Should my kids be involved in sports on Sundays?

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Should my kids be involved in sports on Sundays?

As Christians, should our entire life revolve around our church and the activities there? Or can we have some even-keeled balance where we regularly attend church yet can also participate in outside activities like sports teams, dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, playing a musical instrument, singing in a choir, etc.? How should Christians balance their family life with all the extracurricular activities available to them and their children? There are so many extracurricular things to choose from. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of participating and being a part of these activities outside the church. And in and of themselves, they aren't all bad. But it does seem that these things can also distract us, becoming our all-out pursuit for many reasons. Can families participate in these extracurricular activities and enjoy them, even encouraging their children in these pursuits, without it becoming a sin issue?


Dr. Caldwell says that these pursuits become sinful when we ignore the clear mandates of Scripture. When it comes to matters of liberty, in the realm of matters of judgment, you always begin with the things that are non-negotiable and fixed then, you move from those things out to other questions. What we see fixed in the Scriptures is the regular gathering of God’s people on the Lord’s Day for worship, being exhorted in the book of Hebrews not to forsake our assembling together. So when the church gathers, we should be there, and this should be the clear pattern of any believer, whether it’s two or even three times a week. However, there will be the occasional things that take us away here or there, like a trip or vacation. But the clear pattern of our life should be faithfulness to the Lord’s church whenever it gathers corporately. This is a non-negotiable, a clear standard we can begin with when thinking about extracurriculars. Beyond this, we will still need to think about our values. What’s most important to us, what’s most important to us when it comes to our children? The answer to that, according to Scripture, should be our souls and theirs. When it comes to our children, there should be nothing more important to us than their spiritual well-being. At any point where any extracurricular activity begins to be more important than the spiritual well-being of the soul, something is drastically out of order. Dr. Caldwell shares a passage from Third John, where the Apostle John expresses that he finds no greater joy than to hear that his children are walking in the truth. John is speaking in this particular passage of his spiritual son Gaius. Dr. Caldwell says if this is true of John with a spiritual child, that should be true of us as parents when we think of our children. So, we want to make sure we aren’t violating the non-negotiables. We need to ask ourselves some questions. Are we missing corporate gatherings? Are we there for corporate gatherings but maybe pursuing these other things in a way that is becoming unhealthy for our children spiritually? What does our family time look like? Are we busy running our kids all over the place for these activities? Do we and they have time for extended family and friends outside of these activities? Does all the time these activities take seem to intrude upon what makes for spiritual health in the lives of our children? These are real problems we need to consider, even if we are faithfully gathering with the church.


Another thing Dr. Caldwell would ask us to consider is temporal things versus eternal things. For many, it may be the belief that if we don’t get our kids involved in these extra things, then they’re missing out. Maybe it’s the belief that somehow, they're going to achieve something by participating in them. That achievement desire could be for our child to be a high school all-star athlete, earn a college scholarship, maybe for them to become a professional football, baseball, or basketball player, or even an Olympian someday. But as Dr. Caldwell reminds us, temporal desires rarely come true even after you’ve pursued all those things. Rarely do they come to pass. In addition, even if your children get those things, and they have suffered spiritually as a result of those pursuits, then you, as a true believer, will be tragically saddened and disappointed by the ultimate outcome of that achievement. We usually cannot see these things ourselves as most of us aren’t self-actualizers, being able to judge situations correctly and honestly. Usually, it takes others to point out the potential dangers of the unhealthiness of our pursuits. This is because these aspirations in our hearts are so temporally driven. We’ve lost sight of the eternal. Our focus is on the temporal, which is not how we're meant to live. So even if we or our children achieve that level of becoming a professional, whether it’s a professional athlete, violinist, opera singer, or racecar driver, and we've only invested in the temporal, having ignored the eternal, we’ll be impoverished for it. We need to remember what matters and what's going to last forever. When we do this, we can put all these extracurriculars in their proper place. If we end up achieving something, and we went about it the right way, there can be joy in that. But if we end up achieving something and we've gone about it the wrong way, there will be a great sense of sadness and loss.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 28 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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