Lessons from the Game of Golf

There’s a problem with my golf game:  I love to play, but I’m not any good.  In fact, I stink.  Over the years, I’ve employed various strategies to improve.  For example, I’ve tried…


*Gaining more experience.  Playing more often didn’t help. While I learned to cope with my weaknesses, my game didn’t improve a single bit.


*Watching others.  It didn’t make a difference.  Certainly, I could pick up on some things they did right, but translating that into my own swing was near impossible.


*Trying really hard and hoping for the best.  I reasoned that if I wanted to hit farther, I should swing harder.   If you know anything about golf, you know how that turned out.


Failure on all these fronts made me realize that I needed to try something different.  I finally discovered the one thing that could make a significant impact on my game. 


I took a lesson. 


Having someone to coach me on my specific needs and issues made all the difference in the world.  I was able to identify those things that I was doing wrong and begin to take deliberate steps to move toward a better golf game.



I want to suggest that what is true in my golf game can also hold true in our homes.  We often try the same types of things in our hopes of having a great home life:


*Gaining more experience and being married longer won’t automatically enhance your ability to have great relationships.  Sometimes the opposite is true: bad habits and un-addressed issues build up over time, leading to bitterness, frustration, and emotional disconnect.


*Watching others who seem to know what they’re doing isn’t necessarily a fix either.  Because most of us watch from a distance without really connecting, we only see the surface of what is going on.  We can’t really know how and what works for others unless we walk closely with them.


*Trying really hard won’t get us anywhere if we are operating purely in the flesh.  We just end up more frustrated and overwhelmed.


Just like in my golf game, what we all need is some ongoing coaching for families.  It might take many forms: teaching, mentoring, or reading a good book.  But we all need to keep on growing because we all have issues in our families that need attention.


In the coming days, the HomeLife ministry of Johnson Ferry will be offering a variety of opportunities to coach and equip you in your family life.  Please take advantage of them!  Use them as opportunities to enrich your life and to draw you closer to Christ.  

Let me say a quick word about something that I feel will be critical in the coming days…


One thing that the church needs today is a STIGMA removal operation.  We must strive to remove the stigma associated with people who are committed to improving their marriage and family life.  You know what I mean.  It’s that inner voice that whispers to you: “It might be worthwhile to attend that marriage class or to go to that event, but what if someone sees us there and thinks that we have problems?”  You know the voice.  The first step to removing the stigma is for us all to confess that our marriages and our families are not perfect.  We all need help!


It amazes me that we aggressively seek out training in just about every aspect of life EXCEPT for our family relationships.  In school, on the job, in our sports, we are readily seeking out those who would teach us to do better.  We want to settle for nothing but the best.  But we shy away from the same when it comes to our most treasured relationships.  It’s crazy!  The stigma is alive and well and it must be removed.


Let me challenge you to settle for nothing but God’s very best for your family.  And let me suggest that it won’t happen automatically.  You must be purposeful.  You must trust that when Jesus promised you “abundant life,” He was including your home life.  Let us all pray that God would help us to discover exactly what He desires for each of us in the coming days.