The following thoughts come from Kyle McClain. Kyle is married to Gina McClain, the Children’s Ministry Director at Faith Promise Church.
On the opening weekend of the 2010 college football season I had the privilege and pleasure of taking my 10 year old son, Keegan to the Oklahoma State vs. Georgia game. It was one of the greatest college football experiences I have ever had. The atmosphere was electric as tens of thousands of people converged on Stillwater. Keegan was getting in to it. The pregame show was a blur of energy and sound. The crescendo came when four jets from Vance Air force base flew over the newly renovated stadium. This is where I get excited as the game starts and Keegan (I realized later) started to lose interest. During the first quarter I became more and more frustrated with him. He was doing everything but watch the game. I even went so far as to suggest I might bring someone else next time if he goofed off the whole time.
It finally dawned on me that the reason he was so disinterested in the game was he didn’t understand it. I never took the time to explain what was happening on the field. So for the rest of the game I began teaching him how football was played. At first he humored me. However as the game continued you could see the interest in him surface. He asked questions about the game and even began to understand some of what was happening on the field. So I continued to teach him the game, to disciple him in the ways of college football. By the end of the game all he had was two questions ” Can we go to the Hideaway and when is the next game?”.
A few weeks later we headed back to Stillwater to stare down mad cow disease in the form of Bevo and the Texas Long Horns. At that game I continued to disciple him to love football.
Every day since and for years to come I will disciple him. I will teach him not football but the ways of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 says ” Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”(NASB) I invested a Saturday afternoon in teaching him to love football. I will spend a lifetime training him to love for God. I will let him see my passion for Christ and therefore help his passion grow. At times he may get distracted, he might even goof off, but I will not waiver. I will wait for him to show interest and then I will pour in to him until he is overflowing.
Every day is game-day, just make sure your paying attention. You never know when God is going to call an audible and open the door to your child’s heart.