By Renae Adelsberger
Freelance Writer in Jackson
Fall has arrived, bringing with it football on all levels. We’re an NFL household, fans of the Minnesota Vikings. As I wrote these words a few weeks ago, I was wearing a purple Vikings scarf to work to celebrate the fact that we are driving to Nashville that evening to watch the Vikings play the Titans in a preseason game. I also packed a change of clothes for the game and had to decide which of my two Vikings jerseys to wear. On social media, I not only follow the team, but also the individual players. Put it all together and you get a pretty good idea of how much I enjoy the Vikings.
But that wasn’t always the case for me. I grew up in a sports neutral family. To be embrassingly honest, football was that activity on the field I endured until halftime. That’s when the marching band took the field. I went to almost every game to watch my brother march for four years until it was finally my turn.
In college, I started to date Kevin (my husband). As dating got “serious,” I realized that football had the potential of igniting a lifetime supply of arguments because I could care less about grown men chasing after an oblong ball.
As we entered premarital counseling, we read all the standard passages and books, many based on Ephesians 5. I spent time with married women who complained when football season began. And I spent time with married women who loved the sport as much as their husbands. I decided I needed to be the latter in order to look forward to the fall season rather than dread it.
So while we dated, I asked Kevin to explain different plays to me. He loved teaching me and I loved his enthusiasm and knowledge. I made a conscious decision to love the Vikings and the NFL.
Marriage involves daily concessions to each other’s preferences. But each decision should be one that brings you together, not drives you apart. My close friend refuses to watch her boyfriend’s favorite television show because she considers it “nerdy.” Her stubborn refusal has created an unnecessary division in their relationship. She is missing an opportunity to deepen their intimacy by diving into something he loves in order to love it with him.
In my modest four years of marriage, I’ve learned that this partnership called marriage wasn’t designed by God in order for me to have “my” things and Kevin to have “his.” We’re a team. And though we don’t do everything together, we make a point to find hobbies and interests in common so that we don’t spend unnecessary time apart.
— Adelberger is a freelance writer and member of First Baptist Church, Jackson. Visit her website at pedestriangod.com.