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Don’t Quit the Team

By:  Donna Martin

This past weekend we attended our oldest grandson’s basketball tournament.  His team won the first game with no problems, except that in the last quarter my grandson jammed his pinky.  The next day his team played their second game of the tournament.  He taped his finger so that it would not get reinjured and played passed the pain.  After winning the second game, his team advanced to the finals where the competition became a little more difficult with each game.  As the games became more competitive, the players had to fight through many difficulties.  Injuries, fouls, bad calls, taunts from opposing players, fatigue all bore down on each player, but they kept working together as a team to reach their goal of winning the championship.  As they played the parents and spectators cheered wildly from the stands, urging them to keep on.

In Hebrews 12, Paul encouraged the Hebrew believers to keep on persevering through the race of life.  Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  In the preceding chapter Paul told about the people who were in the “cloud of witnesses.”  They included, among others, David, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Rahab, Isaac, Jacob, Samson, and Joseph.  If you have read about these great men and women of faith, you know that they were not perfect.  They sometimes failed and some tried to do things their own way instead of God’s way.  They were sinners just like you and me, but all of them trusted God and because they persevered, God used them in amazing ways.

If the members of my grandson’s basketball team stopped working together as a team, if some of them had quit when bad calls were made, if others had decided it was too much work to play together, if other players decided to walk out in the middle of the game because they did not want to do what the coach said, if other members decided they wanted to change teams because another team looked like they were having more fun, then the team would have never made it to the championship game.  The entire team would have suffered because of the self-centered attitude of a few players.

Sadly, this is what happens in many marriages.  Couples do not want to work through conflicts.  Couples do not want to compromise and work together as a team.  They are selfish and want to have their own way.  Couples become dissatisfied with their spouses, so they go looking for someone better.

Perseverance is an important attribute in the race of life and also to a successful marriage and a successful family.  Perseverance is the glue that keeps a family together.  If you are having difficulty in your marriage, remember so have others before you.  You are surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses” that have persevered through difficult times and have built a strong marriage.  They are willing to help you.  Seek them out.  Are you having difficulty with your children?  So have others before you.  Seek advice from Godly parents who have survived difficulties.  They are willing to help you.  You can make it through difficult times just as others before you have done.  Do not quit the team.  Keep running the race.  Step out of your little “kingdom of self” and focus on the Kingdom of God.  That’s where you will find the winning team.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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