It’s something I wrestle with all the time. What am I hoping and expecting for my son and the other players I coach? Seriously, what dad doesn’t dream of his kid playing in the Big Leagues? What coach doesn’t picture himself being talked about by the little leaguer he once coached, the one who is now on a Major League roster? 

Of course, the odds are against either of those scenarios. If that’s the case, which it is, how many of us will regret that all we taught our sons/players was baseball? 

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

In truth, we probably render it this way in our minds:

“My son, if you play well and make me look good as a dad and coach, that will really make me happy and feel like I’ve accomplished something. My reputation is at stake, so play well.”

Harsh? Perhaps, but, as I mentioned, it’s something I wrestle with daily. 

In sober-minded moments, God speaks to me clearly. It doesn’t matter if my son or any of the players I coach reach a higher level of baseball. It doesn’t matter how well he or they perform on the field. It doesn’t matter…not if that’s the only thing he and they ever learned from me, not if he or they think that is really what life is all about.

Wisdom (the biblical, godly kind), knowing and speaking what is right (God’s unchanging version of “right”)…isn’t that what I should desire most for my son and the guys I coach? 

We can reach higher than mere baseball goals for our kids. I’ll pray for you along this journey, since I know it’s a battle. 

As dads and coaches, let’s set our sights on growing sons who are men of God, rather than just good baseball players. They–and God–deserve more from us.

Lord Jesus, help me to use the game of baseball as a tool, not an idol. I pray for my son and for the guys I coach. Use me to help them see you, not the game, as what life is all about. Amen.