A few weeks ago my daughter and I watched “The Gabby Douglas Story” on Netflix. We both don’t have any experience or particular interest in gymnastics (although it’s my favorite Olympic sport to watch), but my sweet girl had heard about Gabby and the things she overcame to be a world famous, Olympic gold medalist, so, we decided to check it out. It was amazing to see what incredible natural talent she had! – but that not until she changed coaches did she truly excel and find her great potential. A good coach who knows the game can make all the difference in your success!
Now, fast forward a week or two. I have a child that is very very different from me on almost EVERY level. VERY different! LOL! I’m sure you have one of those walking around your house too. I have been praying, “Lord, help me to know how to connect and reach his heart. Lord, help me to not frustrate him but give me wisdom to raise him so he’ll have the tools to become the great person I know you’ve designed him to be!” I’ve been praying this for a while.
Then, one day, when I just felt I couldn’t say/do anything right, the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart…”Help him to see that you are simply his coach! That you are FOR him. That you love him and push him because you see his potential and are there to help him.” So…I sat down with him and asked him to tell me about his favorite coach…because he’s had a few. I asked him what makes a good coach and what would happen if he didn’t have a coach…could he become as good as an Olympic athlete by just doing things on his own?!
It was wonderful and eye opening for him. He said things like, “Coaches help you learn techniques to make you better at your game.” and “Coaches make you run lines so you can get stronger.” and “Coaches encourage you but sometimes get after you to do it better.”
Why do we need a coach? – to show us how to push ourselves, how to excel, how to do things better and learn the secrets of the game. Good coaches can be hard on us, but also incredibly encouraging because they see our potential and where we could be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years if we keep practicing. Good coaches have taken the time to learn the game, become experts at it then pass it on to others.
After chatting with my son about coaching, I said, “Buddy, that’s me! I’m for you! – I love you and see your potential. I’m walking this road with you and am invested in you! I see all your gifts and the ways the Lord can use you to bring about HIS glory. But sometimes I have to be hard on you…make you “run lines” like doing extra chores to make you stronger and a hard worker. But it’s ALL for your good…to make you a strong man who can play the game of life really really well!”
And things changed. They are not perfect, but wow…they are SO much better! God is good! – I praise the Holy Spirit for giving me revelation! My sweet boy began to see me as someone along side him…not someone against him making his life harder. He saw me as his authority/coach, but also his friend who was helping him become stronger and better. He started realizing when he trusts me, humbles his heart and simply obeys by “running those lines” even though he wanted to lay down and read a book, he would be so much better for it.
Now, when I ask him to do something over again (because he didn’t do it the right way the first time), and he starts to look frustrated…I come along side him and whisper “Coach” and he snaps to it. He gets that I love him, I am for him, and all of this will work together for his good. He doesn’t always understand, but he’s learning to trust me with humility and respond with a heart to obey because He knows there is a reason for the pain.
The other thing that changed is I saw myself as a coach…not just a mom. As I learn how to walk closely with the Lord, how to put on Christ, how to love Him, know Him and serve Him, I get to teach that to my kids. But, if I’m pursuing my own success or my own game, my kids will not learn those valuable techniques, they will not gain the immense wisdom of the word if I’m not coaching them in it! I had to ask myself, “Have I been a good coach!?”
Not always. But I know who is…I know who I can learn from!!
My Father in Heaven!!! He is the Ultimate Coach! Our success in life is determined by how much we trust Him, have faith in Him and respond to His commands.
Do you know He is for you?! That He loves you!? That He created you with special gifts, talents and skills HE designed in you so that you could be a vessel for His glory! He knows what you’ve had to walk through…He’s been there all along the way! And He will use the turmoil, the grief, the brokenness and pain to show His strength, love, grace and faithfulness through you. He is a master coach! He knows that everything will work together for good!
But we forget. We’ve been blinded and simply don’t know what a good Father He is. Remember when you were younger and you had a really hard coach!? Remember you just thought he was horrible and you worked yourself up to just hate him because he was always making you run lines or do hard work or whatever! You hardly gave him a chance! But now that you are older and more mature, you think, wow…he was actually a really good coach! You grew to appreciate all he asked of you because it did make you better! Your perception for him changed. Maybe that’s how you’ve seen God…maybe your vision of Him has been warped because you’ve never given Him a chance…you don’t know His heart…you haven’t completely trusted Him and laid your life down for Him.
After Jesus died for us, was raised to life and before He and went back to Heaven, He said He would give us The Comforter…His Holy Spirit to help us. That is the coach in our ear, in our heart, in our soul, in our mind, pointing us to the reason we exist…pointing us to the way to go. But do we trust Him? Do we obey? Are we willing to humble ourselves under His coaching and say YES, this is hard, but I trust you. This is uncomfortable but you walked this same road and are the expert. I know you have my back and I know you are helping me to have victory!
