I had forgotten about it until the other day when I purchased a tennis skirt in anticipation of nice spring-like weather perfect for playing tennis. In the bag are rackets, tennis balls and hours of potential fun that I had forgotten about.
Though still somewhat new to tennis, I know that the game takes constant effort, focus, sweat and participation from both sides to play. You have to stay engaged at all times or you will lose the game.
I propose that the same is true with marriage.
Marriage is a full contact sport in every sense. You must stay engaged at all times, volleying back and forth your ideas, hopes and dreams and so on over and over again. The key is to use the tools you have.
Just as the rackets and balls in the bag are no good to me in the dusty bag in my garage, failure to use the tools at your disposal can tank a good marriage. Tools like healthy communication, respecting your mate, showing consideration by asking them often, “What can I do for you?” or “What do you need?”…these and many other things will help you both stay in the game and be in it to win it.
Putting Christ in the center is key to success. When he is first, it becomes so much more than just about you and your mate. The selfishness that creeps up on us all will begin to fade as Christ becomes the focus of our lives, and everything becomes not just about each other but part of a bigger picture.
“…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Consistent and purposeful effort must be made so that one does not walk away from marriage. The game cannot be played alone!
The good news is, it can be done! And God is here to help us become more than we ever imagined…if we will let him! Even if things have not worked out the way you hoped, God can turn things around and help you wherever you are at. He is for you and your family!
So, if you are in a marriage that is stale, I hope you will dust off your tools and get back in the game. Start using one tool and keep adding! Perhaps start with the thing that constantly frustrates your spouse about you. Work on it first.
Whatever effort is made will reap rich rewards if you are both willing to work at your relationship. And have fun with it too! Humor has been a great help in my marriage. I can tend to get more serious than I need to be and my husband helps me lighten up. Learning not to take yourself so seriously, it’s so important!
What do you think? If you are married, what has made a difference for you? Thoughts please!