Teams carry out amazing feats. Consider the many sports related movies that inspire us to work harder, run longer, and dream of throwing that great touchdown pass. My favorite is the iconic Rudy. This movie exists because of the efforts of an entire team rooting for the sturdy, hardworking little guy.
But of course, we know those miracles on ice and thrills of victory don’t just happen. They need hours upon hours of committed practice. When asked, most athletes share how someone encouraged them to continue their efforts even when fatigue hit. As a result, they formed amazing muscle memory that kicked in when the time clock counted down the final seconds of a game, and the crowd booed their efforts.
That’s just amazing. I can’t help loving it.
What if we decided this same effort and attention should be applied to our marriages. No one greater, no one lesser, we choose to combine as a team toward a mutual goal.
The first step toward creating a successful team involves recognizing the goal. When we unite in marriage we profess that we want the relationship to last a lifetime. I’ve discovered many couples who never meant those words. Do you mean it? If so, knowing the goal means picturing its outcome.
Football players picture touchdowns and blocks and passes. Hockey players visualize the slap shot. The gymnast mentally captures the image of sticking that landing. Yes, gymnastics is a team sport, watch the Olympics and you’ll know what I mean. Athletes imagine themselves holding the trophy or medal. What’s your marriage trophy? (FYI, a cute spouse doesn’t count.)
My grandparents stuck together in marriage for over 50 years. I still recall their anniversary celebration with kids and grandkids gathered. That’s my trophy.
My grandparents practiced teamwork in their parental duties, their church involvement, business and more. When my grandmother developed rheumatoid arthritis, my grandfather became the family cook. They supported one another and rooted for one another day after day. After a while, those days became years.
This Bible verse makes me think of them, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)
When marriages involve teamwork, showboats aren’t allowed. Consider great teams such as the 1988-89 San Francisco 49ers. Joe Montana had wonderful skills, which combined with an intense 49ers offensive line and the speedy, sticky fingers of Jerry Rice to create double Superbowl success.
When necessary, in the same way my grandpa changed roles with my grandma, we rotate our marital responsibilities, because that’s what real teamwork involves. It’s not what they do in the major leagues or the NFL, but a team of two does. And for a successful marriage, that’s the perfect number.
In what ways can you include teamwork in your marriage?