Friday, July 20, 2012

Christians with Non-Christian Friends

My son just turned eleven and I'm beginning to see a need for limiting his exposure to non-Christian friends. Now don't get me wrong, there are some very moral non-Christians out there, and I realize that, but they are few and far between. When I was my son's age, I was not a Christian, and was not being raised in a Christian home. *I* might have been THAT CHILD to some of my friends' parents.

But now that I'm a parent, I see the conflict. Our next door neighbor has a thirteen year old grandson that stays with her during the summer. There have been little issues all along, and yesterday may have been the final blow. My son saved up for a PS3, and purchased it for his birthday in April. (I'm not a fan of video games, but it has been a great disciplining tool!) Yesterday as I was heading out for a "Girls' Day" with my daughter, he informed me that he and the neighbor were going to GameStop to get a game he had been saving up for.

It wasn't until later that evening, after he went out the door with his PS3 to the neighbor's house, that I saw the case for the game he purchased...and it was NOT age appropriate. The game was for 17 and above, and he is obviously no where near that. Long story short, we went back to the store. I'm still not sure how coerced he was into buying the game, but I know he knows enough to know that I would NOT let him buy that game if I were with him.

We had a talk in the car. Well, *I* had a talk, *he* had a listen. I explained to him that I knew that Boy13 is not appropriate for him; I knew that he was fake in front of me and is very different when he isn't being phony for adults. I explained to him that *we* are accountable to God and have the Holy Spirit directing our choices, but that people who don't know God feel they can do whatever they want. And I told him that if he was not strong enough to NOT follow this boy's example, I would have to limit their contact.

Godincidentally, I pulled out a DVD that I'd had for months but hadn't watched yet. It is called Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World. 

If you are struggling with these types of issues, I suggest you purchase and watch this DVD. It is a lecture by Ken Ham, and he does not disappoint. It is older, and you will giggle at the hair styles of the audience members, not to mention Ken Ham's beard, but once you get used to that, the message is clear. The DVD is appropriate for ages 12 and up. Yep, this one I *will* let my 11 year-old watch!

Don Eddy Basketball Camp

In April, I wrote about my son's basketball history. In June, he attended the Don Eddy Basketball Camp, and I have to say, I watched him turn into a completely different player. The camp is great at teaching ball handling drills. It is an offensive camp, but it's amazing what they learn about defense as well. One of the least favorite things my son experienced at the camp was probably the one thing that pushed him the most as a player.

He was partnered with two other players for the week for their "3 on 3" games. One was a pretty lazy big kid who preferred to attempt 3-pointers (and made very little). The other was a small girl, who looked to be about 8, whose skills were lacking, who was also a ball hog. She had to be, because she knew once she gave the ball up, she would probably not be getting it back! Big Lazy also had an attitude and often made Little Girl cry. (She was pretty irritating, but give her a break!) My son, The Defender, was the only one who realized the other team would score if they didn't play defense, and I think it was only because I was watching and pointed it out.

The week started out pretty ugly during "3 on 3." I think he dreaded that portion of camp. Big Lazy and Little Girl just didn't seem to help The Defender out much. Not that he did everything right, either, but I saw him learning as the week went on. I saw him playing pretty aggressive basketball, because he realized HE was the one who "got it" and HE had to step up and perform. I WAS AMAZED. Seriously, I was almost to the point of tears. Okay, maybe I DID tear up a little...

The Defender gained the knowledge, the skills, the how-tos, and wanted to play on the winning team. But that was not to be. So instead of sulking and giving up, he used what he learned and realized HE could make it a winning team. They did win some games, even games against some of the better teams. When we left on the last day, he did confirm how he despised his "3 on 3" team. I laughed. "You have noooooo idea what being on that team did for you," I told him. "Because of that team and because you practiced what they taught you, I guarantee you that you improved more than anyone else here at the camp. By a lot. Sometimes God has a plan for you that isn't very fun, but it gets you to where you want to go." I think he gets it. I hope so.

If you have the opportunity to attend a Don Eddy Camp, DO IT. Just do it...

Tom Woods