Sometimes people will take exception to my statement that a husband or wife ought to get rid of all the expectations that they have for their spouse. My response is, it isn’t the expectations that are the problem, the problem is what we do when our expectations are not met by our wife or husband. Most will get irritated, if not angry, they will nag, remind, instruct, and scold. The next question is, “does my nagging, yelling, pouting, scolding work, are my expectations now going to be met”? And the answer is, no, that method of trying to change our spouse doesn’t work, it only produces conflict. I do have needs and desires that only Patty can meet, there is a way she can act, treat me, talk to me and respond to me that will make me very happy. How do I train her to be a Champion wife, how does she train me to be a Champion husband. Training is a very important word. It is the word we used in raising our kids, we trained them how to act, and talk, and love the Lord. If I was a world class tennis player and Patty had never played before, and I wanted to play competitive tennis with her, what would I do, I would train her how to play. Here are some simple observations about that very important word;
1. I know that it will take some time, probably lots of time before Patty will be able to play well at all.
2. Knowing that it will take lots of time results in me being very patient when she hits the ball over the fence, or into the net, or missing it altogether.
3. I understand that for any of the skills to become permanent it will require lots of repetition and practice.
4. I also understand that clear instructions on what to do and when needs to be repeated over and over again.
5. Good coaches always give instruction graciously, being careful to build the worth and esteem of the one being trained because they know that intimidation and shame do not motivate, and always lowers performance.
6. Good coaches also know that the greatest tool to motivate, energize, and cause growth and change is praise and lots of it.
7. In my training, I am always making sure that my motive is the mutual joy we will experience in playing tennis together, and that Patty knows that, it isn’t about me, it is about us.
Men and women are very different so the coaching that I do is very different from the coaching that she does, meaning that we can coach each other on how to be Champion spouses at the same time. I have a friend that I taught how to “drift fish” for salmon, and he taught me how to fly fish. A good marriage results in rapid growth for both husband and wife, and as they grow they both become better coaches.