Law vs. Grace – An Amazing Analogy for Parents from Sunday’s Game

Following church on Sunday night, our family came home and watched some of the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks.


To say the least, it was a history making game in more than one way, ending in a 6-6 tie after overtime where both teams attempted potentially game winning field goals that could have easily snatched the victory.  However, both kickers missed their close-up field goal attempts (24 & 28 yards), ending the game in a dead tie.

What was most interesting about the game though was the reactions of the coaches in the post game press conference concerning their kickers’ failures that cost them the game.

Both coaches responded.

In completely different ways.

And that’s where the great lesson is to be learned.

The Cardinals head coach, Bruce Arians, when asked if he had any words for his kicker, said this:

“Make it.  This is professional, this ain’t high school, baby.  You get paid to make it.” 

The Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, on the other hand, responded this way:

“(He) made his kicks to give us a chance and unfortunately he didn’t make the last one.  He’s been making kicks for years around here… but he’s gonna hit a lot of winners as we go down the road here.  I love him and he’s our guy.”

Wow… what a difference in responses towards the same mistake made by a key member of their teams.

  • One was derogatory, the other was positive.
  • One was wrapped up in the heat of the moment, the other saw a bright future still ahead.
  • One used the opportunity as a put down, the other used it as a way to build up both his player and his team.
  • One focused on the single mistake that was made, the other focused on the bigger picture of what was at stake.
  • One was all about the “letter of the law” that should have been met, the other exemplified grace and kindness towards an honest error.

Dad & Mom, when your kids make honest mistakes (and they will), what will be your response?

How do you react when a member of your ‘team’ messes up?

Which “coach” will you be?

Is Your Home a Place of Grace? 

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