By Joy Ballard
Do you want to be on the same team with your husband? There is great power in being on the same team in your marriage, and here’s encouragement for you.
Being on the Same Team with Your Husband
Being on the same team does not need to mean we agree on everything. If you’ve lived on planet Earth the last 12 months, that might be hard to believe. Nevertheless, it is possible to have the same goal and go about it in different ways.
My husband and I are very different personalities and have vastly distinct perspectives on most things. Yet early in our relationship, we chose to see each other as teammates. From the beginning of our marriage, we intentionally fostered such a deep respect and admiration for each other that to this day, we sincerely do not want to make decisions or experience life without each other.
Unity is not a duty. It’s a desire.
Still, life brings plenty of opportunities to divide rather than unite. From the tiny daily misunderstandings to major life changes, there have been many times in our marriage when my husband seemed opposed to me and I to him.
The Power of Being on the Same Team
We have learned to verbally remind each other, “I’m on your team.” No matter what the situation around us looks like, we need to remember that we are on the same team and that our stance does not depend on whether we fully understand everything that is happening.
Because usually we don’t understand. Usually there is missing information, confusing reactions, misguided assumptions and a whole lot of communication that needs to happen between us. But our ultimate goal is to be each other’s biggest cheerleader and safest place.
Even before we start to understand the problem, we remind each other that we are for each other, not against each other. And this loving reminder never fails to break down the walls that start to form between us. By default, the things that come against us fail because we are stronger together.
Unity in Marriage by Being on the Same Team
I once heard a description of unity in marriage being like two soldiers standing back to back as they battle their enemy. It’s a vivid picture of having each other’s back and being able to depend on each other regardless of whether we have figured out all the details of our disagreements.
In the Bible, Paul writes in one of his letters to the Philippian church, “…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Philippians 2:2 NASB2020)
If our purpose is to honor God through our marriage, we can handle whatever comes against us by being committed to the love we have for each other above anything else. Jesus’ statement, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate,” (Matthew 19:6 NIV) is not just about staying married, but about the fact that the unity in marriage is a powerful force.
Being on the same team in marriage is powerful for a few reasons:
- It is how Jesus loves.
We only know how to love because Jesus first loved us, before we changed or had any conscious thought of how to love Him back. (1 John 4) The love of Jesus is unconditional. While that may sound frightening because it seems to suggest we should love someone regardless of whether they ever change negative behaviors, stop and remember what the love of Jesus caused: salvation, life change, transformation. Those are the fruits of unconditional love.
- It exponentially equips us for what God has called us to do.
There is a famous African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Marriage is much more than just about falling in love or having a family. It’s a way to join forces. Whether our life’s work involves separate careers or actually working together, there are pieces of each other’s abilities, experiences and perspectives that make a powerful and more effective force when put together. There is a unique strength in that union that will go much farther than we could ever go alone. (Eccl. 4:12)
- It keeps us grounded.
For marriage to thrive, we each have to give up some of our preferences for another’s on a daily basis. It is impossible to have it all our way all the time. That is a very good thing, for any self-aware person knows he or she is not always right. Jesus exemplified a life of sacrificial love, putting others ahead of himself. When we do the same, it does not devalue our personal worth, but actually increases the richness of our life experience. Being reminded it’s not all about ourselves keeps us grounded in the fact that Jesus himself is our worth. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
One of my favorite moments in marriage is when I look back on a difficult season and realize how my strengths paired with my husband’s strengths got us through that time. It is a testament to the fact that we are perfect for each other, we are on the same team, and God’s grace through us is amazing. This makes for some pretty spectacular victory celebrations!
Wife Step: Use the phrase “I’m on your team” this week and see what happens!
Joy was born and raised in Mexico, but fell in love with a Minnesota guy. More than a decade, many geographical locations, and four kids later, they are currently settled in the city of Minneapolis, MN. Together they love helping couples discover the incredible adventure marriage was intended to be. They have led many marriage small groups, ministries and retreats, but their favorite way to connect with other couples is by simply sharing life together. Although homeschooling, parenting and helping run their vacation rental take up most of her days, Joy is always finding ways to sneak in time for writing, reading, design and coffee with friends. You can find her posting on Instagram @joy.ballard or @theriverlodgemn. Photo credit: Woodford Sisters Photography