Run God’s Race Pt. 5 – Parenting

September 6, 2023
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“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Hebrews 12:1-2 

How soon after a child is born do parents engage in Kid Olympics? Kid Olympics is one way of describing the competing and comparing of kids’ achievements. Competition comes fast and hard. It can cover everything. And competition can never stop.   

In the beginning, parents compare when kids rollover, pullup, sleep through the night, walk and talk. As early as preschool, parents track the age that their children can read and write. The competition accelerates to sports and activities at the earliest age possible. Then comparisons build around schools, maybe even private school acceptance. Sports intensifies. Then grades. Then what little Johnny wants to be when he grows up. Then how popular kids are and what leadership roles they have. Then SAT/ACT scores and colleges. Then careers and career achievements. Then Grandkids.  


“My grandchild started walking at two weeks!” (I know that kids do not start walking at two weeks but if there was a video showing how to get yours to do so…you would watch it!) 

Competing in Kid Olympics is absolutely powerful and absolutely insane. 

But how does one break free? How else does a parent feel great about their parenting and feel confident about their kid, including their kid’s future? 

Live and parent according to God’s race that we have been working through in Hebrews 12:1-2.  

When parents are convinced that God our Father has created little Johnny or Suzie to run His race, when parents are at rest in God’s faithfulness in their child’s life, Kid Olympics can be de-fanged. Parents can feel amazing peace and power as a parent knowing that you are raising your son or daughter to engage in the eternal race for which they were created.  

  • While you can still be threatened to compare, you have the current of the Holy Spirit’s love and truth to weaponize against the attacks. 
  • While you can still be tempted to compete, you can draw on the magnitude of our Father’s race for your child and be brought to rest. 
  • While you can doubt that how you are parenting is right, you can fix your eyes on Jesus and be filled with confidence because He modeled the validity of God’s race.    

Is this easier said than done? We all want our kids to be and do great things. The parental desire can be strong like the tides. While this way of parenting sounds good on paper, is it actually possible to do at the speed of life?  




Parenting in the overflow of God’s race, freed from Kid Olympics, can happen freely and abundantly as we engage in our own race! And the only way you can succeed in running your race is to reject the very temptation to compare and compete in your life. This is why the Hebrew’s author says that to successfully run God’s race, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1). How easily entangled do you get in your own life by the sins of comparison and competing?  

Look at what King Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes one thousand years before Hebrews 12, “I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4).  


Comparison and competing. Trying to run like we have one eye on the goal and another eye looking to the side. Ha! Not. Going. To. Work.  

When you rest in your own race and experience the depth of LIFE that freely flows there, then you will be freed from the Kid Olympics to parent your child in peace. Your kids will see the joy and peace you have because you are living what you were created to live. And you will actually be able to celebrate other kids’ victories! Celebrating other’s victories is an amazing feeling.  

Undoubtedly, as a parent, in particular as your child approaches new seasons, you will be tempted to reengage the Olympics. The threats are real and pervasive. If you are married, then at times you or your spouse may do better at disarming the temptations. You are a parenting team. Lovingly remind one another of our Father’s love and faithfulness to you as parents and to your son or daughter. 

Remember, your child’s life is not accidental, incidental, or coincidental. God our Father co-created your child so that he or she would know Him, love Him, and run His race! Your role is to model the joy and wonder of LIFE that freely flows in God’s plans.   

Parenting in the Overflow has many, many, many rich benefits. Being broken out of the chains of Kid Olympics is just one! Joy-filled, hope-filled parenting is readily available as we relax back in…to the Overflow.  

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