I don’t know a great deal about the game of football. I can’t name great coaches of the past or even very many of the coaches of today. I don’t know exactly what the positions are called on the field or who plays what position. You’ll understand what I mean when I tell you that while talking with Adam on the phone a couple of years ago I told him that Vermont was playing that day. He delighted in telling me that “VT” stood for Virginia Tech – not Vermont.
I do, however, know enough about the game to know what is supposed to happen on the field. The object of the game is to get the football into the opposing team’s end zone. Jim and I enjoy watching some football on Saturday afternoons and he enjoys explaining some of the rules of the game.
A few days ago, at half-time of the game we were watching, the sports commentators were showing some footage from other games that day. In one of those clips they showed a coach who was obviously angry and who had gotten out on the edge of the field. A man behind him pulled him back behind the sideline. The coach again, in his anger, went out onto the edge of the field, and once again the man behind him pulled him back. The coach’s response was to turn around and slap the hand of the man who was pulling him off the field.
At this point, my newest lesson about football began. Jim mentioned that he had heard that officials were trying to do a better job this season in keeping coaches off of the field. Therefore, the role of the get-back coach has increased importance. It is his responsibility to keep the coach off of the field! What a job! I wonder what the pay for that position is! I’ve seen some of those coaches!
While thinking about my new knowledge about the game, I began to think about something else. How many of us wish we had a personal get-back coach? Someone who would help us when we begin to enter a territory we shouldn’t be entering! We do, and they come in many forms.
In a good marriage relationship, husbands are the get-back coach for the wife and the wife is the get-back coach for the husband. You see, when you love someone you are constantly looking out for their welfare. If I see Jim getting into a situation that I think might put him in danger of any kind, I will pull him back as many times as it takes to keep him in safe territory. Ephesians 5:15 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise…” Paul goes on the say in verse 17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” And then in verse 21, “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” He says all of this before we ever get to the part about wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church. Husbands and wives need to be the get-back coach for one another.
Parents need to function as the get-back coach for their children. God calls for us to teach our children diligently concerning His word, which should be their guide for life. Why, then, are so many parents more interested in allowing their children to be taught the things of this world? Why are they allowed to get as close to the edge of sin (and sometimes even enter into sin) and not be pulled back by the people who brought them into this world? “Fathers, do not provoke your children, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). When they are small, we pull them back from the edge of a road, or any other danger we see them near, but often as they begin to grow up, we think our job is to let them test the waters themselves. Parent, take seriously your job of get-back coach.
And finally, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be the get-back coaches for one another. The apostle Paul said it so beautifully in Galatians 6:1-2, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” God understood the need for a get-back coach before we even knew what football was all about!
Be grateful for God and His word. Be grateful for a husband/wife who helps you on your way to Heaven. Be grateful for parents who pull you back from those things which lead you away from Christ. Be grateful for brothers and sisters who love you too much to see you slip away from God. Be grateful for personal get-back coaches.
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20
AUTHOR: Donna Faughn