We are going to launch a blog series this week called Mistakes that Hold You Back. Most of us that are married long to have a great marriage. Often times it isn’t the big, catastrophic things that hurt our marriage, it is the small mistakes we make without even noticing that keep us from having the marriage God has in mind. This week we are going to talk about four mistakes that most of us make in our marriage that if we recognize we can stop allowing them to hold us back from the amazing marriage we long for.
Our youngest son, Isaiah played Upward Basketball this past season. Upward is a Christ-centered athletic program that does a great job teaching the fundamentals of basketball while at the same time teaching the kids about God and sportsmanship.
To reinforce the value of sportsmanship, the league doesn’t keep score. So all during the game, no matter what time you look up at the scoreboard, the score is 0-0.
I decided to coach Isaiah’s team this year and this was our first year in the Upward program in Nashville. What I realized after our first game was that our team was good, like really good! We crushed the first team that we played…I mean, I assume we did, but I didn’t know the score.
At halftime of the second game, I was walking off the court to go talk to our kids at halftime and the opposing coach came up to me. He said, “Maybe you could take it easy on us in the second half. You guys are up 34-10.” I looked down and he had a notebook and had been keeping the score the whole time. After the game, we met the kids and parents in a room off of the gym to hand out snacks and recap the game. Every single kid knew the score, because their parents told them.
So while they weren’t keeping score…EVERYONE was keeping score.
The same thing happens in our marriages doesn’t it? You say you don’t keep score, but the truth is you know exactly how much you’re winning by. You know the score. You rehearse the score over and over in your mind. You know the last time they messed up. You remember the last time you won an argument. You know the chores they didn’t do. You know the last hateful thing they said. You know the week and month of the last time they promised to come home for dinner but were late. You say you aren’t keeping score, but in your heart, you know the score.
The problem with score keeping in marriage is that while it appears that one person wins and the other loses, the reality is that both people lose. The person that is keeping score is usually bitter and resentful and the person that constantly has the score thrown up in their face usually walks on eggshells and tries to avoid arguments.
Both spouses feel defeated and exhausted.
One of the biggest mistakes we made in our marriage was scorekeeping. The deceptive thing about scorekeeping is that it probably won’t cause divorce…but it will prevent you from having the marriage God has in mind and you long for.
What if there was no scoreboard? What if you truly started living as if 1 Corinthians 13:5 were true: Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Scorekeeping has no winner.