You can’t expect to have a winning team or a winning marriage without a great playbook.
When the Eagles meet the Patriots on Sunday to decide the NFL’s top team, you can bet there will be some serious intensity on the gridiron. You don’t get to the league’s final game of the season without some heroics on the field and in the hearts of the players who’ll find a place in the annals of sports history.
Do you know what decides any football game? It comes down to who can run the most successful plays. The average professional football team runs between 60 and 75 plays per game. That means they’re playing just about the same amount of defense against their opponent.
If you’re running your marriage without the right amount of offense, or defense, there’s a high likelihood you won’t win the game. Check out these top three offensive and defensive plays from Marriage Dynamics Institute and make sure you’ve got a good game plan.
How’s Your Offense?
Envision Your Ideal Marriage
Do you remember all the things you felt before you walked down the aisle and pledged your life to your beloved in front of a church full of people? If you want what you had, you have to do what you did. Think about all the goals that you had starting out. Usually, they’re wrapped up in the vows you traded with each other. Get back to those.
Set Aside Time to Work on Your Marriage
How regularly do you think championship teams practice? Do you think the Super Bowl is for folks that are like, “Let’s just show up for the game and see what happens? I’m not going to waste time on extra prep.” Hardly. You can bet leading up to the big game the contenders will hit it hardest. Likewise, your marriage is one of the most significant events of your life, and you can bet your opponent has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve.
Don’t Settle for Average
In the NFL, there’s a winner and a loser in every game. That means that someone goes away disappointed every time someone else is enjoying a victory. Average doesn’t cut it in marriage. Are you settling for a one-to-one ratio when it comes to your success and failures? For a truly winning marriage, you must work hard to keep your relationship strong. You want the wins by far to outweigh the losses. Don’t settle for anything less.
What About Your Defense?
Be Open about Challenges
Things aren’t ever going to improve if you don’t identify the elements in your marriage that need work. What holes are there in the line? Who’s not covering like they’re supposed to? If you’re too afraid to plug the holes in your marriage because you’re scared to hurt someone’s feelings or you just naturally avoid conflict, you’re going to get creamed by a charging defender who wants to pound your relationship with your spouse into the pavement.
Be Proactive about Purity
This is perhaps the biggest threat to a winning marriage. If you’re not aware of this threat and taking steps to combat it, it’ll catch you off guard and take you down. Get the software on your computer to protect your family. Be strict about what you watch on television. Keep your romantic relationship airtight.
Build a Solid Support and Accountability Network
We’re only as good as the team around us, right? Your marriage team should extend beyond your relationship with your spouse and include trustworthy people with high standards who can help keep you on track. You need people who can call you on the carpet when things are out of place, or lift you up when you hit a slump. Who are you talking to regularly that you can count on to be there during the good times as well as the hard times?
So, what’ll it be? Will you sit on the sidelines and watch great marriages from the stands, wishing you could get in the game? Or, will you suit up, do the work necessary, and enjoy the thrill of victory in your own winning marriage?
The choice is yours. Either way, you’ve got a championship ring on your finger—you got it when you said: “I do.”
Now it’s time to play like it.