Our pastor in Florida spent some time teaching marriage principles and this was one that spoke to my heart. He started his teaching with the question "Are you willing to drop your ball?" Now if you play sports you know that dropping the ball isn't usually the goal of the game. Well, I guess if you are a bowler that would be one of the goals, but for baseball or football players they want to keep their ball. In football, a dropped ball is considered a fumble. In baseball, a dropped ball can be the catalyst for many unearned runs for the other team. Aren't you impressed of how much sports knowledge I have gained over the years being the mom of 4 boys???
This particular marriage principle is different from the usual sports analogy. Are you willing to drop your ball intentionally and LET the other person have his/her way? Is there something REALLY worth fighting over enough that you can't give in for your spouse? I started realizing that most of the arguments that Michael and I had were not that big of a deal. If it was something REALLY important then I could wait until the heat of the moment was over and talk to him when we both were more rational. (Not that I would or could ever be irrational or anything)!!! We both have defused many arguments by just dropping our ball. It is an intentional and on purpose kind of thing.
Too often in the past, I have had this look on my face when I wasn't getting my way...
Sometimes Michael will drop his ball for me, and other times I will drop my ball (wants, ideas, plans, desires, dreams) for him. It is a give and take situation. When we first moved to Tennessee, I found a house that I really wanted. It was a foreclosed home and it had many issues. (One was the fact that the kitchen was pretty much gone, but that is such a minor dilemma when you are married to a cabinet maker)! The house was also crooked, but it was so FULL of character and I really loved it. It was like the doll house that I had always wanted...well minus all the yucky color paint and other minor details that needed to be repaired. Michael wasn't as sold on this 100 year old farmhouse as I was. I saw all the potential in the house and he saw all the work. We talked and prayed about it. The final decision was his to make because when we can't agree on something we go with his decision because he is the head of the house. Now that doesn't mean he always gets his way. He has to go back before the Lord and find the heart of the Lord on the particular matter. We did buy the house, and I was thrilled with it. I loved that house so much and I loved living there with my family. He was willing to drop his ball for something that meant a lot to me. Just for the record, I had to drop my ball when we bought the farm we are living in now. I wasn't interested at all in it, but it was important to him.
I find that the big issues in life are easier to lay down for my husband than the small ones. Some times I get irritated if he wants something from me or if he has made plans without my knowledge. I could let him have it on that one! I then have a decision to make...will I drop my ball for him... if the answer is yes, then I choose to do it with a good attitude even if I am less than thrilled about his request. If it is something that we need to address further, then I can talk with him when I am not upset. The same holds true for him. We were in a heated argument one day, and I realized that I was holding my ball very tightly. I wasn't about to fumble this particular ball...no siree...I was right...he was wrong.... I was going to stand my ground. (By the way, I really was right). Then I heard the Lord speak to my heart and He asked me if I was going to drop my ball for the man that He put in my life. UGHH...I looked straight at Michael and I told him that I was dropping my ball. He could win the argument because it didn't really matter. He looked stunned...kind of like a calf in a hail storm. I won his heart instantly because I was willing to lay my life down for him.
Are you willing to drop your ball for the person that you are married to? Are you willing to lay down YOUR ways, YOUR will, YOUR desires, YOUR dreams, YOUR wants for your spouse? Ask the Lord to help you in the areas that you need help in letting go of your will. He may just surprise you!!!
grace and peace,