Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to organize a curling event for our church. Honestly, our main goal was to find an activity that couples could do together.
We ended up with a good mix of participants: dating, engaged, newly married, and married for decades! For many of us, our only exposure to curling was seeing little snippets on television, and most of us had never tried the sport. So we were grateful to the facility coaches as they explained the rules and organized us into actual teams and got us to play matches.
As I took photos and observed how things were coming along, some relationship analogies came to mind.
1. Have Fun!
Everyone was laughing and smiling. A LOT! I slipped every time it was my turn to throw the rock. I can’t explain it. Perhaps it’s my natural athleticism or sense of balance. No matter how long a couple has been in the relationship, it’s important to have fun and laugh together!
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The ice surface is pebbled, so sweeping, or brushing the ice directly in front of the projectile rock, increases its speed and trajectory. The two sweepers have to work in tandem as the rock hurtles down the ice so they control the rock’s direction. In our relationships, we need to be in sync and communicate clearly, encouraging one another towards a common goal.
3. God as “Skip”
Knowing how hard to sweep or when not to sweep is integral to getting the rock into the button (target). The skip/team captain stands at the end of the sheet of ice to guide the two sweepers. He or she hollers directions and guides the sweepers because the skip has clear sight lines. The sweepers don’t see where the rock is headed as they focus on the task at hand.
God should be the skipper of our marriages. It’s easy for us to be distracted by work, chores, and even our children. When our eyes are set on Him, we can weather the trials of life better.
4. Keep the Goal in Mind
The goal of the game is to get the rock as close to the button or target as possible. Many factors affect the goal. The opposing team can knock your rock outside the circle with a well timed or lucky throw. Or the ice affects the trajectory and naturally slows things down. Sometimes rocks don’t even pass near the hog line (that’s what non curlers like you call the foul line) and are considered out immediately. That made me think about marriages that don’t last because they didn’t have the strength to go on.
What is the goal for our marriages and relationships with our significant others? Oneness with God and oneness with our spouse.
So what are the outside forces affecting this oneness? How can we sweep away the distractions and avoid the rocks that block the path that God desires for our marriage?
I didn’t realize how curling would make me think about my marriage. And yes, after falling for the umpteenth time I was sore for the next two days and slightly bruised. But would I do it again? Absolutely! It was worth seeing the smile on my wife Jeaneth’s face!