The Secret Elite Golfers Know That Will Greatly Improve Your Marriage

The Secret Elite Golfers Know That Will Greatly Improve Your Marriage
October 25, 2016 Matthew L. Jacobson

He wasn’t a Samurai Warrior but in a one-one-one battle, with all his flailing at the ball on the driving range with that golf club, he would have done alright! With each irregular swing, with each divot behind the ball deeper than the last, the embarrassment and frustration grew until one day 20 years ago . . .

I had to face reality: I was being totally ridiculous (not to mention downright sinful). I wasn’t headed for the PGA tour any time soon so why was I acting like I should be driving, pitching, and putting like a pro? It was completely illogical. I practiced by myself, didn’t put in the time and, consequently, I earned the results I got. There was no reason I should expect to be able to golf well.

There’s a Law of Achievement every elite golfer lives by and every husband and wife needs to reflect on . . .

You Play How You Practice – a truth that applies to every endeavor.

What life skill are you pursuing? Do you practice a little? Do you practice incorrectly, inconsistently, and with a lack of commitment? Then your future is determined. You’ll never be good at it. All too often, this reality plays out in Christian marriage. We play (live out our marriages) how we practice.

Do you want to grow in your marriage? Do you want to mature? Do you want to better understand your spouse? Do you want a richer, deeper, more solid, settled, peaceful, enjoyable marriage? The same Law that exposes every golfer on the golf course is true for all of us in marriage.

You play how you practice, which is why merely practicing is never enough. Being married without purpose, intention, and a correct understanding will never result in the excellent marriage God intends for you. How your marriage develops isn’t a result of “working at it” but of how you practice.

The elements of a great relationship are easy to spot in couples we meet, aren’t they?

Look at them, they’re always so happy and at ease with each other 

They really seem to enjoy each other’s company

That couple never has an impatient or harsh word for each other

They’ve been married for 7 years but it’s obvious, they’re still madly in love

In the face of our own relationship challenges, its easy to tell ourselves that those couples with great marriages lucked out, as if the marriage they enjoy is just happening to them and not to us. Do elite golfers achieve excellence because they bought a set of expensive clubs and some golf attire? No.

The results of every marriage stem from the behavior and decisions of the two people involved – how they practiced, you might say. The relationship a couple has isn’t “happening” to them. Their marriage is the result of what and how they’ve been practicing.

For some, this is the good news but how about you? How about the marriage you are building? Are you like me with a golf club 20 years ago, expecting to show up for the game and do well without practicing correctly and consistently, or are you purposeful and intentional in building strength, depth, and mutual love and respect in your marriage?

You can’t fake skill during a golf tournament because you showed up with a set of clubs and you can’t do well in marriage just because you’re married. When we show up for game day – Life – and all the challenges, trials, and traumas it contains we will either come through stronger, richer, deeper or the weakness of our marriage will be exposed.

The Law of Achievement will never be compromised, in golf or in marriage: You Play How You Practice. If you’re struggling in marriage, or if your marriage just isn’t what you hoped it would be . . . or even if you think it’s okay but could greatly improve, are you willing to recognize that something has to change . . . with you? That you have to change how you practice?

For golf, there is a rule book to go along with all that practice. The same is true for marriage. You can “do” marriage your own way and many do. For the Christian, there is only one authority for how this most important relationship is to be understood and how it is to function. It’s the ultimate Rule Book for life, The Word of God, The Bible.

Practicing well means knowing what God has said, embracing that Truth in our hearts, and purposing to live out every day.  Marriage God’s way, for repentant hearts willing to yield to His will and His way, always leads to a beautiful, secure, peaceful place in this troubled world.

Is that the marriage you want? Then be purposeful and intentional today, practicing well according to The Book, and you’ll play well, enjoying the best God intends for the most important human relationship you’ll ever have.

For those of you serious about practicing well and improving your game (marriage!), or your looking for new ways to intentionally say, “I love You!” I strongly encourage you to click this link and join over 157,000 husbands and wives who have taken  “THE  100  DAY LOVE CHALLENGE

The Challenge is comprised of two, simple but profound books (short and easy to read, guys!) that will transform your marriage by giving each of you powerful but practical instruction on how love each other well.

