Her coach seems like a great guy, but he, admittedly, knows little about soccer. He asked for help, so I volunteered to assist him.
During one of the drills last night, Lexi stepped up for her turn. Before I passed her the ball, she called out with great excitement, “Mommy, I’m not going to do anything wrong!”
I passed her the ball, and she successfully completed the two-part skill. As her ball rolled into the goal, she smiled widely at me and hollered, “Mommy, I didn’t do anything wrong!”
As I praised her, my parent radar went off.
Why is she so worried about doing something wrong? Where is this perfectionist tendency coming from? Have I caused this? Am I too hard on her? Am I always correcting her? Do I not encourage her enough? Or is this just the result of her being a first-born?
Lexi’s goal was not to enjoy soccer or have fun at practice (although, she did). She was solely focused on not doing anything wrong. Perhaps I will uncover why that is when I am able to see her response when she does do something wrong.
Is she scared of punishment? Is she trying to impress me or others? Does she believe she is only valuable if she performs well? Will she be frustrated with herself if she messes up? Will she take goof ups in stride with a smile on her face?
It’s hard to know what’s behind her thoughts, but, as her mom, I want to do everything within my power to assure her that my love for her does not depend upon her performance. She can be the worst soccer player in the history of the sport, and I will still love her with relentless affection.
While it’s important I tell her that is the case, it’s more important I show her. Talk is cheap, as they say.
I need to be purposefully embracing her, complimenting her and lifting her up when she fails at things. I need to give her proof I really do mean it when I tell her I love her no matter what and her value doesn’t depend upon her performance.
God tells us the same things. He loves us unconditionally. He loves us because we are us, not for what we can do or achieve.
But talk is cheap.
And He knows that. So He proved it.
Before we could accomplish anything, He sacrificed His life for us. He laid down His life for us to prove His love for us (John 15:13).
Romans says it well, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:7-8).
But aside from our salvation, I think God is still proving His love for us. Or at least He wants to if we give Him the opportunity.
When we fail I believe God wants us to come to Him so, like a good parent, He can embrace us, compliment us and lift us up. He wants to continue to give us proof He really does mean it when He tells us He loves us no matter what and our value doesn’t depend upon our performances.
But do we allow Him that opportunity?
When the air around us is thick with the stench of fresh failure, how often do we go to the Lord for that comfort we crave?
Personally, I prefer a bowl of ice cream. Or a television show. Or sleep. Anything to distract me and make me feel instantly better.
But my soul doesn’t need these things. When I fail I need my Father’s reassurance more than anything else.
Lord, teach us to come to You when we need to experience Your immovable love afresh.