Life with Jesus / Love and Marriage / Relationships

Unsolicited Advice for My Sister #6: Team Wise

My husband is kind of nerdy. Of course, I love this because it makes him unpretentious, interesting, and a perfect compliment to his wife, who is also a big nerd. We talk about our poor adoptive children who will think that talking in funny voices and breaking out into club dancing (at least a close approximation of club dancing, since neither of us have actually ever been to a club) after dinner is normal in American families. One day, we’ll have to have The Talk- that fateful day when it comes time for a kid to learn that rapping about your day or writing a song about Neti-pots isn’t normal. I know that post-adoption time won’t be all rainbow farts and marshmallow unicorns but I pray that our house still has lots of laughter.

Anyway, one of the nerdy things that Alex will do is shout out “Team Wise!” randomly. It might be at the grocery store or in a parking lot.  While I used to roll my eyes, it has now become sort of a rallying cry for us.

Just this weekend, we went to look at houses with our hilarious realtor. We had it narrowed down to two and we both liked different ones. Correction: I liked one better than the other (but I liked them both) and Alex hated the one that I liked the most.  Do you need a diagram?

I was digging my heels in and we were on the verge of disagreeing strongly when Alex said, “Team Wise.” It wasn’t annoying or bossy. It was a gentle reminder that this isn’t only my decision or only his decision. This is a team decision and we need to make it together. After the reminder, we went to look at the first house (the one that he liked better) and I saw it through his eyes and listened to his reasoning. We came to a team decision, a unified decision- not one where he won and I lost, but one where we were able to hash things out and wholeheartedly agree. 

Our pastor talked yesterday about the difference between compromise and unity. Compromise means that you both “agree to disagree” and give up something but at the heart of it, you’re still in disagreement. Unity means your hearts are aligned. Unity requires humility and submission (for BOTH people). Sometimes compromise is the best you can do, and that’s fine. But in marriage, especially in big big decisions (like moving or adoption), you should strive for unity. 

Today’s advice is:

Make unity your battle cry.

Marriage is about being yoked together. You are an ox. Tyler is an ox. Soon, you will be two oxen plowing through life together. The importance of being yoked is that you have to move in the same direction. It won’t do for one of you to give up and stand still while the other one moves forward (and tries to pull the other along). It doesn’t work if you both decide to move in different directions. There are going to be bumps in the road and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re at an impasse. When you can’t agree on the direction, then just stop moving for a moment. With prayer and humility, you’ll get there. You’re going to be a team, an unbreakable team.

Marriage requires a great deal of humility and selflessness. When you get married, you agree to place the needs of someone else in front of your own. If this sounds difficult, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice it, daily, and when you fail (which we all do), you’ll know it because of the tension it causes.

While we sometimes use the “Team Wise” thing as a reminder to try and be unified in the midst of disagreement, I have begun to use it as a reminder to myself of this great union God has blessed me with. Just yesterday, we attended a “Parents of Older Adopted Children” support group at a church in Irving and it was so fabulous. When we got in the car, I was overwhelmed with joy that God has invited us to participate in this redemptive work and that my awesome husband, who I’m not just dragging along for the ride,  is just as excited and eager as I am. All I could squeak out through my tears was “Team Wise”. We are unified in this pursuance of God’s plan and it rocks my face off. 

Let’s hear it for Team S!

(The {Unsolicited} Advice for My Sister series (or UAFMS) is meant for my younger sister who will be getting married in the summer of 2012. As her older sister, it is my duty to give her advice that she did not ask for. At least in blog form, she can choose to ignore it. If you want to read other blogs in this series, click here.)

3 thoughts on “Unsolicited Advice for My Sister #6: Team Wise

  1. How did you get to be so Wise? Great words for Leah and Tyler. Let’s celebrate with Team Sutphen next week.

  2. What a fabulous post and wonderful advice. I admire you so much Beth, your outlook on life is infectious!

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