Today many lessons were placed in front of my son, Zach and me during his last club soccer game. I won’t go into each one, as this isn’t the proper way to address and/or share them. But I’ll share a couple of them.
To make a long story a little shorter, it was a typical physically demanding game. Zach scored the first and only goal for our team in the first half. I was, as you can imagine, so proud! The other team scored a goal in the second half. The game was tied 1-1 as the end-of-game whistle blew.
A parent of one of our players chose to let the game referee know exactly what he thought of him…during the game. Foul language was used and even a challenge to fight the ref was issued when he said, “Bring it!” I wanted to disappear. But the words, “Julie, say something,” seemed to scream in my head. I called the parent by name as I stood there. This was wrong on so many levels. The parent was ejected from the game. I was embarrassed for our club, our team, our players and for the other parents. There was no excuse for that. No excuse at all.
Zach opposing player during the second half was all over him. The ref told this player at one point to “knock it off.”
Zach and this player were battling for the ball as the end-of-game whistle blew. Zach was fouled and ended up on the ground. As he was down, the other player unbelievably spit on Zach. Yes, SPIT ON HIM! Unbelievable! Zach questioned the player’s actions, and the player just walked away. As Zach was telling me what happened after the game, I couldn’t believe it. I was appalled! Zach also shared with me this guy called him a name during the game that I won’t repeat here.
After arriving home, I shared all my frustrations with today’s game with Bill, as he couldn’t be there because of work. Then I shared about what happened with the president of our club. I emailed the president of that club. I shared about the situation with this player, and extended an apology for the parent from our team who acted so disrespectfully.
I’ve never done anything like that before. But I felt instead of being quiet and trying not to “make waves,” I needed to stand up for what was right. And I’m glad I did. After sending that email, I read today’s devotion by Charles Swindoll on Insight for Living called For Righteous Living. That gave me confirmation that I did the right thing.
We’ll see what happens from here. Maybe nothing will, but at least I did what I felt God was telling me to do. And my son saw me standing up for him, and standing up for what was right. I believe God allowed all these things today for us to learn from.
1) Friends and fellow parents, please let the refs referee. Don’t say anything negative against them. And lease don’t ever do what this parent did today. He had no business cussing at this ref, using Jesus’ name and telling the ref to “bring it.” A bad example on all levels for all present.
2) Pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44. Instead of getting upset at this kid, we need to pray for him. And this was a good example to Zach of how to handle a situation like that. I’m not saying Zach is perfect on and off the field, but if you’ve read past posts, you’ve read that he calls out players on the field for their language. He handled this situation with such grace and dignity. He can go to bed tonight with no regrets.
3) I’m not a parent who typically complains about situations that center around my children. I usually allow God to work things out and I don’t get involved. But I had such a heaviness on my heart today, I knew that I needed to stand up for what was right. I was not upset, I just shared the facts and kept the emotions out of it. I thank God for giving me the words.
So much more than soccer was experienced on that field today. God is guiding Zach in every area of his life. I’m one thankful mom!
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