If you know a little bit about football, you can learn a few lessons about having a winning season in your marriage. Here are 49 things I’ve learned:
1. Make a plan and practice, practice, practice.
2. Pray before you set foot on the field.
3. The clock is ticking and time is limited. Use it wisely.
4. The opposition is over there. You don’t tackle your own team mate.
5. Huddle. Put your arms around each other. Use mouthwash.
6. Everybody fumbles once in a while.
7. God is your head coach. He calls the plays. Trust him.
8. Don’t be offensive.
9. Don’t get defensive.
10. Always use your mouth guard. It is mandatory.
11. Unnecessary roughness will get you a penalty.
12. Keep your end in view.
13. Kiss the arm…the shoulder…the neck… the lips.
14. Let the Holy Spirit referee.
15. Use your right guard.
16. A little dancing when you reach your goal is appropriate.
17. Sack the quarterback.
18. A little pat of affirmation on the bottom is usually welcomed.
19. Don’t be down and out.
20. If you go out of bounds, everything stops and you have to start over.
21. Celebrate your teammate’s victories.
22. When your goal seems far away, just try to move forward ten yards.
23. Each team member must do their part for the team to win.
24. Football has very little to do with applying your foot to the ball. Don’t try to figure it out.
25. Hand the ball to your teammate then clear a path for them to score.
26. Teammates get tired.
27. Don’t run the wrong way. Don’t run aimlessly. Do your best to make forward progress.
28. Play fair.
29. Make sure the whole team is working the same plan.
30. Paint JOHN 3:16 on your chest.
31. Practice to get better and better at doing your part.
32. Make Sunday the most important day of the week.
33. No head-butting.
34. Make a pass at your spouse regularly.
35. When your spouse makes a pass at you, catch it. Don’t drop it.
36. Avoid pass interference. Lock your bedroom door and turn off the phone.
37. Always be ready to call an audible. Be flexible, plans change.
38. Don’t become a blimp. Stay healthy and help your Bud stay Lite.
39. Do your part to make this a Good Year.
40. You make enough money. Don’t complain.
41. When a teammate is injured, the rest of the team needs to work a little harder.
42. Timing is everything.
43. If you help your teammate win, you win.
44. When making a plan, use a lot of X’s and O’s.
45. Be a World Class Cheerleader.
46. Call a time out when you need to.
47. If another team makes a play look easy, understand it is the result of hours of practice.
48. You’re surrounded by fans who want to see you win!
49. You already have a ring. Enjoy the game!
Those are the lessons I’ve learned. Let’s see if we can come up with a few more. If you have any that you’d like to add, click the comment bubble and share them. I’ll post them.
This has certainly been the year of the selfie. It’s a picture of my favorite person…ME! You know, the photos we take of ourselves and post on Facebook as if the rest of the world is as obsessed with me as I am? The self-portraits have become so prevalent that “selfie” will soon be inducted into Webster’s Dictionary and into the English language. It has to be the word of the year.
And who ever heard of a camera that spins around and takes a picture of the photographer? No one, until Apple built it into its iPhone, and all the other phone manufacturers are scrambling to do the same.
We live in a culture obsessed with self. The market is flooded with self-improvement books, there is a big push for self-esteem and self-love through positive self-talk, then there’s Self Magazine which promotes self-absorption, and self-actualization through self-gratification. Then we go on a campaign of self-defense and self-justification through our self-published memoirs. Are you beginning to detect a pattern here?
People in general are selfish and self-centered. But our natural narcissism is an enemy of our marriage. In fact, it’s akin to original sin. We can’t lose any time redirecting our affections if we want to have a healthy marriage. James warns: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:16) These are not words we want associated with our marriage.
The apostle Paul has a better way: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Phil 2:3)
I know. The first thing we think is: “Hey, what about me? (I told you we are self-absorbed.) The man in my mirror doesn’t want to take second place to anyone. He likes to look out for Numero Uno! Paul follows it up with the next verse: Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phil 2:4)
When we put the most important “other”- our spouse – first, it’s the very best investment we can make to assure that our own life will be awesome. Paul said it another way in Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. If you want to do yourself a favor, love your spouse well.
This doesn’t mean that I never get my needs met. What it means is that I don’t get my needs met by taking or insisting. Instead my needs are met, as a response, from a well-loved and well-satisfied wife.
When we do marriage right we don’t have to pursue what we need, and extract it from our relationship. But rather, when we put our energy into serving and loving our spouse, we will reap the dividends as they respond. This way, both our needs are met, willingly and lovingly by each other. And we will both feel very well loved. I like this plan so much better.