I love the motto for the 2012 Olympic Games. “Inspire a Generation” captures the spirit and essence of the games and since sport is a picture of life, it’s a good reminder of how we should live our lives. We need to have a view beyond the here-and-now, and consider what lasting legacy we will leave.
My blog deals with the two sides of leadership – the influencers and the followers. In olympic terminology this could be likened to the coaches and the athletes. Pastors, worship leaders, authors, evangelists etc are all called to help prepare people for the race that is ahead of them.
An area that is often forgotten, or at least not given its rightful place is the family. Leadership begins in the home and it is often a testing ground for outside ministry. As parents, we are the coaches who are training our children. We have opportunity to instill godly values in them, but more importantly, this is a responsibility that can’t be ignored. Every country hopes their delegates will represent them well and we, as ambassadors of Christ, must represent Him well.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Just as a gymnast wouldn’t train the way a shot-putter does, we need to take care in giving each of our children what they need to succeed. It’s tempting for parents to treat all their kids equally and make sweeping rules for each of them. I understand that there must be house rules that govern the entire family, but part of our job as parents is to mine our children’s hearts and help shape them in their uniqueness.
Psalm 127:3 – Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Nadia Comăneci, a Romanian gymnast, was the first female to ever achieve a perfect 10 in gymnastics. She captured the hearts and imaginations of people during the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal, but it was Béla Károlyi, her coach, who was rewarded well beyond the ’76 Olympics. He became the most sought-after gymnastics coach because of his winning methods. The olympian may get the glory and wear the medal, but none of that would have been possible without the years of encouragement, training and direction from the coach. Never lose sight that what we do for our children will pay off here on earth and for eternity.
As the world gets ready for the games this July, let’s continue to inspire our generation of children and help them become spiritual gold-medalists.