You and I will never be all God has created us to be without the Holy Spirit working in us. It is HIS power, His strength, His grace and love that works in us beautiful fruit. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Jesus was the meekest and most humble man ever to walk the earth…and He was also the one with the MOST power. He humbled Himself and trusted the Father and the world was forever changed. So, as we humble ourselves and trust our Heavenly Coach, we can learn to be awesome coaches to our kiddos like Jesus is to us.
So, how do we do it?! – how can we coach our kids so they are prepared to be coached by the Ultimate Coach!? Because that’s the parenting goal isn’t it?? – for our kids to love God and walk humbly with Him as their Coach in life!!
1. Be in the Word – This is the game plan, the guide, the mission given to us by the ultimate coach. The Word is His heart for all people and His plan for all eternity. It is truth. The Bible is a perfect love letter showing the great gift of salvation and His desire to save the world. There is infinite wisdom in it and is the only way we can build our faith and trust in Christ. “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.” My only hope is for my life to be centered on the breath of my Coach so I can teach it to my kids so that their faith in God will grow and in turn choose Him as their coach too. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” – so helping my kids develop faith in their Creator is huge! And the way I help them is getting them in the Word!
In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 He tells us:
“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your god as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, Oh Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
2. Walk in love – It’s hard to study Jesus’s life without finding love. He laid His life down for His friends. He was interested in touching, saving and loving the unlovable. When we lay down our lives and put on love (Colossians 3:12-14), people around us see that we are FOR them…just as Christ is for them. They start to realize how valuable they are to their Heavenly Father and therefore desire to know Him more. Now, love isn’t a door mat…but love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes and things, endures all things. Love never ends…” (1 Cor 4:4-9)
I’ve felt a bit convicted lately about how I love my kids vs. my friends. My daughter teases me that I have a “phone voice” when I talk to people then a mommy voice when I talk to them!! LOL!! Yikes! Do I love them with Christ’s love, even though I am their Coach/Authority?! Am I patient and kind? Do I snuggle them and speak encouragement in their hearts? Am I arrogant or rude? Do I insist on my own way and become irritable and resentful when I don’t get it!? Do I bear all things and hope and endure all things?! Am I pouring love into them?
Not always. There is a delicate balance of love and authority. But I think loving our kids this way, the way Jesus loves us, helps them to want to lay down their lives for their Coach. When they know they are deeply loved, it gives them a secure heart to love back and to follow us as we follow Christ. We cannot allow sin for sure and we must deal with it appropriately! – but oh wow, could we all love on our kiddos more…the way Jesus loves us.
3. Give our kids vision – A coach gives vision! If we don’t communicate to our kiddos where we are going and why we do things certain ways (like loving your sister!), they can get frustrated and loose site of the whole goal…to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Our kids are worshipers. They will worship. So, the whole key is to show them someone so great, so strong, so loving, so powerful, so good, so beautiful, so holy that they want to worship Him only and follow Him all the days of their lives! Their view of God should be so clear and so magnificent that the “stuff” of this world (the lies of the enemy and the enticements of the flesh) should pale in comparison. Then, they’ll want nothing to do with it. Am I giving them vision? Am I coaching them and showing them what is true and good and real and noble and praiseworthy? – it is an absolute blessing following Jesus!! But do my kids know that? Do they have an accurate view of God? I have to remember…they will worship. So, am I showing them a real God worthy of worshiping?
4. Point them to the ultimate coach…Jesus and His Spirit – because when I’m not around, He is their ultimate coach throughout the rest of their lives. They need to know His voice, His wisdom, His instruction and His guiding hand. It is so very important that our kids learn what the Holy Spirit sounds like. They need to know His voice or they will get lost so quickly. It is our job to help them listen to and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so they know how to respond to His coaching. He is there, always guiding them. But are they listening and obeying…because their every happiness, joy and peace is found in walking according to the Holy Spirit…their ultimate Coach.
What does this look like you might ask?! I ask them…”What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do right now?” I pray with them…”Holy Spirit, help us to have wisdom to know the right way to go.” I encourage them to spend time praying on their own because the Holy Spirit will share with us God’s heart and show us the right way to go. I talk about the Holy Spirit when He answers my prayers or speaks to me. I make Him a real, living, alive, active part of my life. He is their coach too and it’s important they know His voice. But I have to know His voice too! – am I listening, do I walk according to the Spirit? DO they see Him alive in me?
My prayer for you sweet mamas is that you would know the Ultimate Coach! That you would line up your lives with Him and humbly submit to His game plan. When you abide in the Vine you will bear much fruit…but without it, you can do nothing. Read John 15…this is what it talks about. He desires you to be fruitful, to radiate His love and forgiveness to all you meet, to share truth with your kids and raise them up to know His voice. He is for you! His Holy Spirit is waiting to give you revelation, to fill you with power in order to walk in His ways.
All you have to say is, “Put me in Coach!” Then run the race hard, listen to His still small voice, and look to Him for Victory!
With all my love,