Jeremiah 17:17 Blessed is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord.
Confidence is a word from the beginning of our children’s lives that we start to place inside of them through all of our intentional parenting. Through all of it, we are hoping to help our children understand the full meaning of the word confidence so that they grow up to display and recognize all of the positive traits related to it. Having a strong faith, big belief, absolute assurance, and trust in the gifting and talents they are personally equipped with will over time come together. In turn, believing that it will fully give them the confidence to carry themselves through any circumstance in sports and life. When they connect this type of confidence with the word of God…they become the true champions in Christ we are fighting for.
I remember when my middle son, Gavin was only 7 years old in 2nd grade. He was placed on a little league football team called the Brentwood Blaze. We were new to the area and hadn’t had the chance to get to know anyone. Most of the boys on his team were friends and had played the previous year together. Gavin wasn’t seen as an impact player by the coaches, so he didn’t get to play very much. After one of the games, the coach was giving his traditional after game speech and took time to complement every player. He asked if he had missed anyone, and 3 boys names, including Gavin’s, were not mentioned yet. He proceeded to say encouraging things about the rest of the boys, but accidentally forget to mention Gavin before he finished up. After the team broke to head home, Gavin had 3 or 4 different parents come up to him to intentionally tell him what a great job he did, knowing he had been missed by the coach. Gavin would follow with a strong “thank you” and smile. As we were walking to the car, he looked at me and said, “See, that’s what happens when you’re the best on the team!” See, Gavin wasn’t discouraged that he didn’t play a lot, and he wasn’t discouraged because the coach never mentioned him is the after game speech. In his sweet, blonde hair and blue eyed head, he was still the best player on the team, no matter what the circumstances were.
Who doesn’t want their children to have that type of confidence? Most of us begin very early starting to insert confident words into our children minds that over time turn into their thoughts. From teeny tiny on up to forever…after all, they’re always our little boys! This was something we took very seriously no matter the natural look of things were. Danny and I learned early as parents the importance of developing and instilling confident thoughts through the words we chose. We would say things before and after the game like. “You’re going to do great” “You are a leader”, “You did a super job today”, “You are so talented”, “You are a champion”, and the list of compliments goes on. When we prayed over the boys at bedtime, we would speak into them, “Lord, thank you that you have given Gavin the speed of a cheetah, the courage of a lion and the strength of Sampson. Thank you that you have made him to be courageous, bold and talented.” I never wanted my boys to question who they were or how good they were at anything in life. I wanted them to believe that anything was possible if they just believed it was possible.
Now, over time, as they continued to gain great confidence, we also had to bring some balance in through the word. I had a chalkboard in our family room that had Proverbs 27:2 on it. Let others praise you and not your own mouth, a stranger and not your own lips. They all had to learn confident humility. We want them confident but we don’t want them arrogant. There is a healthy balance that must continue to be cultivated into your champions through the years. Life presents so many great parenting opportunities to insert practical biblical life teachings into our children at all ages. This will also help create the healthy understanding of a relationship with our living God. When our children have a healthy respect for us as parents, they will grow up maturing into obtaining a healthy understanding and regard for loving Jesus. We all know there is nothing more attractive and contagious than that kind of confidence!
The confidence we have inserted in our children over the years has set them up for such a time as this. All of those confident words that have been spoken, along with the reminders of who they are and what they are capable of, shows up in their countenance every time they step on the field. When they take that personal confidence and add the confidence of who they are in Christ…they become unstoppable, not only on the football field but in life.
When understanding Jeremiah 17:7, we can all gain a greater level of confidence. A lot of people chant, “I believe that we will win”, but winning begins in the heart before we ever speak the words. Believing from your very core sets up the expectations for winning. I pray that we all, parents and athletes, have the revelation that our complete confidence is in Christ and the word of God. When our players grasp that type of spiritual confidence, they have won in their heart and mind before they ever step on the field! We call that “Godfidence”!