You may have gathered by now that football season has rocked our world around here lately. It seems that our life has started to revolve around it. Between practices, more practices, film night, and out-of-state games, it’s begun to dictate our entire family schedule.
Can I just tell you that I have nothing against the sport of football itself? Whew. Now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you what I DO have a problem with:
Hearth and Home being
- put on hold
for the sake of
- practices three – four days a week, 40 minutes from home
- practices that last 2 or 3 hours
- extra practices
- games that are out of state
- practices and games that divide the family unit on most weekdays
Again, my problem is NOT against football. Or even with my son playing the sport. He has fun and I love that.
But there comes a time when a family of ANY size, but especially a large family, must sit down and weigh the pros and cons of their commitment to a football team that requires a lot of time, money and energy.
Questions we’re asking ourselves:
- Is our son so blessed by this experience that we can’t imagine removing him from this activity?
- Is this a ministry that makes it worth our sacrifice?
- Does our family even enjoy it?
- Can we see ourselves participating in this year after year?
I can’t answer yes to a single question I’ve listed. It’s difficult. Nolan does like it. And we’re a homeschooling family, which means our options for football are pretty limited.
I feel a hard conversation coming on with him. We know that he also excels in and enjoys soccer (which requires a much less rigid commitment), so we may talk about that as a possibility for him in the future. And we know he realizes how much this sport is affecting our family. We see him rethinking whether or not he should pursue this again as he looks around at the disorder in our home that results from so many hours spent focused on this one thing.
Why should one child be limited in their choices just because they’re a part of a large family? It’s not their fault.
That child may very well be limited, but there ARE other options, and in being a part of a large family, they’re learning the best teamwork of all. They’re also learning selflessness, understanding, and about PRIORITIES.
What if we’re standing in the way of a life dream of one of our children by preventing them from participating in team sports?
BALONEY! We teach our children to pray and seek God’s will for their lives and if they felt they were called/destined for pro-football, then nothing could stand in their way. Not even us. And if they really felt that way, we could/would find a way to make it work. That would be a different situation. We’re talking about a choice in athletics here.
What else can he do for fitness?
Basketball, soccer, baseball (maybe), ANYTHING else that’s local and not an insane commitment.
I think it’s important for families to remember to take a good, long, hard look at their family mission statement before deciding that they can and should commit to football for kids. And if strong family values like integrity and home are important to you, and if you believe in teaching your sons to be the leaders in their homes and not just on the fields, then maybe football isn’t for them (or your family).
Because I honestly don’t believe it’s for us.
What do you think? What’s more important to you – dinner as a family every night, in a cozy, orderly home, or being at football practice on time, most weeknights, for a few months out of the year?