A Love For The Game

My kids do nothing halfway.

When Grant was three-years-old, he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. He knew every engine name, wanted every track piece and was up to date on each new “movie” release date. He was full out crazy about Thomas the Train.

When he was five, he graduated from Thomas and moved straight to Star Wars. Light sabers, figurines, books, Legos, puzzles – he wanted all of it. Even though he had not even seen the movie, he knew the story and all of the characters. It was crazy. He 100% loved Star Wars.

Then one day, it was as if he awoke, decided to ditch Star Wars and love FOOTBALL.

He had watched one game and was hooked. He wants to know the players names, their numbers, their positions, stats, plays, who fouled, who tackled and who are we going to play next.

And, of course, Ethan follows suit on all that Grant does. Some make all of this times two.

I’m telling you….nothing halfway.

I am praying that this deep passion for whatever they are passionate about transfers into a steadfast, unmoved desire for Jesus.

But until then, its football.

But on Sunday, we had to have a little sit down. A “come to Jesus meeting” as we call it around here.

Here’s the problem. Saturday and Sunday no longer means family time and church for the boys. Nope. It means non-stop college and NFL football. All day, they want a game on.

They want to DVR football, as well. So if they can’t find a game, they will replay and watch an old one.

No, I’m serious. They watched UT beat Memphis at least once a day for a week. And cheered every touchdown as if they didn’t know it was coming. Hilarious.

Do I have a problem with football? No way. I love it, too. I was raised on it.

But last Sunday, when it was time to turn off the game and get ready for bath, Grant went nuts.

“But the GAME!”

“I know buddy, but it’s time for bath. You have school tomorrow.”

“MOOOOMMMM! Why are you being SO mean to me!! The Colts are playing! It’s about to go into overtime!!! NOOOOO! I am not taking a bath!”

Say what.

So with no compassion, whatsoever, I walk to the TV, hit Power Off. “This is getting out of hand. You have watched football all day long. It is time for bed.”

You can imagine that at that point he didn’t jump of the couch and skip to the bath. Oh no. It was tooth and nail – for ten minutes. Or more.

I tell you, he does nothing halfway. This includes disobedience. It’s all or nothing with this kid.

As I am standing there listening to his plea, I sense the Lord saying, He has made this an idol, Becky. Time to explain.

So I sit on the couch and grab my Bible. “Buddy, do you know what an idol is?”

“Kind of.”

I turned to my concordance and read the definition. Idol: an image used as an object of worship. A false god.

“Grant, there is nothing wrong with football. It is a great sport. It’s great exercise. It is fun to cheer for our favorite team. But when it or anything rules your life and becomes all you think about, then it is becoming an idol. A false god. Do you understand?”


1 John 5:21 says, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

It doesn’t get more black and white than that.

We prayed and thanked God for football. We thanked him for all those awesome athletes and their talent. We thanked him for giving our boys such passion for things they love. And we took football off of the throne of Grant’s little heart. And put Jesus back up there.

I’m sure I will have this same conversation again.

It was a sweet teachable moment. I need to always be on the lookout for those.

I always learn from them, too.

Have a great day.

Sidenote I think you will find funny: As I was writing this blog, Grant comes down stairs and turns on Sunday’s Titans game (which they lost – but he doesn’t care). Then, while I am making Ethan’s oatmeal, he says, “I wonder who we are playing next.” I asked, “What do you mean?”
With a duh mom expression he says, “Tennessee Titans, silly.”

2 thoughts on “A Love For The Game

  1. So true. I've had to cut Wii way back because it was becoming an idol for Luke. The first thing he would ask when I picked him up from school was "Can I play Wii" and then he would cry when time to turn it off. It was bad. Now, it is limited to two times a week and he is doing much better. I need to explain the idol thing to him, today is Wii day, so it is a great day to do that. Thanks!

  2. How come bath time is such a battle with boys? Of course, how come cleansing us from sin is such a battle with God? Thanks for posting this. I honestly don't know if I'd have pulled out my Bible or my hair! I pray that God brings this to the forefront of my mind the next time we're in a struggle at the Keeling house. I've got to take my kids back to God's Word everytime and not just my own.

I means so much to hear from you!

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