Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No other commendation

My twelve year old son is playing football for the first time this season. Incidentally, he is also playing soccer and it was not uncommon for him to leave a two hour football practice, walk across field, strip off helmet and shoulder pads, and strap on shin guards for an hour's worth of soccer practice. We like to call him Deion Sanders.

Anyway, since it is his first year to play on the gridiron, he is learning. In short, he's not really that good. He's having a great time and he is getting better, but his skills have room for improvement. This past Saturday, however, he had the game of his short career. He plays wide receiver on offense and finally got his opportunity when the quarterback threw to him not once, not twice, but three times, my son snatching the ball out of the air for substantial gain two out of the three passes. Defensively, he also made a tackle, which in itself would be cause for pride and celebration, but this was a key tackle, preventing an inevitable touchdown by a player a head taller than my boy. He also kicked twice for the point(s) after, both good, scoring a total of four points for the team (in pee wee, two extra points are awarded for kicking as opposed to one--FYI).

Add to my son's personal victory a team victory of 23-0, and it was a great day of football. Post game I offered my usual commendation: "Did you have fun? You sure played hard. I'm proud of you. Great effort out there."

But as we piled into the van and headed home, still reveling in the thrill of victory (and reeking of the stink of victory), my boy asks, his voice carrying something like hope, "Daddy, did I play good?"

To which my husband replied, "Yes, son, you certainly did. I'm proud of you."

I had lavished all sorts of praise on him, but it was his daddy's approval he wanted. No other commendation meant as much to him. No other opinion mattered. While I have no knowledge of life on the pink side, I know this is true of all my boys.

My boy offers me a rich example: to care only for commendation of my Father. To seek only his approval. To work, to play, to live to hear Him say, "Well done, My girl. You worked hard; you gave it all you had. I am well pleased."


  1. What a great picture of how much we yearn for the Father's approval. Blessings on you and your tribe of boys!

  2. I know this concept well with my own boys...

    BTW - I left you a little something at my blog..:)


  3. What a great word picture. I know I, for one, find myself too often caring what other people think, but really it is only my Heavenly Father's approval that matters.

  4. What a great example! You are so true, hearing that from our Father, would be the greatest thing ever!

  5. I really appreciate the way you applied that conversation with your son.

  6. Wow, that packs a punch.

    And it's not just spiritual. I think all boys yearn for their earthly father's approval. I'm thinking of "Wild at Heart" here, among other great books about boys. There's just a special blessing a male can only get from a male.

    Wonderful as always, Lisa.

  7. Sweet story... and a fantastic application!

  8. Definitely something I needed to "hear" today!

    And don't you just love football?!

  9. I loved this story. I, too, only have boys. I loved the comment "while I have no knowledge of the pink' side! I have not heart that before.

  10. At first I was hurt for you at your son's question to Dad. As if your praise meant nothing. That was the mom in me (I have both son and daughter) then I read on.

    What a great word picture. God is the only ONE we must please because His praise out weighs all the rest.

  11. "the pink side"--that's funny.

    And to seek God's approval, not man's? Excellent point.

  12. Beautiful story! And congratulations to your son for such an awesome game!

    I have had similar scenes where it doesn't matter what I have said, it is their father's approval they desire. Wow, such a great lesson here for all us.

    My oldest son is playing his first year of football too and I don't about you but I am really enjoying watching him!

  13. I love this...sometimes its so hard to work only for God's approval and not our family's or someone else. Thank you for a needed reminder.

  14. Yes Ma'am. There is truth in them words. :) Kudos to your son.

    I am linking this.