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Family Discipleship

How Jack Harbaugh Discipled His Two Super Bowl Sons

Very interesting article for anyone who wants to disciple their children to pursue football Jesus. The writer, who I think is a Christian, makes these observations.

What I came looking for was a how-to and what I left with was the feeling that we have overcomplicated things in our pursuit of perfect parenting. How two brothers end up coaching each other in the pinnacle of their profession is actually quite simple. Jack did something that he loved passionately, and he included his children daily in pursuit of that passion.

“I’d like to say that I think that they took from Jack by watching how he conducted himself, they learned to be who they are in coaching.” …

It is not their dream. What Jack knew for sure, after years of teaching young men, is the more you try to steer a kid, the more he rebels. So he just included them in the journey — all of them.

“I didn’t know I was in a coaching environment,” their sister, Joani Crean, said. “I just felt that was how we lived, that’s what my dad did for a living. Luckily, I think as parents they involved their kids in their professional life.”

Joani remembers Jackie loading them into the car and taking them to practice. It was how they saw him after school.

The writer comments,

It is much like what Emerson wrote in his 1842 essay, The Over-Soul, “that which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily.”

 We do not hear what our parents say. We hear what they do.

We want to pretend our choices do not matter, how we live our lives does not influence what our kids become, but it does. Our kids do not mimic what we say. They mimic what we do.

If you want them to be passionate about their work, be passionate about yours. If you want them to love what they do, love what you do.

If you want them to be truthful, tell the truth. If you want them to be moral, have morals. We cannot instill that which we do not have in ourselves.

And in their dad, John, Jim and Joani Harbaugh found a man who loved coaching.

As I have written in my book, The Disciple-Making Parent our children will pick up on what we are passionate about. And that had better be football the gospel.

The whole article is here.

One Comment

  • Debbie says:

    Excellent admonition . . . love and serve God so joyfully and passionately that your children “catch it.” Thank you for this encouragement and necessary reminder that our children will learn from our actions more than our words!

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