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20 Comments

  1. Steve 7 months ago

    Matt,
    GREAT word picture here. One word really sums it up well- Intentional. My wife and I get on Crazy Cycles more often than not and seeing this today really hit me with perspective. WE have issues to work on I really think James 1:22 would sum it up for the Christian, Be “DOERS” of the Word not just hearers (or readers) ….
    Thanks for sharing –

  2. Angie Summers 1 year ago

    Matthew,
    Thank you for your constant boldness and faithfulness in speaking God’s truths. I have struggled like the others as well but something was laid on my heart this week. If my spouse was doing his best to seek after God and love me right, would I be relying so desperately on my Saviour as I should? Would I be working as hard to be a godly wife? If I’m honest I would have to say I don’t believe I would. So while my strongest desire is that my husband would submit and turn to God, I can also embrace that God is using my situation to bring me closer to Him right now and my soul can be content and at peace in that. Even if I don’t feel “happy” or “good” as the world defines. My prayers today are of blessing to you and your amazing wife Lisa, (who I love!) and to all the spouses out there who, like me, are trying desperately to be godly in a lopsided relationship. Thank you again for your ministry.

  3. Evelyn 1 year ago

    For those reading, just because you think you have a great marriage doesn’t meant that your spouse agrees. Ask your spouse to honestly tell you what they think. It may be that your spouse is doing this which makes things great for you, but you aren’t reciprocating which makes it lousy for them. Make sure you’re doing your part!

    To be honest, this is kind of depressing…It is great advice but it has to be used/followed to do any good…And it takes two. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on and applied it all to the best of my ability, but that doesn’t make up for a husband who is not intentional about marriage (who thinks it should just happen) and who hasn’t opened his bible all year. I’m at the point where all I can do is pray and wait for the inevitable…I’ve thought about showing this to him but God has already shown me that I need to just stay out of the way so He can deal with him.

    Please don’t take this as blame for anything…This is great advice, just doesn’t help my situation. Not even sure why I’m saying all of this…

    • Author

      We hear your heart. So very true.

      How about you suggest the two of you take the 100 Day Love Challenge?

      • Evelyn 1 year ago

        He won’t do anything as far as working on our marriage because he doesn’t think there is anything wrong. The weekend to remember conference is coming here in a couple weeks and I suggested it but he doesn’t see the need. I’ve tried couples devotionals and bible studies, but it always ends up with me pushing and him less than cooperative.

        • Author

          Fair enough . . . but, the book I wrote for men is head-on, challenging them with their God-ordained responsibilities to cherish their wives. Would love to see a copy in his hands . . .

          • Evelyn 1 year ago

            So would I…we’ll see.

          • Author

            Just checked Amazon . . . here is the most recent (today’s!) review:

            This will help your relationship, no matter how long you have been together, married or not. Men, you really need to read this.

          • Evelyn 1 year ago

            I don’t doubt it! If only…

      • Evelyn 6 months ago

        My husband finally agreed to take the challenge (or rather I finally asked him and he surprisingly said yes). I will order the books tomorrow. Here’s hoping!

    • Michele 1 year ago

      I understand this completely. 13 years old me doing all the book buying, trying to connect and grow. I think because of his natural born temperament and childhood, he doesn’t even recognize his own need for true intimacy. It’s a very lonely position as a wife to be in. I too have stopped asking and am trying to wait on the Spirit to speak to his heart. I would love to be able to follow a Godly man. God never lets me lose hope entirely, but I often wonder what will happen when the kids move out of the house. Being with someone who disregards your feelings and needs while saying theirs are so important is much more lonely than actually being alone. Pray for me that i would fight resentment and still be respectful toward him and I’ll pray for you as well.

      • Evelyn 1 year ago

        I know exactly what you mean. I will pray for you.

      • Angie Summers 1 year ago

        Michele,
        I am praying for you and your husband right now as well.

    • Angie Summers 1 year ago

      Evelyn,
      I feel and know your struggle. I am praying for you and your husband right now

  4. CJ 1 year ago

    If you are in a marriage, then you are a team. If only one of you practices consistently (that being me for our entire marriage) and the other half of your team does not (your wife), then all that practice goes right out the window. I have done my best (I admit I am a flawed husband and not perfect by any stretch), but I can truly look at myself in the mirror and say I have loved, cherished, honored and given every last ounce of my heart, mind and soul to my wife.

    On the flip side, my wife has totally disconnected from me and has gone as far as having a 2-year emotional affair with a man in our former church (we left after the affair was exposed). She decided to give up on our marriage years ago and now, even with counseling individually and as a couple, is still hopeless and feels on a miracle from God will soften her heart toward me.

    So yes, you can practice as much as you want 24/7. But in a marriage, both spouses must have the same commitment in order for the team/marriage to succeed. Otherwise, you are practicing for nothing but heartache, pain, anguish and total devastation!

    • Author

      We hear your challenges and the anguish of your heart. When is such circumstances, all we can do is commit ourselves to Him who judges righteously and to walk in holiness, as God calls us to do.

  5. Natasha 1 year ago

    This is great! It rings like a bell! I look forward to seeing more like it on YouTube, where your words can come to life, I just know it would make an amazing difference, when everyone can see and hear your light! 🙂

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