Football & Marriage


(This article appeared in the most recent edition of the Baptist & Reflector)

Fall has arrived, bringing with it football on all levels. We’re an NFL household, fans of the Minnesota Vikings. As I write these words, I want you to get a snapshot of my day. I wore a purple Vikings scarf to work to celebrate the fact that we are driving to Nashville this evening to watch the Vikings play the Titans. I also packed a change of clothes for the game and had to decide which of my two Vikings jerseys to wear. On social media, I not only follow the team, but also the individual players. Put it all together and you get a pretty good idea of how much I enjoy the Vikings.

But that wasn’t always the case for me. I grew up in a sports-neutral family. To be embrassingly honest, football was that activity on the field I endured until halftime. That’s when the marching band took the field. I went to almost every game to watch my brother march for four years until it was finally my turn.

In college, I started to date Kevin (my husband). As dating got “serious,” I realized that football had the potential of igniting a lifetime’s supply of arguments because I could care less about grown men chasing after an oblong ball.

As we entered premarital counseling, we read all the standard passages and books, many based on Ephesians 5. I spent time with married women who complained when football season began. And I spent time with married women who loved the sport as much as their husbands. I decided I needed to be the latter in order to look forward to the fall season rather than dread it.

So while we dated, I asked Kevin to explain different plays to me. He loved teaching me and I loved his enthusiasm and knowledge. I made a conscious decision to love the Vikings and NFL.

Marriage involves daily concessions to each other’s preferences. But each decision should be one that brings you together, not drives you apart. My close friend refuses to watch her boyfriend’s favorite tv show because she considers it “nerdy.” Her stubborn refusal has created an unnecessary division in their relationship. She is missing an opportunity to deepen their intimacy by diving into something he loves in order to love it with him.

In my modest four years of marriage, I’ve learned that this partnership called marriage wasn’t designed by God in order for me to have “my” things and Kevin to have “his.” We’re a team. And though we don’t do everything together, we make a point to find hobbies and interests in common so that we don’t spend unnecessary time apart.

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About the author

Renae Adelsberger
Renae Adelsberger

Renae lives in Jackson, Tennessee with her husband Kevin. She works in insurance and teaches middle school girls Sunday school. She has a desire to see young women grow in Christ, she writes and speaks to that end.

Copyright © 2013. Pedestrian God Ministires