Although I’m not much of a football fan, with football season upon us, I’m reflecting on what I learned during last season’s Super Bowl Game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
Wanting to offer my husband some sporting camaraderie, I joined him in watching Super Bowl 51, even calling in our daughters to view the last 30 minutes saying, “It’s usually the best part of the game.”
Surprised by my own enthusiasm, little did I know how much this statement would ring true or how I would be encouraged.
Below are five lessons learned from watching Patriot quarterback Tom Brady during the Super Bowl that taught me about pressing forward in marriage.
1. Be Determined
With a tied score of 28-28 as the game time ended and went into overtime, there was a determined look on Brady’s face. A look that communicated, “we will win.” His look reminded me of Isaiah 50:7 that states, “I have set my face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.”
Some commentators have suggested Brady won the game for his Mom who has been battling cancer. Their perspective caused me to wonder if somehow he believed his winning the game was connected to his Mom winning over her challenges, too.
From his example, I observed how determination to be successful, along with a desire to inspire others to succeed, can make all the difference in how I approach challenges in marriage.
2. Recognize My Biggest Fans
As a popular quarterback, Brady has countless fans. Yet he told the media before the Super Bowl that he looks for his mom in the stands and likes to make eye contact with her during the game.
His mom told reporters her main strategy throughout the game was, “Just praying. All I did was pray the whole game. Just pray.”
It’s a good reminder to remember that Jesus who died, was raised to life, and is at the right hand of God is interceding for me (Romans 8:34).
Furthermore, as fans and viewers from all over the world tuned into the Super Bowl 2017 game to cheer the teams on, Hebrews 12:1 encourages me there is also a great crowd of witnesses cheering me on.
3. Follow Direction
Brady didn’t win the game alone. Along with the support of his teammates, the team’s coaches were directing each play’s strategy. His leadership in following their direction as quarterback was crucial and if he had wavered in following their guidance, the game may have had a different outcome.
Like coaches directed Brady in which plays to run, so God gives me direction for marriage. Psalm 119:135 assures me that God will direct my path with His commands.
4. Push Past Weariness
When the game went into overtime, Brady looked exhausted after playing a full game but couldn’t stop because of it. Despite his weakened physical condition, the game continued. He had to make a personal decision to push past weariness to keep playing.
His fortitude reminded me how life’s challenges can seem so overwhelming at times in marriage that going on doesn’t even seem possible. Yet the only other alternative is to give up.
During these times, I’m encouraged by Philippians 4:13 to put my trust in Jesus who strengthens me in my weakest condition.
5. Be Goal Oriented
Most of all it seemed like Brady kept his eye on his goal to win. Instead of letting the difficulties, pressure, and weariness of the game trip him up, he pushed forward.
Philippians 3:14 directs me to forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead, to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Instead of looking back at past difficulties, I can choose to move ahead towards the goal of a successful marriage.
A New Season Ahead
Super Bowl 2017’s winning quarterback didn’t know it, but how he played to win, taught me a few lessons in pressing forward in marriage. So with a new football season here, I’ll likely join my husband again to watch another game, open to more lessons to be learned.
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