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My kids are heavily involved in sports. My son plays for an elite basketball team and my daughter competes on an Xcel gymnastics team. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our money. Even though prioritizing youth sports seems to be an American norm, we still sometimes receive criticism and judgment as to why we would spend so much of our time and resources on it. (“Don’t you know the chances of your child going pro is less than 1%?”)

As I sat at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, listening to the parents cheer so excitedly for their kids and watching the girls perform the routines they had been working so diligently on, I pictured Jesus sitting next to me in the stands.

“What do you think of all of this?” I asked Him.

I expected another judgmental response, but instead, I felt like he was saying, “Wasn’t I a carpenter?”

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And I thought about Jesus and his early years, and how he likely learned a trade and obtained specific skills and spent many years performing manual labor.

I thought about all that focused effort and hard work and practice for something He wouldn’t even use in his actual ministry.

And it made me think . . .

My kids are learning how to work hard.

They are learning how to focus.

They are learning how to problem-solve.

They are learning how to persevere when times get tough.

They are learning how to fail and fall and get back up again.

They are learning how to work as a team.

They are learning how to support and encourage others.

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They are learning how to take feedback and criticism.

They are learning how to manage their time.

They are learning how to lead by example.

Their minds are strengthening.

Their bodies are strengthening.

Their character is strengthening too.

They may not end up becoming Olympians or professional athletes, but I do believe God can use these experiences to help my kids build the character and habits necessary to live excellently for His glory in whatever profession or ministry He has planned for them.

Thank God for the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow while doing something they love! 

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Ashley Bowman

Ashlee Bowman is an educator, blogger, book lover, wife, and mother of four who is passionate about empowering moms with Biblical truth and connecting them with The Truth: Jesus! 

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