The best encouragement I can think of for myself and other dads is forgiveness.
The most precious gift God can give a man is his family. He blessed me with two boys talented to play baseball. God gave me wisdom and time to manage their baseball teams while they played little league and travel youth baseball.
For more than nine years I had the unique ability to be around special young men and their dads playing the game of baseball. Dads obviously want the best for their sons and their motivations for playing ball are well meaning.
For some odd reason however the game of baseball is fertile ground for the evil one to practice his mischief. Youth baseball can and does bring out the worst from our fleshly bodies. The competition to beat the other team, status of a player to start at shortstop, hit fourth in the batting order and obtain the holy grail of youth baseball – a college scholarship – leads to anger when these goals are not achieved.
The pressure to perform at the major league baseball level from children and their dads produces a toxic hatred felt by all participants. There’s a powerful remedy to the awful anger/hatred brew and that’s forgiveness.
Chapter four in Ephesians is a great reminder that forgiveness beats anger. God instructs us to forgive. One of the hardest lessons to learn in baseball and in life is forgiveness.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. I know firsthand that struggle with my own dad. God gave me a week to learn the forgiveness lesson as my dad slowly passed away from Pulmonary Fibrosis. I miss him now that he’s gone but hope other dads that read this message will beat whatever anger and hatred they have with forgiveness.
Not only on the baseball field but also in life I can say with one hundred percent certainty that forgiveness beats anger every time.
I was inspired to write a book by a dear friend regarding youth baseball. As you can guess, the theme of the book is forgiveness. Anger Throws a Curveball is a realistic fiction book about a twelve year old boy and his love of baseball. Brent, the coach’s son, is his father’s best player on the 12-year-old Little League baseball team. The team is playing for the State Championship. His team is ready. They expect to win. But outbursts of uncontrollable anger from players, their parents, coaches, and officials threaten Brent’s enthusiasm and concentration for the big game. Game Day comes, and Brent’s nerves and emotions are a wreck. Then some unexpected events during the Championship event–some humorous, some heart-warming– open his eyes to a score that really counts. It is a close game between two rival teams, with plenty of action and a chance for the winning team to be on national television. At the end of the fiercely fought game, Brent is excited–but over an entirely different score.
My forgiveness message of encouragement for dads revolves around the game of baseball, however it can be applied to all aspects of life.