This is a time of life unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. This time of uncertainty and transition is so different for me, but with it has come unexpected blessings.
While I miss being in the locker room and hanging out on the field with the guys, God has given me an unbelievable sense of peace in this season of my life. Lately I’ve been able to spend more time with my wife and two kids than I have since I entered the NFL five years ago. This year I’ve been able to be more present with them—picking them up from school and going to swim lessons and gymnastic practices. I’ve always had a great intensity whenever I take the football field. Now I’ve been able to redirect this intensity into my marriage, family, and community more than I ever have.
With my daughter, Giada, now at the age of 4 1/2, and my son, Luca, at the age of 2, I see that God’s timing is perfect. We’re entering the grind phase where Tiffany and I now have to implement more discipline in our parenting. Being able to be more present during this time has been really impactful for all of us; it’s also been a lot of fun. I’m not just the dad who comes home late at night to tuck the kids into bed, I’m able to invest in their lives and spend quality time with them.
Parenting in this age can be very difficult. What our society tells us today is so contradictory to what God tells us about raising our kids. Whether it’s what we see on TV, in other families, in the education system, or elsewhere, we are challenged in teaching our kids about how God calls them to live their lives. And I know that it will only become harder as my kids grow older. It’s important to me that my kids have parents who are consistent in their behavior and beliefs. We have the opportunity to raise our kids as lights in a dark world; we can give them the platform to do this. My goal for my kids is that they don’t have to constantly argue with others about their faith, but that their lives would be a living testimony of the Gospel—this speaks volumes.
Tiffany and I have found that as we raise our kids, teaching them about the Bible, we are challenged to know more about God’s truths for ourselves. Two weeks ago my daughter asked us a question that we didn’t know how to answer. We ended up calling a few of our pastors and searching Scripture to know how to relate the truth to our 4-year-old daughter. Giada had been hearing news about the devastation caused by tornadoes recently and she asked us, “Mommy and Daddy, if tornadoes hurt people, why does God make them?” Having to explain to a 4-year-old why God lets bad things happen was really hard. So we sought how to share the truth about God’s love and sovereignty in a way that she would understand. We told her that as humans, we sometimes cannot see God’s big picture. With some of the “bad things” He allows to happen, He always gives us an opportunity to bring His good out of it. These times force us to trust in Him and know that we can never overcome something as powerful as a tornado by ourselves.
Faith in the eyes of a child is at it’s simplest form. Tiffany and I were so proud that Giada was thinking this deeply about God’s power and love. We’re excited about having more of these conversations with our kids as they continue to grow and seek out Biblical truths to life’s questions. This also challenges us, as their parents, to know and understand God’s truth better for ourselves.
“Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your name.” —Psalm 86:11
Tyler Clutts is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Tyler’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/tylerclutts/
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