This team was different. The coach had the infielders rotate every two innings – The first baseman would go to third, third baseman to shortstop, shortstop to second and second baseman to first. The young men knew how to field and throw, now it was time to coach them in the nuances of the game of baseball from a variety of positions. There was no yelling when mistakes were made. Errors were recognized as part of the process of growing as a ballplayer.
Similarly, dads that are intentional in moving from the ‘Teacher’ season of fathering to ‘Coaching’, typically in the early teen years, understand that mistakes will be made. Failures are part of the process on the journey to adulthood. Coaching them well through their first job, their first budget, their first ‘A’ and their first ‘F’ in school, their first relationship with the opposite sex and their first challenge as a believer in Christ will solidify the foundational work done through the ‘Teaching’ season.
“Teacher, I brought You my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” … Jesus rebuked the spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. … After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” – Mark 9:17-18, 26, 28-29. Earlier, Jesus had sent the disciples out in twos to put His teaching to practice, to preach His message, “The Kingdom of Heaven is near.” They were instructed to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” (Matthew 10:7-8). The disciples were amazed at what they could do in the name of Jesus but they also had their share of failures, such as the inability to cast the demon out of the boy referenced above. Jesus coached them through their successes and failures. When they got a bit prideful, He reminded them, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” Similarly, dads are to coach well through the successes and failures kids encounter on their journey to adulthood.
Several of the young men on his team went on to play college baseball. Because of the challenges of rotating positions and facing the associated adversities well as a team, the coach had stirred up a genuine interest of growing in a broader context of the game. He coached them well, enabling them to move to a new level in their sport. Dads that coach well, enable kids to move to a new level in their faith and in life as they mature.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for my bride and the opportunity to be parents. The noise of this world tries to distract us from the priority of raising Godly offspring (Mal.2:15). Thank You for the reminder in Your Word and through Your example, to prioritize teaching and coaching during the first 18-20 years of our children’s lives. Specifically, Lord, help me coach well as our kids face noise and distractions on their journey. Grant me patience and discernment to know when to step in and when to step back. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
A faithful father transitions from 'Teacher' to the 'Coaching' season of fathering well.