The regular season for college football is officially over and I am happy to say that The Ohio State University has made it into the national spotlight again with the chance of winning the National Title… thanks to an amazing victory over the Wisconsin Badgers with an impressive 59-0 victory in the Big Ten Championship Game. Their best defense… an amazing and impressive offensive, all behind their third string quarterback! Can you tell that I am excited and slightly gloating… Now we just have to play Alabama… This could be scary.
Last month we talked about how it is easy to often coast, drift, and simply “exist” in our closest relationships, but that this strategy is deadly. We said that there is no better investment of your time or money or energy right now than investing into a “strong offense” in your marriage.
This post is about one of those X’s and O’s for how we can specifically build a strong marriage that will endure the obstacles, challenges, frustrations, and temptations that arise in every relationship. Here it is in one word: WORSHIP.
Author and pastor, Paul Tripp, puts it this way:
“This is the bottom line: the war for our marriages is a war of worship. The fundamental problem of every marriage is misplaced worship. The cure of every marriage is renewed worship of God. Does it sound too simple? Well, it is and it isn’t. Although this principle is true of every marriage, the war and the cure look different for every couple. This may not sound very romantic, but my intention is not to disrespect romance… But a good marriage doesn’t grow out of the soil of romance. No, the soil in which a good marriage grows is the soil of worship, and the fruit that a good marriage produces is sweet, long-term, mutually satisfying romance.”
This is a profound reality and truth, but what does it mean? I think it means this: While marriage is a wonderful blessing, gift, and relationship, my spouse will never satisfy my deepest longings and needs. Neither will my career, a billion dollars, an unlimited data plan for my sleek new iPhone, an unlimited Chipotle gift card, an Ohio State national title, or anything in all of Creation. You and I were made for more. While the creation is amazing, we were made for the Creator! The “fundamental problem” in my marriage, in my parenting, in my life is misplaced worship. Something or someone has taken the place of God in my life.
So… an aggressive “offensive” move in my life is to identify what I am giving my ultimate hope and allegiance to and to surrender that to God (sometimes you and I will have to do this 1,000 times a day) and to set my hope and trust in Him alone. The starting place for this kind of offense is to simply admit that your game plan is working out! It’s being humble and hungry enough to admit you’re losing yardage and setting a new course.
The prophet Isaiah tells us this: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength (Isaiah 40:29). An amazing offense in our marriages, in our deepest relationships, in our vocations is to not go to them to find life, but to find life in Jesus and to go to those with the resources, energy, love, and passion only available to the humble and hungry who come to God empty handed!