THE INCREASE: Creating a Culture – Matt Forte

My teammates and I are not only creating community, we’re creating culture.

This year we’re kicking off a couples’ Bible study for our team. I’m so excited about this! I’ve seen the difference that our player’s Bible study has made amongst our team, creating a brotherhood and deep friendships. By developing the same atmosphere of growth and fellowship with the addition of our spouses and fiances, the impact can be far-reaching.

Recently we’ve been focusing on how to communicate with our spouses, avoiding small arguments and letting go of the petty things that seem to get us all riled up. Though these are issues every relationship faces, they can be lethal. Ephesians 5 has a charge to both wives and husbands that can change the course of a marriage:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” — Ephesians 5:21-27

As husbands, we are called to sanctify our wives through the Word. This is a huge charge. If things between you and your spouse aren’t as you might have hoped, you can change the direction of things through the sanctification of God’s Word. People will make mistakes, things won’t go as you planned all the time, but God’s truth stands firm.

Sanctifying your marriage begins when you study God’s Word together, pray together and talk with each other daily about what God is teaching you. God may be revealing Himself to your wife in ways you need to see for yourself. He may be speaking to you through your wife or to her through you. Communicating with each other about God’s truth is crucial to the vitality of your marriage. All these things sanctify us and draw us closer to Christ.

When unrealistic expectations go unmet, a relationship might be in jeopardy. Rarely are our expectations fulfilled within relationships; things won’t always be perfect. But you should have high expectations for how you choose to treat your spouse in the midst of any circumstance. Hope for the best and then take the practical steps needed to make that happen.

God cares about community. He wants us to come alongside others to become more like Him. We’re not supposed to be focused on ourselves only. Christ’s first commission to us was to make disciples. This is extremely important to Him.

We’re not only supposed to be creating a community here, but a culture of Christianity.

Matt Forte, New York Jets running back

Matt Forte is a running back with the New York Jets and a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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