As the week enfolds, you can catch the latest pre-game show about the upcoming sporting event. Commentators give their thoughts about the upcoming game. They give statistics, and analyze the previous weeks game films to try and give their best educated “guess” at who will win and why. But no matter what they say, whom they pick to win the big game, the fact remains that the game needs to be played.
I began to think about how much “pre-game” we give to life and how we live it, the stats about some of our decisions, looking back at previous actions and I wonder if we ever do a pre-game for the things we face in life.
No matter what we may think is going to happen, maybe it’s time we did a little pre-game of our own choices in life. We find some very important stats concerning life and death in Matthew 24:44 (NASB) “ For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
We never really give much thought about death as we live, sure it’s in the back of our minds, but we never really think that today could be the day when our life on earth will end.
I got to thinking about my wife and children, have I done a pre game for them? Have I looked at the stats about husbands and wives – the divorce rate is near 50% that we will make it or not, so am I doing all I can to make sure that on “game day”, I am ready to win the game of marriage? Have I prepared for it, learning how best to love my wife? Do I make sure that I am in the game with her, learning more about her each day, her favorite things, learning to love her more each day?
In Ephesians, from the Message Bible it states
(Ephesians 5) “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.”
Some pretty good pre-game advice here!
And how about my children, have I done my pregame about raising them up? Have I done the stats on children and what they struggle with? Have I asked the hard questions about parenting or am I more concerned with being their friend.
I have told my daughters many times, "I am your father not your friend," meaning that I will make the difficult decisions about what I feel you can and can not do, not because I don’t what you to have fun but because I love you. Those types of decisions, the ones that will have your child question your love for them, need to be made before game day, that way you have a plan in place, bettering the odds of winning that game with them and for them.
One of the best things we can pregame regarding our children is their relationship to Jesus Christ. In Ephesians, it has some great pre-game advice regarding that.
4 Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. Ephesians 6:4 The Message
Notice the line, "Lead them in the way of the Master" – what father wouldn’t want their children to have the best and having Jesus Christ in their lives is the ultimate when it comes to the game of life.
So as we play the game of life, maybe we should think of doing a little pre-game to help us win the game. Some great pre-game advice:
1. Read God’s Word – find some great strategies for playing the game
2. Learn from other husbands and fathers of what they have found works or doesn’t
3. Spend time with our Heavenly Father Who will lead us through the power of the Holy Spirit to remain steadfast as the game is played
4. Be prepared for the game
I remember watching the Super Bowl game where Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas didn’t have his helmet with him to start the second half, he wasn’t prepared to play the game – he didn’t have all he needed to win the game. So here’s some of the best pregame instructions you’ll ever read:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18(NASB)
And despite all the pre-game we do, we still need to play the game, so why not be prepared the best we can to win the game! Game on!