Several years ago Sally and I ran a volleyball league at a large church. We had eight teams in the league and did our best to make sure there was a good distribution of players of varying skill levels on each team. But when it came down to game night it was all about the team banding together to win the set.
One of the saddest things is to watch a marriage break apart. For Christian couples we know why they get divorced, but no matter whether they are Christian or not there is a sure sign that things are not going well. The sign is this: they stop playing for the same team.
In a family the most critical relationship (after the individual relationships with God) is the marriage relationship. It’s not the relationship with the children, although that is VERY important, it is the husband-wife dynamic. The two of us need to make sure we are always playing for the same team.
What Does This Mean?
Playing for the same team means we always have each others back. We never side with others against our spouse, we don’t correct them in front of other people (especially the children) and we put our spouses needs above our own. It’s pretty clear when two people are no longer playing for the same team. Complaining, back biting, always doing what I want, regularly choosing time with others over time together are all symptoms of this issue.
The Final Result
Playing for different teams, which really means playing on your team of one has dire consequences. It will leave your spouse feeling lonely and rejected. A sense of inadequacy and or depression are common. People in this situation will sometimes seek love outside the marriage. It’s starts out small, a critical word in front of friends, a constant nagging about something someone did wrong, slow emotional detachment. This path frequently leads to the end of a marriage.
“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
-Galatians 5:15 (NIV)
The Good News!
The good news is that you can get back on the same team! It takes time and effort, but is very worth it. Interestingly getting back on the same team isn’t necessarily about grand gestures or huge immediate relationship renewal. In the same way the small bad things over time damaged the relationship, small good things over time can heal the relationship. Small bad things over time damage relationships, small good things over time heal relationships. Click To Tweet
Play for the Home Team
“Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace.”
-Psalm 85:10 (HCSB)
You only have one spouse. She (or he) married you with the understanding that you would build a life together. Your spouse married you with the understanding that you would build a life together. TOGETHER! Click To TweetPlaying for your own team breaks the covenant you made the day you were married. Here is my challenge to you. Look at your conversations, actions and most importantly attitudes over the last few weeks. Have they been 100% supportive of your spouse? If you had any differences of opinion did you share your thoughts in a loving way or a condescending way? If what you discover shows evidence of playing solo and not for the home team then it’s time to make a change. Get back in the game! Love your wife or husband! Have their back and never give them a reason to doubt your care for and belief in them.
You can do it!
Love you all!