I love articles like the one I just read. It’s about how Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s dad has been an instrumental part of Jamal’s basketball career. I enjoy reading about dads who are actively engaged in helping their sons and daughters become confident and accomplished. I mean, I run a father and son ministry for Pete’s sake. This stuff is money.
If you’d like to be a good dad, or even a great one, read the article from ESPN.com titled, From Ontario: How Jamal Murray was raised to be a star. You’ll get some terrific ideas on how to instill work ethic and a commitment to excellence within your children.
Yet, as a Christ-following dad who wants do disciple his children in the fear and admonition of the LORD, I’m careful with stories like this one. They remind me of an inconvenient truth that I can forget as a dad: I can teach them to succeed at something, but miss the main thing.
And, please hear me clearly. I’m not suggesting the Murray’s have missed anything. I don’t know Jamal or his dad, and for all I know, they’ve nailed this. We need more stories in our culture of fathers who are engaged and active in the lives of their kids! Kudos to the Murray’s for blazing this trail. (Whoops, sorry, I mean, helping us mine these nuggets?)
I just know that in our success-and-sports obsessed culture, it’s tempting for dads to trade sports or career coaching for disciple-making. We help them reach for their destiny but neglect to prepare them for eternity.
I don’t want to be the dad who only stands with my sons as they climb the podium for their medals. I want to be the one who welcomes them with open arms one day as they ascend the staircase into heaven. (I’m not sure there’s a staircase, but I hope so–that’d be cool–and it’d lend credence to the Led Zeppelin song, as if it needs any).
So, in light of this, and since I live in the basketball-crazy state of Kentucky, let’s have some fun comparing basketball training to disciple-making. Maybe along the way, you’ll add some mad skills to your fathering repertoire:
#1 Ball handler or truth handler?
#2 Assist maker or unselfish server?
#3 Team player or biblical steward?
#4 Great defender or great apologist?
About the author >
Kent Evans is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Manhood Journey. Kent's the author of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You. He and his wife April have five sons and live in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him @akentevens.