My goal as a coach is to have my players not need me one day, to coach myself out of a job. I want them to learn the game in such a way that they can eventually coach themselves. I want them to feel their mistakes and know how to fix them. I want them to not look into the dugout each time something goes wrong, wondering what to do next. My goal for them is not perfection, which is impossible, but they the know themselves and the game well enough not to need me to coach their every move. One day, I hope that happens.

Proverbs 23:15-16–“My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart will also be glad; and my inmost being wil rejoice, when your lips speak what is right” (NASB).

There is nothing that would make me happier as a coach than to see my players coaching themselves. But, as this verse states, there is nothing that would make me happier as a dad than to see my children cherish and routinely use wisdom. As a dad, my job is to get my kids to the point where they don’t need me anymore. This is sobering, challenging, and saddening all at the same time.

It’s sobering because I realize how quickly the time is coming when they will stand on their own.

It’s challenging because I realize how much more ground I have to cover in order for them to be ready.

It’s saddening because no parent wants to consider themselves “unneeded” by their children.

My task as a coach is clear: the players need to be able to operate without me.

My task as a parent is equally clear and far more important: my children need to be able to operate without me. They need God’s wisdom in their hearts and on their lips, not just coming in their ears from me. The only hope I have to see this is that my children come to know and love Jesus personally, that they come to love and understand his word personally, and that their faith is not based upon what’s in my heart, but what’s in theirs.

I must teach them, train them, give them opportunities to succeed and fail, love them through it all, and ultimately pray that God would develop in them a heart of wisdom.

Sobering, challenging, and saddening. But necessary and right. It’s my job as a parent.

Lord Jesus, I am completely dependent on you as a coach and as a parent. I pray for the salvation of my children. I pray that you would use me to develop in them a heart of wisdom and a love for you and your word. There is nothing more important. Amen.