I enjoy watching NFL football. We just finished with the AFC/NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. Fun stuff to watch! I had to laugh though at an article written the week after the NFC Championship game. One of the San Francisco 49ers running backs, Frank Gore was fined by the league. He didn’t harass a ref. He didn’t hurt one of the other team’s players. He wasn’t taunting anyone. Actually, he was fined for wearing his socks too low!
Now you should note that he was a standout player in that game. He ran for two touchdowns and was very instrumental in his team’s comeback victory over the Falcons. But the league has a very strict uniform policy and he violated it by wearing his socks too low on his legs.
I was interested to see what his reaction was to the $10,500 fine. Rather than pitch a fit, he said, “Yeah, I’ll be cool. It’s all good. I was wrong. Next time I will do better.”
Wow. What a great role model for our kids. Here is a professional athlete who is doing a great job and yet gets fined for a very minor infraction. But instead of whining, he acknowledges the rule, takes the discipline and promises to do better next time.
Our society has such a difficult time acknowledging the importance and value of rules. We ignore them, believe they apply to everyone else, devalue them and resent their restrictions. And we are passing that perspective onto our children.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard kids respond to a rule by shouting, “It’s not fair!” Or maybe they are old enough to deduce that the guideline is arbitrary and say so. “Why do we have to walk on the right hand side of the hallway?” Or they so individualize the situation by asking, “How come I have to ….?”
We would all do well to consider Frank Gore’s response. A rule is a rule. For our good, God institutionalized a set of behavioral dictums. They are the Ten Commandments (not the ten suggestions). We are to follow them. They are not up for debate. They are not culturally determined. They don’t apply to some and not others.
This week might be a good time to inventory our own response to rules. How are we doing? And if we happen to break one, how is our response to the consequence. Let’s make sure we are being good examples for our children’s sake. Rules matter!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel