Developing Godly Character
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance." 1 Timothy 4:8-9
Something that I have come to realize over the many years of my involvement in sports and physical training is that there are many aspects of godliness that you are able to train. I think it is especially important at a young age to be taught and trained in the way of godliness, when fundamental habits are being developed by every thought, word, and deed. While the simple activities we have at first may seem menial, it is the skills we learn from managing these simple tasks that we apply to more complex problems and to greater responsibilities. I think that each thought, word, and deed, although individually small, collectively form into habits and characteristics that will shape us as we continue to grow. By the grace of God through the power of His Holy Spirit working in us and sanctifying us, we learn to think, speak, and act in accordance with God’s will.
In training children in godliness, games and sports work as great avenues for them to learn and practice virtues that glorify God and lead to a flourishing life and society. While we focus on teaching the fundamentals of sport, developing athleticism, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, we also try to teach, recognize, and encourage the virtues that are applied in sports, which is more profitable than mere physical fitness. Something as simple as admitting to the ball going out of bounds reaffirms honesty; not complaining or getting mad about unfair teams (etc.) develops self control and emotional restraint. Playing on a team requires communication, having patience with teammates' mistakes, showing forgiveness, mercy, compassion, taking responsibility for your faults, learning how to come away from a loss, learning how to celebrate with humility, etc. All these small lessons are the fundamental building blocks of a person's character. The seemingly simple traits kids learn at a young age during physical education, and other classes or in the home, are the important virtues used throughout their life, developing their character, and helping them to succeed when encountering greater responsibilities, and ultimately glorifying God.
Teaching is an honour and a responsibility that I understand to be seriously important and probably don’t understand fully: the importance to “Train up a child in the way he should go...” (Proverbs 22:6), in the way of godliness for the glory of God. Please pray that, by God’s grace, all of the staff at St. Timothy’s may teach with this thought in mind and we pray that you also will be given strength to raise up your child(ren) in this way.
Caleb Heerema teaches Phys. Ed. to our grade 5-8 students. He is an alumnus of Redeemer College and Augustine College (AC)
and is currently a resident advisor for the students at AC. He will be leaving Ottawa at the end of April to get married and then pursue a degree in medicine. The students will miss him and we wish him joy and success in his journey!