Sunday, February 26, 2023

A healthy marriage focuses on teamwork

Earlier this month Charity and I taught on marriage. It was super fun because we've been married for eighteen years now! We have three children and have lived in a couple different cities together. We've traveled from California to Arizona, from Las Vegas to Africa, from Washington to Italy (and more). And in all that we still love each other! 

For our talk we looked at the words of Salomon in Ecclesiastes: 
9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
When I think about married, the first thing that a healthy marriage focuses on is teamwork. The author starts out with a basic truth in life: two are better than one. If I asked you if you would rather have one dollar or two, you would take two. If I asked you if you would rather have one scoop of ice cream or two, you would most likely take two. The author is referring to people. The only thing that we don’t want two of is rattlesnakes on a hike. When two people are working together they have a better return. Two people can bring in more income, they can dream together, they can work better in their gifting and have a better return for the company they are working for. We all know that two are better than one, but we need to be reminded or this truth for a healthy marriage. 

For those who are married, you know that for your marriage to be healthy you have to work together. When a couple walks down the aisle they are madly in love. They stare into each others eyes. They see their future flash in front of them. This is the person they want to have babies with, buy a home with, travel with, and grow old with. 

When each person walks down the aisle they have an invisible team jersey on. That team jersey has their own name on the back. For twenty minutes they will stand in front of their family, friends, a pastor and God, and commit their lives to each other. When they walk away that day they have changed their team allegiance to work with the other for the rest of their lives. 

Most of us know what it’s like to work with others on a team. We played soccer when we were five years old. We worked with a group on a high school math project. Or in our office we’ve worked on a team project to develop a new initiative. Sometimes there is a person on the team that doesn’t pull their weight and does less than the rest of the team. This leaves the others on the team doing more work and carrying the other person’s slack. Most often this ends in bitterness. 

On a team, everyone needs to play their role plus some. When everyone on the team gives 100%, that is what makes the team function. 

When I think of teamwork, I’m drawn to what God spoke in creation (read Genesis 2:18). It is not good for man to be alone. Guys, can I get an: “Amen!” on that one! If you’re married but haven’t been focused on teamwork with your spouse, will you make a change today? 

I want to present the: Be something different principle to you. I find that when I’m home I can easily drift to being on my phone and neglect my kids. Charity saw this too but she didn’t shame me for it. Instead, Charity has modeled to our family that she is present. She doesn’t bring her phone to the dinner table and she isn’t constantly glued to a screen. Instead, she is engaged and focused on our family. She has modeled to me that there is a different way. What I want you to do is think about how you can be different in your marriage. Not how your spouse can be different but how you can be different. What you can do in your marriage that will focus on teamwork and involvement. 

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