Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

An Open Letter to Myself About My Kids’ Sports

Dear Tony,

I wanted to write you a little note about your kids. I know how much you love those rug-rats. I know they mean the world to you. I also know that you would do anything for them, and that’s pretty cool.

I also appreciate how much you support them. How vocal you are about your love for them, and how much you learn by parenting them. Your kids are important to you, and I get that.


Here is the thing I want you to know this morning, and I’m telling you this as a reminder: Your kids’ sports are not that important.

I know, what a shocking statement! It's true. In the scheme of a lifetime the pee-wee football years will be formative, they will hold a ton of memories, but they are not the most important thing you will teach your kids in these years from first grade to high school.

See, in these years, these very formative years they are learning how to respond to the world. They are watching you, Tony. They are watching how you respond to bad calls, to tough coaching decisions, and they are watching what you prioritize.

That last one caught you off guard a bit didn’t it?

Priorities; what you put in front of something else might be the most important thing your kids learn as they grow up. Let me explain further; when you spend more time watching football than loving on your wife you are setting an example for them. You are teaching them how to be in relationships, and I only tell you this to encourage you to proceed with CAUTION.

If you neglect everything else in the name of sports, so will your kids.

The same is true with your relationship with God. I understand that sports now happen on Sunday, I’m not sure we can reverse that trend. However, you’re the dad. You can teach them how to stay connected to God even when they don’t make it to church. How is your prayer life with your kids? How is your scripture reading? How are you doing at teaching them to be disciples?

Listen, I know that you are incredibly intense when it comes to sports. Especially sports that your kids play. I know how well you want them to do, and I know how much you love them.

I just want to challenge you to love them enough to show them what it means to prioritize. Show them how to make the tough choices on what comes before sports.

Now that we have that out there – go cheer your head off for those crazy kids. They need you.




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