them the principles of the Scriptures and the truth of God’s word.

“But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay.  Salvation belongs to the LORD!” – Jonah 2:9

I suppose in most cases when asked the question in a drive-by fashion I respond, no they don’t do sports, their activities are music, art, and dance…  I’m not afraid to confront the topic, but I need to have some time to develop the conversation.  I want to develop the conversation so I’m not shooting from the hip and unnecessarily offending someone.  If they be offended by the gospel, that is another topic, but I strive to give good answers.  Solid and biblical answers.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at  home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  – Titus 2:3-5

The goal for a Christian man raising daughters should be this Scripture.  I can be certain this will offend far more than a Christian man keeping his daughter out of sports and I think it’s important to see how the relationship between organized sports, especially as they achieve higher levels of success, and this Scripture mix like oil and vinegar.

In sports the goal is to win.  Yeah, I realize some will protest and say it’s about things like “developing character”.  I don’t buy it.  I don’t believe sports develop character.  Teaching the Scriptures develops character.  Character that God desires.  It won’t teach my daughters how to “win” but it will teach them how to love their husbands.  It will teach them how to love their children.  It will teach them how to be made wise for salvation.  And at the end of the day does anything else matter?

But why?

“That the word of God may not be reviled.”

A Christian that is intent on God’s glory will seek the highest good for his family.  He will seek God’s goals for his family and not his own.  He will lay down his life for his family and that usually, and almost exclusively, means different priorities from the world.

I won’t develop the idea of what happens in young women that pursue sports to very high levels.  I think we can look around and see the development of the competitive spirit among women is not what God would seek.  Women were created different than men.  Yes, that is still true.  This is not a newsflash.

But Satan is always twisting things around.  Many of today’s movies are going to highlight women as the hero.  I’m not saying women are weak.  I’m not saying women are not valuable.  In fact I value the counsel of my wife above almost anyone else.  She has a brilliant mind and can actually think circles around me in most cases.  But she is not to be competing with me.  She is to be complementing me.  Completing me.  Helping me.  This is a big difference.

Sports do not help this.  They teach independence and self sufficiency.  They teach competitiveness and aggressiveness.  At least if you want to be “competitive”.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. – 1 Peter 3:7

I’m to treat my wife different than a friend or a man.  She’s not weak, but she’s weaker in many ways than I am.  And I will confess she is much stronger than I am in many ways.  But she is unique.  She was made woman and that is an amazing thing and I desire my daughter’s to be as God intended them to be.  Not to be trained up like men.

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ – Mark 10:6

Don’t miss this distinction and also don’t miss that the world is corrupted by sin and by the evil one and he desire to destroy whatever he can.  included the God given roles.  He does it through deceit and misdirection.  He is clever.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’?” – Genesis 3:1

Satan twisted what God said.  He distorted the truth and it plunged mankind into sin.  If our greatest desire is to honor God in all things then we need to consider that His plan is better than ours.  His ways are higher and we need to conform to the mind of God as revealed to us through Scripture.  If your daughter plays soccer does this destroy any hope?  Of course not, but consider the goal…  I believe God has clearly given us examples to follow and I don’t find any real value in sports for my daughters.

And that is my reasoning.  I hope you’ll think about yours.



What’s Your Goal?











Isn’t it important to have goals in life? Should we set one, five and ten year plans and then evaluate ourselves by how we’ve done?

Last week I had lunch with my Pastor and as we sat talking he said to me “what’s the goal?” We had been discussing sports and the ends that parents will go to see their children involved and to achieve a level of “success”. I’m not going to bash participation in sports, because this isn’t just about sports.

You name the activity that we can apply this to; it could be sports, music, or how about education? The answer really does come back to what is the goal, because as I sat there and thought about the discussion shouldn’t this be the ultimate reality?

If I have a desired outcome for myself, or my children, I really should make an attempt at evaluating where this might end up. I’m the father of four girls and none of them have shown a tremendous interest in sports, so I really can’t relate to loading up the old van and carting them off to a practice each and every day but we do have them involved in other activities, that can easily give way to over extending ourselves.

If I ask myself the question above, I should have a goal for what these activities will produce in their lives.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.   I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14

Is this the goal?

Don’t skim over this verse today. I think if you have any other goal than this for your children you’ve got a man-centered focus. If you want them to be happy, successful, wealthy, married, live in a certain neighborhood, be close to you, be far from you, no matter what you hold dear, if it doesn’t include this as the primary goal, you are missing the mark. Your priorities are out of order.

You will undoubtedly say to me, “well of course this is our goal for our children, what a ridiculous statement.” Okay, fair enough, but do you live like it? I don’t want to get off track looking into a pragmatic lifestyle that includes Saturday night church so you can attend that special Lord’s Day practice, or the “well it’s only this one Sunday…” that we’ll miss to attend that game, or be part of the prestigious, you name it event. But I don’t want this to be about following a set of rules. Don’t throw me under the legalism bus, because this is not about legalism.

What’s your heart?

Scripture is clear… “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…” Hebrews 10:25

Churches have had to react to the dismissal attendance of the Lord’s Day gathering just to keep people coming, rather than risk the loss of “business” it’s far more prudent to at least get them in on Saturday then not have them come at all right?  I will rhetorically ask the question, but isn’t the first day of the week the Lord’s “Day”?  Not just an hour and out, but a full day devoted to worship and rest?

Let me ask question. Would you trade your soul, or your children’s souls for all the riches in the world, or for the pinnacle of whatever activity they participate in?

You and I will of course say, “Absolutely not, and I’m offended you’d even ask that question!” But do you live like it? Do you tell your children that church is secondary to whatever activity you deem most important? Do you tell them by your actions?

When they walk away from any interest in religious activities after they are out of your house will you be surprised?   I see too many parents that call themselves Christians that are more than willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of Baal and I’m saddened and burdened by this decision. If we sat down to talk, I’m sure they would have the best of intentions, and they’d probably have a good reason why they think they are doing the right thing. I’m sure of it.

I don’t stand here today as some sort of a self-righteous, hypocrite that wants to beat my chest and say look at how holy I am… because outside of the grace of God I’d be there. I’ve been challenged to consider what it looks like to “really” desire the salvation of my children. I need to consistently resist the “opportunities” that surface, where it just might make sense to avoid a gathering at our church to do something else.

The pressure is consistently there and always pressing in on us.

“Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

Could the Lord’s word be any clearer? Don’t be fooled into thinking you are offering your children anything better than seeing you humbled and on your knees before the Almighty God each and every opportunity you have to darken the door of your church. Allow them to see you reading your bible and leading them in family worship. Don’t miss the short few years you have to preach the gospel to their hearts, even if they become the best at whatever the flesh might offer them.

I hope someone reading this today will think about what is really important. I sure I hope I will.

“But seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (emphasis mine) – Mathew 6:33