Husbands, have you ever said anything about your wife to friends or coworkers and immediately realized you shouldn’t have?
Tom Brady did. And not just to friends in private, but to the press for the whole world to hear.
In a press conference the New England Patriots quarterback was asked what he was going to do with all his extra time during an uncharacteristic full week of practice away from home.
“I think, naturally, when you’re on the road like this, there’s less things to do,” Brady said. “You know, my family’s not here, my kids aren’t here, there’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house, so it’s just being at home, and now it’s being here and trying to just figure out how to win a game.”
His football mouth had already blurted out what his football brain was thinking before his husband ears heard the way it came across. Before he took another question from the press, he quickly recanted.
“I didn’t mean that, babe, so I take that back.”
Not really sure what’s going on at home, but I’m sure a better explanation was probably in order when he got there.
When you think about it, it’s pretty funny. People know them as five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady and world-famous supermodel Gisele Bündchen. At home, though, they’re just husband and wife, mom and dad. No stadium of fans cheering him on, no auditorium of admirers looking up at her on the catwalk. It’s often just a lot of mundane responsibilities and unheralded deeds.
That’s real family life.
Needless to say, Tom Brady has had times where he’s not felt appreciated at home. Certainly not adored like he is on the football field. And the same with Gisele. As the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” We often overlook the ones we’re closest to, especially our spouses. With three children, Gisele certainly needs help at home, and she depends on her husband to do certain things. And he depends on her as well.
Teamwork is what marriage is about. But often we just live through the day-to-day, and we neglect to express the gratitude to our spouses that they deserve. We get irritated at something or another and focus on that instead of all the good. Brady certainly let that slip when he made the comment to the press. It was thoughtless, but I’m sure he could come up with a long list of positives about his wife and children on the spot if he was in the right frame of mind.
It’s probably going to happen to each of us—in a time of frustration, we’ll say something when we get together with a friend. Wives are as prone to it as husbands. We’re all sinful and selfish.
But Scripture gives us ways of keeping our focus right on the home front: Think of the good.
In Philippians 4:8 we’re told that if there’s anything good (about our spouse, or about anything in life, for that matter), to let our minds focus on those things. Reflect back on the good things about your spouse and the reason that you married him or her.
Keep it between you. The scriptural principal is that if you have a problem with your spouse, talk to them first about it before you go telling the world. The more you talk about it to others (or secretly stew in it), the more likely it can lead to bitterness, which causes division and isolation in the marriage.
Apologize and forgive. When (not if) you do mess up, admit your fault to your spouse and ask them to forgive you. And if you’re the one wronged, extend forgiveness to the same extent that Christ has forgiven you. Humility and grace give life to a marriage.
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