Love and Basketball (Marriage Enrichment)
We are up-to-our-neck deep in basketball season! The Louisville Cardinals defeated the Michigan Wolverines to capture the 2013 NCAA Championship on yesterday, and we are about to embark on another journey through the NBA Playoffs.
I love this game. But not simply just for its entertainment value. There are so many things about the game that serve as great illustrations of biblical truth and principles regarding life, especially marriage. I had one dawn on me a few weeks ago when I was driving my wife to work.
As we were traveling up I-35 in the HOV lane, my wife called our daughter’s pediatrician to see about scheduling an appointment because she had been suffering with sinus drainage, sneezing, stuffiness, and a low-grade temp for little over a week and the over-the-counter meds we were administering to her were not really working. As I listened in on their interchange, there was something that I felt I needed to lovingly address. So after she hung up, I proceeded to talk with her about what I heard. Long story short, the remaining drive time to her job was filled with silence, frustrated gestures, short responses, relational tension and distance. Anybody else been there? 🙂 Exiting off the HOV lane back into the main highway traffic, I thought to myself, “What in the world just happened?” “Did I say something that I shouldn’t have said?” “I was only trying to be helpful.” What did I do or not do?”
After I dropped her off and we said our good-byes, I began to pray – which by the way is something you should do when you are dealing with marital conflict – asking God to help me understand what just went down between us. And He answered…through my wife. I called her later and asked her to help me understand what happened this morning on the way to work. She, in essence, said, “It was not the right time for us to talk about that issue.”
As I waded through the emotional marsh of this relatively minor conflict, God helped me to reach the dry land of clarity by bringing to mind an illustration from the world of basketball:
With the score tied and less than 24 seconds remaining in the game, coaches and players know that if their team has possession of the ball and if they are to have a good chance of winning the game, the player with the ball doesn’t just simply need to rush to score a point, but he/she needs to manage the clock to ensure that the shot that is taken is the last one of regulation.
Simply put, timing is crucial.
Timing matters, not only in basketball, but in marriage as well. So as a “marriage coach,” here’s an axiom that I want to share with you to help you when you are seeking to address issues with your spouse: Be mindful of the clock and not just on making a point.
If you don’t, you will score the point, but you may very well still lose the game.
“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!”
(Proverbs 15:23, NIV)