Posted by Marie McKinney-Oates on Aug 1, 2012
I love our women gymnastics team. Somehow we managed to bottle up everything that’s wonderful about America into 5 teenage girls, and then they went and won the gold. They’re awesome.[Sidenote: If women ran the world I don't think there'd be wars. We'd settle national differences with gymnastic meets.]
Since I didn’t have to stress about who won while I watched the girls do their thing (confession: I can’t watch, um, anything without Wikipedia-ing the ending so I’m loving the delay caused by the games being overseas) I was able to think up some ways that these adorable ladies can school us on marriage.
It’s about the TEAM
The main goal for these gymnasts was to win a gold for Team USA. Yes, there was all that drama about Jordyn Wieber not making it to the all-around and whether or not she’d be up to snuff for the team competition. Obviously she carried her weight towards the real goal.
I love this. In marriage you’re going to get your feelings hurt. You’re going to have your expectations obliterated. You’re not going to get your way. But none of that is an excuse for not making the team a priority.
Don’t give up
When I watch Olympic gymnastics I’m always confronted with the reason I could never be a competitive athlete. The minute one of those girls almost falls on the balance beam or stumbles during a floor exercise I immediately think, “Well, she’s not going to win now… she might as well pack it up and go home”.
Be for serious. You have to be ok with stumbles especially as you strive towards perfection. So you guys got into a tiff yesterday because he complained about watching women’s gymnastics or because you were offended when he compared you to your mother… get over it! Your marriage is a balance beam, and some days all you’re doing is trying to stay on. Just don’t give up.
Investment is required
Another way I know that I could never be a competitive athlete of any kind? I have practically no discipline. I’m lucky to think about waking up early to work out, much less to actually do it. These girls invested a bajillion hours into the sport. Gabby Douglas moved away from her family so that she could train. I couldn’t even stand the idea of sleep-away camp when I was her age. These girls have invested time & energy into their dreams.
I’m going to say that an investment into your spouse is required if you want a gold medal in marriage. Not necessarily a financial investment* (but those exist too), but a daily “I’m showing up to this marriage” investment. You have to invest time for talking about where you’re at and what you need from the marriage. You have to invest energy into date nights and serving each other regularly. Without an honest and daily investment from both sides your marriage will just be a shell of a relationship.
*Want to invest in your marriage? Buy my DIY Marriage Plan (great for engaged/newlywed/living together couples) or register for my Plus One: How to fight in front of the kids Workshop for couples who have or are expecting little ones.