Once again, I’ve become something of a football widow as my husband’s interest in the Euros is consuming him and eating into our evenings together. The beautiful (to many) game of football has been my beloved’s passion since boyhood.

He played for his school and county and was instrumental in helping to set up inter-church Christian Football League matches between our church and a church it had planted, so I knew what I was letting myself in for when we got together and eventually married.

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” – Bill Shankly

Once, my man took a tackle and skidded to a halt over the line where I stood watching him, successfully knocking me off my feet. He swears to this day that it wasn’t deliberate!

Several years ago, I gave a talk to a women’s fellowship group which God equipped me to lead, and as part of that talk I spoke about the game of football in honour of our then assistant pastor.

He was an enthusiastic supporter too. My words to honour him for his work as overseer of the group evolved into the talk below which contains footballing terminology in relation to our faith.

The game of life

“Now football is a strange thing, arousing strong emotions. It is rather like Marmite in that people tend to either love or hate it. I apologise in advance for those of us who fall into the latter camp, but having been married to an ardent football fan for the last 34 years, (NOTE: ‘almost 47 years now’), I can also see the attraction in it.”

“As Christians, our passion for life is fuelled by our saving faith in Christ. In a ‘game of two halves’, we have an earthly existence and an eternal life to consider. We can claim ‘We was robbed!’ because Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy our rightful inheritance that Jesus freely restored to us.”

“People cry ‘Foul!’ because they think that God’s demands are unfair. The ‘penalty’ is the price we pay for our sins, and you and are required to take that decision up with the great referee’ who put Jesus in our place as our ‘substitute to ‘save’ us.

“The ‘goal’ of the game of life is God’s purpose for us. Have we taken our eyes off the ‘ball’ recently? We need to rely on good ‘teamwork’ and not ‘tackle’ every task alone because we all need one another for support and encouragement, help for our weaknesses, and praise for our strengths.”

How we play matters

“Are we displaying our ‘team colours’ with pride, having openly nailed them to the mast? Are we demonstrating clearly which side we are on? Do we remember to give thelinesman’ the respect He deserves? Because as the ‘coach and ‘manager’ God has ultimate control over the ‘game’ of life.”

“He watches our every move, knows when we lie or cheat, get stuck in a ‘corner’, and how we treat others. He also has the timing in His hands, and one day He’ll blow the ‘final whistle’ to call ‘full time’ on us. Whether we emerge as ‘champions’ or losers in this game is our choice.

“Do we become ‘winners’ in the world’s eyes, with all the adulation and glory it can bestow? Or do we become a loser of ourselves by giving up vain ambition, self-glorification and self-gratification for the ultimate ‘cup’, the prize of eternal life with God?”

“The danger in making the wrong choice is that we might end up feeling ‘sick as a parrot’ due to the dismay of being left ‘on the bench’ once Jesus returns for His own. As we have seen, there are amazingly close parallels with the game of football and the game of life. It’s definitely food for thought.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slight deviation from the usual offering here. Do not adjust your set/screen. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible… 🙂 ❤