Be a Good Sport…

Welcome  Be a good sport…or gamer…or couch potato…or whatever it is that seems to attract your husband’s attention for such long periods of time.  For the sake of your marriage…join him in one of his favorite activities.  And if you really want to score “awesome wife” points, make him one of his favorite meals.  Thank you for joining me today.  Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog.  For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  A couple years ago I was invited to a wedding shower for a colleague.  Prior to the event we were all given a Jenga block to write a piece of marriage advice.  The game would be put back in the box and presented to the bride, then when her future husband and she played the game for the first time they could enjoy reading all of the little wisdoms we had to share.  It was an interesting idea, for sure, but I really had to contemplate what advice to write on my piece.  Every marriage is different, I didn’t know the couple that well, and honestly there’s more to share than can fit on a tiny Jenga block.  I finally decided on this piece of advice: Find something you enjoy doing together, find something you enjoy doing individually, and make time to do both.  It seems like solid advice.

Personally, we seem to be doing a decent job following this advice in our own marriage.  We both enjoy hiking, especially in the mountains and we try to take at least one big “waterfall trip” every year and sneak in some smaller trips as much as we can.  We also have things to enjoy separately.  At one time, mine was running.  While I didn’t expect my husband to fall in love with the sport, he supported me greatly by watching our daughter and cheering for me at early Saturday morning races.  Likewise, my husband loves gaming and gets to enjoy a night with some of his buddies every other week to dive into this activity he loves so much, but which I seem to have no understanding.  I encourage him to have this time with friends, doing something he finds relaxing.  These things are good for marriage, but some recent reading had me thinking about that original piece of advice on a deeper level.

When my husband and I just started dating, I made the poor assumption that every guy likes sports and wants to spend time watching the games.  I am a sports nut, but I quickly learned that he finds watching a sporting event on TV really boring.  Over the years, he’s been persuaded to at least watch some tennis, hockey, baseball and football, even if just for a little while.  He will cheer for the teams I like, ask questions about plays or players, and he’s beginning to sound like he knows what’s going on!  I truly appreciate his efforts!  Knowing that he is willing to spend time doing something I like just so we can spend time together communicates his love for me in a big way.  After all, “quality time” is my number one love language.  On the flip side, my husband loves movies.  He’ll watch almost any movie, just for the sake of saying he’s seen it and knows what it’s about.  My mindset has always been that 90 minutes to 3 hours is too much time to waste on something that I probably won’t like.  Yet there are times I watch movies with my husband just so we can spend time together, even if it’s not really a movie I’m that interested in.  But if I hadn’t stepped into his world of movies, I would never have known how much I love certain movies…I’m looking at you Marvel!  

The lesson, however, is not about the activities we enjoy together or separately.  It’s about how we communicate intimacy with one another.  Sometimes it’s about stepping out of our comfort zone in order to understand our spouse on a deeper level.  It’s about saying, “why do you like this so much, what do you like specifically about the activity, what do you get out of it, how can I make the experience even better for you?”  And if your husband is anything like mine, he is not going to answer these questions directly!  I have to be an active participant to find out the answers to these questions, and others.  So this means spending time doing some of the activities he enjoys, regardless if I understand the pleasure found in such activity.  My pleasure comes from spending time with him, listening to his explanations of what that weapon does in the game or how he can get to the next level.  His happiness comes from sharing his knowledge in something I know nothing about and having me actually listen, instead of scoffing at this “incredible waste of time.”  Time is a valuable commodity and when we are willing to sacrifice this precious resource for our spouse, it says loud and clear, “You are the most important person in my life and I want to spend my time on you.  If something is important to you, then it’s important to me, too.”  As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words!

Today’s Scriptures  Our husbands should be second in our lives, only following our love and obedience to God.  Yes, I am working on this myself!  A great way to elevate your husband’s status is to build an intimate friendship with him.  Here are a couple of verses to inspire this type of friendship.

Romans 12:10  “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”  This means putting his needs above my own!

Matthew 6:21  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  If you think of time as your treasure, are you spending your treasure on your husband?  If you do, it will tell him that your heart is with him.

Suggested Reading (links verified on 11/2/17 at 1:50 p.m. CDT): 

Today’s Recipe  One of my husband’s favorite, and easiest, ways for me to show him I love him is to cook some of his favorite foods.  Among other things, my husband loves meatballs!  All kinds and types of meatballs, served on pasta, rice, potatoes, hoagie buns, etc.  So I have a lot of meatball recipes at my disposal.  And he doesn’t even care if the meatballs are homemade or not, which was a blessing when I worked outside the home full time.  Today I’m going to share one of my fastest meatball dinners, and just in time for November, with its festive flavors of turkey and cranberry!  It makes a great alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs.Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Orange Sauce and Rice (serves 6-8, makes great left-overs)

The meatballs will prepare in the slow cooker.  Rice will be prepared 10 minutes before ready to serve.

  • 2 12-oz bags of frozen turkey meatballs
  • 1 can whole-cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 3 cups instant brown rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • orange zest and sliced green onion for garnish

In slow cooker, place meatballs.  In medium bowl combine cranberry juice, marmalade, and mustard.  Pour over meatballs.  Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or cook on HIGH for 1 hour and then reduce to low for 2 more hours.  When ready to serve, place rice and chicken broth in medium pot and bring to boil.  When boiling turn off heat and place lid on pan.  Let stand 7-8 more minutes.  Stir in dried cranberries.  Place 1/2 cup rice on plate and ladle meatballs and sauce on top of rice.  Garnish with orange zest and green onion.  Pairs well with green beans or steamed broccoli.