A tennis court has service lines, baselines and sidelines for singles and doubles. A football field has yardage markers, sidelines and goal lines. A baseball field has an outfield wall, foul lines, base paths, a pitching rubber and of course home plate. All sports have standard boundaries and rules for play.
Do you know how wide baseball’s home plate is? It is seventeen inches. In 1996, Coach John Scolinos spoke to about 4000 baseball coaches about compromising standards. He held a home plate up and reminded them it was the same 17 inches for little leaguers as it was for the professionals, the same in Babe Ruth’s day as it is today. When a Major League pitcher cannot throw the ball over the plate, he goes back to the minors. What coaches don’t say is, “Ah, that’s okay Jimmy. If you can’t hit the 17 inches, we’ll make 18 or 19 inches for you. Maybe 20 inches if that is what it takes.” Then he asked the coaches, “What do you do when your star player shows up late for practice, or walks in the locker room unshaven when team rules forbid facial hair? Do you hold him accountable or do you change the rules to fit him? Do you widen home plate?”
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” – Revelation 22:18-19. The Standard is the word of God, scripture, the Truth. Joshua was told, “do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:7b. And Jesus said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:37. Dads are to honor the Standard personally, in marriage, in the home and beyond.
At the end of his talk, Coach Scolinos turned the home plate around with the point up. He had drawn windows and a door on it to make it look like a home. He went on to say, “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids, with the way we discipline – we do not teach accountability to our kids, there is no consequence for failing to meet the standard. We just widen the plate.” There is a lot of “widening the plate” going on today, longtime standards being compromised. Enough already! The Standard is the word of God.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for the Standard that is Your word. In the past, I have read a lot of stuff but very little of Your word. This resulted in me justifying busy-ness in life that did not glorify You, I compromised the Standard. Forgive me. Today the focus is on reading a lot of Your word and very little other stuff. This is resulting in a deeper relationship with You, an eternal perspective for day to day living, clarity in my role as a man, husband and father, and strength to honor the Standard where You have me. Help me be a contagious Christian in marriage, in family and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father honors the Standard personally, in marriage, in the home and beyond.