“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also the interests of others.”Philippians 2:4
I grew up in a very competitive environment and a very competitive family. None of us liked to lose. Somebody always has to.
Living in Indiana where basketball was a religion losing a basketball game was catastrophic. Having a losing season was unacceptable. We never bought into that “winning isn’t everything” philosophy. And we scoffed at that “it isn’t whether you win or lose its how you play the game” nonsense. It was all about winning. I was fortunate enough to be part of teams that didn’t lose many, so I didn’t have to experience the agony of defeat very often.
And then I got married.
Marriage is an interesting relationship. Sometimes you can win and still lose. My competitive nature that had always served me well suddenly became a curse.
I discovered quickly that I needed to redefine a win. Actually it wasn’t that hard, I play the game and she tells me whether I won or lost.
Our Scripture verse tells us that our goal is to create win-win situations. Marriage should be a relationship in which each partner plays for the other so that both win. If I win and she loses, our relationship has lost. There should be no “I win you lose” scenarios.
In the larger context of this Scripture portion, it refers to the attitude of Jesus Christ, Who willingly lost everything so we could get a win over sin. His loss was our win. But ultimately He won because He pleased God. That is the consummate winning attitude and it is the attitude that builds a winning marriage.
When you have a husband playing to get wins for his wife and you have a wife looking for ways to help her husband win, the big winner is the marriage.
Creating win-win situations in marriage leaves little room for stubbornness, little room for pride, and little room for competitive contexts.
Do you recognize any prideful attitudes that are keeping you from creating win-wins? Are there area of stubbornness that are creating problems in your marriage? Where do you need to “take one for the team” today?