Training: to form by instruction, discipline and drill
Remember how Cinderella, fleeing for her life in the deep, dark forest, found herself benefitting from a rescue team? Magical animals showed up and worked together to protect and guide her to a safe place. And, even there, she became a team captain, of sorts, with seven players to coach back to orderliness. It was that same team that put an end to the evil witch and kept watch until Cinderella’s Prince could come to her rescue.
We understand this in today’s family life where learning about teamwork is an important element in competitive sports. Schools and community organizations provide a wide variety of options that give our kids training in the skills needed and build good sportsmanship into children’s (sometimes parents’) characters.
But, I wonder, how often do we think of God’s intention that a family be a team – His team – to accomplish His Kingdom purposes?
In sports, no one joins a team without submitting to training. So it must be in God’s Kingdom matters.
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6) This verse may be to child development what John 3:16 is to evangelism. The first thing that pops into our mind.
The central issue to this promise is the meaning of the word, ‘train.’ One rendering of the word suggests using ‘start’ in place of ‘train.’ Start off a child in the way he should go (give him solid direction towards a goal in life) and he will stick to that path even unto old age. Some suggest that taking cultural nuances into consideration this verse applies to a person’s work in life, one’s career.
I’d like to take it, however, into the sports arena…a place where training is essential for successful teamwork.
When your child joins a team you expect the resources needed for playing the game will be provided, instruction will be there from a coach who knows the game better than the kids and has the ability to explain the rules and strategies of playing. Finally your kids will be required to show up for practice and eventually will be given an opportunity to play the game.
I think you see where I’m going with this. You might think of Snow White and Team 7-D’s as one example of a group of players, submitted to one another and a shared goal who learned to play a game (in this case a challenging one, indeed) and who won in the end.
What name would you give your family team? You might limit your roster to parents and kids. If you’ve coached a family long enough you might have a large team of more than one generation. You’ve had some great training along the way; you’re learning to coach with some success yourself. You look forward to a great season.
More of this next time. Go, team! Share something from your playbook.