I grew up playing team sports, mostly soccer, and still do to this day. The most successful teams I have been a part of had a core group of players that were very close. We were all on the same page, which allowed us to work well together. We were selfless – meaning no one individual was bigger than the team. No one was afraid to set up a teammate that was in a better position to score. It’s the little things that push the team to achieve the big goals. The best teams don’t always have the best players, but the best teams have players who are willing to give the glory to their teammates for the success of the team.
In relationships you are forming a team. How can this two-person team perform to its highest potential? First, you cannot put yourself before the team. You have got to be willing to make that extra pass for the easy goal instead of trying to make the ESPN Top 10. That is part of being selfless. If you go into every day with a selfless mindset your team will see the most success. Having a selfless mindset and saying “How can I be a better (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend) today?” is one of the most important parts of the relationship.
When you put yourself above the team things begin to go south. If only one of the two is being selfless in a relationship then the one will become resentful of the relationship and will eventually begin not to care. The same thing happens in sports. If one player thinks he is bigger than the team it can tear the team a part. No one wants to put in the extra effort for a teammate that doesn’t care about them.
Every piece needs to be clicking for success. But things will break down at some point – whether that is from a bad performance in sports or a moment of weakness in a relationship.
Relationships are not perfect and there is no perfect formula. Things will break down every now and then, but when they do THE TEAM needs to work together to fix it. That is the only way the relationship can get better. Mistakes are a given! They are going to happen! So, even if you are the one that didn’t mess up and you are upset….remember you are going to mess up at some point too. Forgiveness.
How do you respond when your teammate messes up? Do you complain and whine? That only compounds the problem. They need encouragement and at the very least constructive criticism. When you feel the team or relationship becoming divided put your pride aside and you be the first one to step up and say something. I know it can be tough in the heat of the moment…but times of difficulty are HUGE opportunities for growth as a TEAM. The best way to learn is through mistakes, but to learn from them you have to work together. Take advantage of those opportunities as a team and grow closer.
In your relationship think about how you can better serve the other half. If you are both striving to be like Christ then you are on the same page and you will find common ground. When you have that figured out the fruits of the relationship will begin to blossom. That is why God gave you teammates…use your teammate or lose your teammate. Wake up every day with an attitude of, “How can I make my teammate better?”
“In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” -Philippians 2:5