As I’ve shared in the past, we’re a baseball family. It is in our genetic makeup . . . my dad played college ball and some of my fondest memories of him involve learning how to catch his infamous knuckleball.
However, the World Cup recently captured our attention. Freddie Freeman and Mike Trout jerseys were exchanged for Mbappe and Messi shirts. The joy of a walk-off homer was replaced by the excitement of a penalty kick.
Today, I want to share a few observations about how the World Cup relates to parenting in our house. And then I want to share some great resources for you as you invest in your marriage and your family.
First, the World Cup of Parenting . . .
The Referees: They are official parents of the World Cup. Seemingly unable to get any call right, they feel the full force of the whining and complaining. On the chance they do get the call right, the punishment is never enough in the eyes of the other team. (Side note: I wish I had that cool foam to spray on the ground, letting my boys know the lines they weren’t allowed to cross.)
The Injuries: Have you ever seen better acting? Someone calculated that one of the best players spent 14 minutes rolling around “injured” during the World Cup. Like parenting, it seems the injuries draw the attention of the referee, but once the penalty is handed down the injury miraculously goes away. Around our house, the “homework headache” or the “studying stomachache” often come on out of nowhere but disappear as soon as the neighborhood kids show up.
The Celebrations: Like the players, my boys look for any reason to remove their shirts and slide all over the house or work on their Fortnite dances. At least the soccer players put their shirt back on, versus leaving it on the floor for someone else to pick up.
The Fans: Much like at home, over the top enthusiasm often leads to body paint, loud cheering and, depending on the outcome, uncontrollable tears.
It was a fun month for our family. A chance to appreciate a new sport and new athletes, teach a few geography lessons, and see the power of national pride. So, thanks World Cup!
I also wanted to share a few resources that I am either using or hearing a lot about that will prayerfully make an impact on you and your house.
Between Parents Podcast: Hosted by Billy and Joy Phoenix, these 30-minute weekly episodes offer fun and practical insight into raising kids and celebrating marriage.
Sports Spectrum: This podcast and magazine focus on the faith of sports figures and “athletic stories with eternal impact.” I listen with my boys on the drive to school as a way to encourage their love of sports and Jesus.
Champion Tribes: While I haven’t led a group yet, I love what Champion Tribes stands for and the vision they have for the father-son relationship.
I highly encourage you to check out these resources. As a father and husband, you are called to lead your home, and no job is as important.
Scripture: By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3)