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How rooting for the Titans prepares you for marriage – think that’s click-bait?

Think again, sports fans! More than proving my postulation, this post will reveal what it takes to thrive in a life-giving, life-long marriage. Which, in my opinion, is better than a Superbowl win. (Even though I would have really liked that for the Titans.)

And if you’re not so sure about that, you must concede that at the very least, the pleasure of a great marriage lasts far longer than one season.

So without further pre-game commentary, here’s how rooting for an underdog team like the Titans can not only prepare you to survive marriage, but to actually thrive in marriage.

#1: Rooting for the Titans, prepares you to commit for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Know what I did this past Monday after the Titan’s heart-breaker loss to the Chiefs?

I wore my jersey, just like I would have had we become the AFC champions.

Because that’s what you do when you’re a true fan of the team. You wear their jersey rain or lose, win or shine. (Did I just mix metaphors?)

And let’s face it, the Titans have had their fair share of losing. More than their fair share, in fact.

That said, whether you want to believe it or not, you’re going to endure some losses in marriage too. Loses far more painful than the Titans recent loss to the Chiefs.

And you’re going to get called on some fouls. Sometimes unfairly. (Like say, getting called on defensive pass interference when you’re the one who got knocked down by the offensive player you were guarding.)

And you’re going to get wounded from time to time. (Hopefully not physically. That’s not OK! That doesn’t call for a penalty, but for an ejection from the relationship!)

But emotionally you’re going to take some hits. And at the same time, you’re going to have to support your spouse when they get hit by life’s challenges like a job loss, death in the family, or doctor’s diagnosis.

That’s why rooting for the Titans is the perfect marriage prep. It’s preparing you to stay committed come what may!

#2: Rooting for the Titans, prepares you to believe the best.

What happened to our run game in this AFC championship? Where do we place blame?

  • The offensive coordinator called the wrong plays
  • Henry wasn’t 100%
  • Our offensive line failed to block as effectively for Henry
  • The Chiefs simply figured out how to stop what the #1 seed and the Superbowl champions couldn’t
  • Your mom

Titan fans can disagree, but we still believe the best of our team. We believe everyone was 100% in to win that last game.

It wouldn’t make sense to think otherwise. Why would our boys work so hard to get that far, and then just quit?

And yet, it’s sadly common practice for spouses to think the worst of each other.

Of course, when you’re lost in love during the “preseason,” dating your “marital draft pick,” all you can see is the best in them, but after marriage it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing they’re not trying, or they’re not holding up their end of the deal, or they’re not even thinking about you at all.

And that kind of negative-think kills relationships (dating or marriage) every time. Just like it kills a game. And I’ve seen it happen sometimes with my team!

But if you’ve watched the Titans as long as I have (since 2001) and can still think the best of them, you’re preparing to do the same thing in marriage.

#3: Rooting for the Titans, prepares you to focus on the wins.

I understand that most people who saw me this past Monday probably felt sorry for me. (Oh, look at the handicap man who didn’t get the memo about the game.)

But I wasn’t wearing my jersey for pity. I was celebrating the end of a truly great season; the best season I’ve ever seen them play (since I only became a fan after the Music City Miracle year).

Over all those years, have the Titans lost more than they have won?

Si, senor.

But a Titan’s fan focuses on the wins.

Personally, I tend to remember the wins more than the losses. In fact, I’m more apt to remember amazing plays from games we lost than I am to remember the final score. (Like either of this past Sunday’s trick plays which resulted in touchdowns. Or what about that flawlessly executed fake punt by Kern and our special teams unit?!?)

And this is the very same attitude you have to bring to marriage, if you want survive, much less thrive.

Because your spouse is going to let you down. Big time. Sometimes because they won’t be trying hard enough. But sometimes because they’re “playing injured” and simply doing the best they can.

However, if you can focus on the wins; even the small wins within the greater losses, you can be ready for a championship marriage.

#4: Rooting for the Titans, prepares you to keep hoping in the future.

Why do I keep on watching this team? And by “keep on watching” I mean even to the bloody end of a game where the opposing team is making us look like a bunch of drunken monkeys.

Because I believe the game isn’t over until it’s over.

The season isn’t over until it’s over.

And even when the season is finally over, there’s a new season ahead, with a whole nuther set of games.

And this is the sort of attitude that will get you through the tough disappointments of marriage.

You have to hold out hope that the next season will be better. And even when it’s clear the next season is destined to be a rebuilding season, than you put your big boy/girl pants on and you train/play/fight/win/lose through that season. Together. Because you know there will be another season after that.

But. You. Don’t. Give. Up.

#5: Rooting for the Titans, prepares you to believe the ultimate win will be worth all the pain it took to get there.

I had an interesting experience at a marriage conference where four different couples, each married 30+ years, shared their stories. And three out of the four couples divulged that they found their marriage quite a painful struggle until twenty or more years in.

At the time I hadn’t yet been married 15 years, so that spoke to me. Three of the four couples said their marriages were in dire straights at that point.

And yet, in spite of 20+ years of losing seasons, they felt like the most recent twelve, or nine, or five years of winning, made it all worth it.

I think you can see the parallel. The Titans have been losing (ultimately) since 1999 when they first became the Tennessee Titans, only making it to the Superbowl once in those 21 years.

But if I didn’t believe they would make it to the big dance eventually, and that when they WON it would make all the pain of previous seasons all worth it, I don’t know if I could keep on watching. What would be the point?

Indeed, everyone who rooted for the Titans in the first two playoff games against the Patriots and the Ravens enjoyed a great game. But only those like me who watched the entire season (beginning with Mariota’s tepid performance, and then hoping the switch to Tannehill was the right move, but not really knowing for sure); we enjoyed a much greater pleasure than the fair-weather fans.

Going further back, I remember when we beat the Ravens in the playoffs in 2003, only to face the Patriots and lose. So for me to see us face and soundly defeat the exact two challengers this playoff season gave me such a rich delight. A delight the Chiefs couldn’t take away.

Can you imagine having that kind of joy on your 50th wedding anniversary?

Seriously, can’t you imagine a greater joy?

Because the reality is marriage isn’t a spectator sport. It’s you and your spouse practicing, playing, and winning (or losing) together. One season at a time. One day at a time. One play at a time.

So if you want to cultivate the kind of resilience necessary to thrive in a life-giving, life-long marriage, root for the Titans.

For more help, check out our Hot Topic page dedicated to empowering you to prepare for relational success when it counts: before you fall in love. PREFERABLY before you date.

And if you’d like to train to become a buff barbarian of love so you can prepare for a championship-winning marriage, watch this LoveEd episode from our Key Life Disciplines series.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!