“And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Cor. 9:25, nasb).
In addition to serving as captain of her Cedarville College basketball team, Summer Sipes scored more than one thousand points in her storied career, earned a spot on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Star team, and was honored as a first-team selection at the 1996 National Tournament for Christian Colleges.
Today a mother of two, Summer earned her Master of Arts degree in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary in 2001, and served as junior high director at Frisco Bible Church in Frisco, Texas, for several years. Summer sees many similarities between athletic training and the believer’s daily walk with the Lord.
“Long hours are required for both, with a focus on the goal, which continues to motivate you even when the going gets tough,” Summer says, adding that the Christian life also is not a solo sport but a team effort.
“On one hand you have a team of players, coaches, and trainers. On the other hand, you have parents, spouses, church staff, and friends,” she says. “And all lend themselves to equipping and spurring you on to do your best. Both take lots of hard work and discipline.”
And Summer says that her athletic training has conditioned her for being a mom in many ways.
“The first is an ability to play with my boys and to teach them fair play, to teach them to play with their whole heart, and to teach them that Christ comes before all of it,” she says. “The discipline and ability to stick to a game plan even if the going gets tough is a benefit that has followed me into motherhood, as I desire to train our boys to be righteous men of God. It is so hard sometimes not to give in because the task of parenting seems overwhelming. But I believe God continued preparing me for this time and place by allowing athletics and the disciplines associated with it to be a part of my life.”
This profile was originally published in the Spring 2006 issue of Dallas Seminary's Kindred Spirit magazine.
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