My husband is an avid golfer. I tried to get into it, but frankly, the passion isn’t there. It takes technique, practice, skill, and a lot of patience. One of the techniques he talked to me about was addressing the ball. I still don’t understand it all but he factors in the wind, the club, the type of swing he needs, the distance, it’s a whole thing.
There was a season in our marriage where things were particularly stressful for him at work. He was putting in at least 60 hours of work, so the rare times he played golf, I encouraged it because I knew it was something to help him de-stress. Still, when he was home, he was tired and unable to focus on us. His mind was on work, and his attitude was critical. That’s when I know stress is really affecting him.
I prayed about it because I knew he had no idea. I also realized it wasn’t healthy for him to carry the stress with him, nor would his relationships flourish with him feeling like he was and focusing so much on the negatives. The picture I received in prayer was God-sent.
It was a golf ball.
When I found a small moment where he was home and able to talk and listen, I talked about addressing the ball. It’s a process. It takes time. If he wants a good game, he needs to put forth the effort in addressing the ball.
It’s the same for marriage.
I saw the light turn on as I shared. To ignore a spouse, or not put the quality time and best attitude with marriage and family, is the same as failing to address the ball. I confessed I want to give my relationships my all and work on the process, the techniques, much as there are in golf. It was a perfect analogy, and he admitted he was working hard on work, working hard on his game, and was letting go of the effort required in a marriage built on oneness. Instead of “addressing the ball,” he confessed he concentrated on what didn’t look right at home because it was easier to criticize those closest to him than take it out on co-workers. We decided to look at ways we could be intentional in taking the golf technique to our marriage. With using the commute to pray and switch gears from work to home, finding time to talk together, and sharing our stress so the other could pray, we’ve been able to enjoy a fruitful marriage---and my husband, a good golf game.
Heavenly Father, when I’m stressed, help me be intentional with my loved ones. Let my words be kind, let my attitude be prayerful, and may I lay my stress at Christ’s feet. For Your honor, glory, and praise, Amen.
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novella, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her latest release, YOU’RE AMAZING, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 2 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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Match Made in Heaven: A Novella by Julie Arduini
Beth Prescott wants to make a difference with the senior citizens she serves as a volunteer coordinator, but their matchmaking efforts leave her guarded. She’s experienced too much pain to make that leap again.
Dean Kellerman returns to the Finger Lakes area to help his grandfather and heal his own broken heart. He’s recommitted his life to Christ, and doesn’t want any distractions.
When his grandfather needs assistance with a senior program, it places Dean right in Beth’s path. Can these two surrender their paststo Christ and have faith in each other and their future?