Jumping through Hoops – Part III
In our last installment of the interview we hear a few words of warning and encouragement to both daughters and their parents as to the dangers and unique challenges of the collegiate sports world.
What advice would you give parents whose daughters are involved in collegiate sports?
I think it is important to talk about this issue with them particularly with college-aged daughters. I didn’t deal much at all with this in high school but it is definitely becoming more of a problem at that level now.
If you suspect anything hinting at homosexuality going on around your daughter, ask her about it. Teach her the biblical stance on homosexuality and make sure that she knows that it is a sin against God, no matter how many of her friends are doing it.
If they lack a substantive defense based in the truth and in why they believe what they do, when they are presented with the opposite belief amongst their peers, they will fold because they can’t combat it. On the other hand, if they have a deep understanding of the Gospel then they have the greatest weapon there ever will be in fighting the battle. Also, make sure that you are not telling them to hate homosexuals or to treat them wrong because of their lifestyle.
Make sure they understand that just because they are telling someone what God’s word says and they disagree, doesn’t mean that they are unloving or judgmental. In fact, that is the most loving thing your child can do- share truth in love. Ensure that they have a strong sense of family and feel loved and accepted showing them proper affection for the more love they get from home the less likely they will go looking for it elsewhere.
And don’t be naive. I have seen it happen a lot where the parents of a girl who is involved in a homosexual relationship are being lied to because the girl is so fearful of their parents finding out. If you see anything suspicious developing, don’t turn the other cheek and say that there’s no way your daughter would do that. Try to get to the bottom of it.
What advice would you give the girls who are entering collegiate sports?
Man, there is so much I would love to say to each girl- including giving each one a deep, rich presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation for all those that believe.. But in general, in speaking to the Christians, I want to tell you that you have no business entering this environment of collegiate sports unless you have been specifically called by God to do so. I know this may sound really extreme and harsh, but take it from me. I’ve been on a long spiritual journey with the Lord through this; most of the time learning the hard way. Make sure that you are not entering this environment looking to consume it for your own lusts. You will be disappointed every time, if you do. Sports will let you down 100% of the time when you put your trust in it. Especially at the college level, where the temptation to make it your life is increased because they demand so much of your time.
I give you that warning because if you are not spiritually equipped beforehand you can get swallowed up. The temptation is great. The trials are even greater. Without being rooted in the word you will have no foundation to stand on. And soon enough, you will find your life morphing into one that looks just like everyone else’s around you.
Also, make sure that you find a group of people inside and outside of the athlete world who are like-minded and who will build you up in your faith. It is always good to have a group of sincere Christians who don’t care one bit about how well you perform in your sport, but instead want to see you grow in holiness. This is crucial. You need that balance after hearing all day about your sport and how it needs to be number one in your life. Find a great local church that preaches the unadulterated word of God and welcome the accountability and support in your life.
As far as homosexuality is concerned it is hard to predict what kind of situations you will find yourself in, but no matter what, do not compromise what you know is right. It may mean that you are the ‘weird Christian girl who always talks about the Bible’, but trust me, it is all worth it when you think about what it is you are there to do.
Don’t shy away from building relationships with girls that you know are homosexual. Some of my best friendships have come from teammates of mine that are gay. I care about all of them deeply and I make sure that they know that I love and care about their lives outside of them being on the basketball court with me. People respond differently to you when they know that you genuinely love them
Make sure that they know they can talk to you about the issue without you condemning them to hell in the process. This is why having a deep understanding of the Gospel is so important. Knowing the doctrines of human depravity and the like are crucial so that you are able to explain to them why being a homosexual is wrong, but also not placing them any higher on the sinner list than any other depraved human being…nor does is place them out of the reach of the glorious grace of God.
In short, always be ready and able to give an answer for the hope that lies within you. If you live your life for Christ, they will come up to you and ask you genuine questions about it- be ready to give an answer! And also, enjoy the opportunity that the Lord has blessed you with. It is by far an exciting time in your life and it is full of fun, but make sure you don’t lose focus on what it is we are here on earth to do- glorify God in all that we do.