My older daughter hurt her ankle playing soccer back in October. When I took her to the doctor, the doctor said “Wow, her foot is really bruised.” My daughter answered, “No, that’s Sharpie.”
You’re probably wondering why my daughter’s foot was covered in Sharpie. It’s because every game day, she writes on it. She chooses a Bible verse and writes it on her foot in Sharpie. It’s her game day verse.
In talking with other parents of kids who play sports, I’ve discovered that it can be hard to keep our kids focused on being a light to the world — even on the soccer field, the ice rink, or the basketball court. The language and behavior of other kids can make it hard for our kids to want to act the way they know they should because everyone else is acting differently.
My daughter finds that a game-day verse helps keep her heart where it should be. That doesn’t mean that she’s any less aggressive on the field. It doesn’t mean that she tries any less hard. It simply means that it helps her remember that even when she’s on the soccer field, she’s a still a child of God.
I love the game-day verse idea because it make God’s word tangible and useful. I love that my daughter came up with it herself. And I love that it’s an important part of her game-day ritual.
I know how hard it is as parents to help our sports-obsessed kids excel at their sports and keep their focus on Jesus. This idea ties the two things together in an easy way.
So, today, I want to share with you some of my daughter’s favorite game-day verses. Your child doesn’t have to write the verse on his foot. It may be that he simply places it somewhere that he sees it before the game. Whatever works for your child.
These are eight of my daughter’s favorite verses:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
To help you out, I’ve created printable game-day verse cards that you can download and print out yourself. There are five different designs to choose from: soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball and plain. Just click on one of the pictures below to get your printable file and start your own game-day tradition.