Discover Challenge: Tough Questions

December 6, 2016

via Discover Challenge: Tough Questions


As parents of five children, we face the dilemma of family priorities.

View More: My older set of twins has recently begun wrestling, which is a big sport here. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to ask when meets would happen. I just assumed that matches would be Saturdays (after all we live in a densely Catholic area).

Remember what you learned in school about the word assume? It makes an ass out of u and me.

Imagine my dismay to discover a few weeks into the season (in a sport that my children like) to realize that the matches are on Sunday. Not in the middle of the afternoon, which would be practical but starting first thing in the morning at 0830.

Problem alert: We go to church every weekend. Our service starts at 0845. Followed by Sunday school at 0915.

I am NOT comfortable with the idea of missing church for sports. I don’t mind them missing on the rare occasion (because I’m trying to flexible and stretch) but every Sunday, it’s not happening. The whole discussion makes my stomach ache. I really struggled with this.

I turned to query my friends on Facebook. My religious LDS friends said,”no go.” My Catholic friends said, “go to an alternative mass, like Saturday night.” My secular friends just said, “choose one over the other, but you can’t do both.” My priest (who is also on FB) said, “I’m glad the church is a priority, my kids went late to sports.” (We’re Episcopalian, so our priests have children).

In our lives, we have made a few things a priority based on our values; church, family, boy scouts, physical activity. Sports ranks dead last. It’s probably an unpopular stance, but it’s what we believe.

I weighed the benefits my sons get from wrestling: physical activity, mentorship, coaching, socialization with other kids…

and from church: appropriate behavior, faith in God, values, spiritual development, answers to profound questions, friendships, socialization.

Bottom line. My sons are six years old. They don’t need to be at a wrestling meet every Sunday. We are fortunate that my husband’s job at a university provides college costs for our children (and we can use our Montgomery GI money). We will hopefully never have to chase athletic scholarships as we won’t have to rely on them for college tuition. I want my children to love athletics, but I’m not willing to sacrifice our spiritual lives for sports. Church wins out.

Now I just have to tell the coach…

How do you handle this issue in your home?

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3 Comments on "Discover Challenge: Tough Questions"

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Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker
Hi Gabrielle. I know you received a lot of answers to this question from my readers when you asked over on my site. I am in the firm “No sports on Sundays” category. I’m also no shopping on Sundays as well. I think others have already described to you my exact feelings on the matter in their own comments (and they come from a myriad of denominations). Sports has become all-encompassing. When I was a child, it was 2-3 practices a week and a game on Saturday. Now it’s 5 practices (every weekday) and often 3 games on Saturdays here.… Read more »
Rob and Becky
My goodness, what cute children! It is so hard to decide what to do, but I think you are doing the right thing by making church a high priority. My husband was a children/family pastor for over 20 years, although he is doing something else right now. During his time in ministry, he saw family after family make the choice to allow their children to put sports over church. They attended church when it was convenient, which was not often in today’s society–some only when between sports. Over time, he sadly watched child after child choose to make many other… Read more »
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