I wrote a book for my son when he was 12 years old entitled Are You the Man: 201 Lessons I Wish My Dad Would’ve Taught Me. That was over a decade ago, and although the wisdom I included in that book (the ups and downs of being a man) is timeless, I was in my thirties when I wrote it. However, over a decade later, there’s one piece of advice that I forgot to include in that book: Marriage is a team sport.
I used to believe that if a man tried hard enough, read enough books or blogs, listened to enough podcasts, talked to enough women, watched enough chick flicks or subscribed to enough women’s magazines, he could successfully learn how to master marriage on his own. But I quickly learned I was wrong. I learned that every husband needs at least 3 types of married men on his team to ensure he has a successful marriage:
- Wise William
- Tough Tim
- Eager Eric
Although having three is a good start, don’t limit yourself to only three; recruit as many as you can. But allow me to introduce you to each of these men and explain why each is so important to your marriage.
1. Wise William
William is the spiritually mature man who’s been either married longer than you have or has the kind of marriage you one day want to have. Wise William isn’t necessarily a better husband than you, he’s just wiser and more experienced than you. He’s made more mistakes and he’s weathered more storms in his marriage than you have. Whatever you’re going through or about to go through in your marriage, more than likely, William’s been there, done that, and has the scars to prove it.
Why is Wise William so important to your marriage? Because every husband needs William to teach, train, and show him how to be a better husband. William knows that experience may be a good teacher, but if you can learn from his mistakes, you can potentially save yourself a lot of time, money, and unnecessary frustration.
2. Tough Tim
Tim is the man who would be considered your marriage equal. Spiritually, you guys are about at the same maturity level. Relationally, you’ve been married about the same length of time, your children are about the same age, and you experience some of the same marriage struggles. Whenever you two meet up and discuss your lives, you often end each other sentences with, “Man, I know what you mean; me too.”
Why is Tough Tim so important to your marriage? Because every husband needs a Tim who will listen and tell him the truth, without the fear of being judged or losing his respect. Tim is the man who’s willing to hold you accountable by asking you the tough questions, and he wants you to do the same for him. You both sincerely want to see the other succeed.
3. Eager Eric
Eric is the younger husband who hasn’t been married as long as you have. He looks up to you and admires and respects you because of the relationship you have with your wife. Eager Eric may not have had a father in his home who modeled what a good husband looks like, and he’s looking to you for answers.
The truth is, marriage may seem like a game of one-on-one, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right team on your sideline. Why is Eager Eric so important to your marriage? Because every husband needs an Eric who will look up to him as a husband role model. Knowing that Eric is watching you gives you another reason to be a better husband. Because you’ll be doing for Eager Eric what Wise William is doing for you.
The truth is, marriage may seem like a game of one-on-one, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right team on your sideline.
Sound off: Do you think your marriage could benefit from men like these in your life?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If you were having a problem, which of your friends do you think you would go to for help?”