Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Don’t Go At It Alone – Matt Forte

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17

Our couples’ Bible study has been really great this year. We have a lot of men from our team come with their wives each week to better understand the Gospel and more specifically, how it pertains to marriage. It’s great to be able to see guys on the team grow closer together, not only as teammates but also in community with their spouses. Our wives are also able to mingle and get to know the other wives on the team who they can grow with, bounce ideas off of, and encourage. This is truly what iron sharpening iron is supposed to look like.

Marriage is not something to take lightly; it’s a sacred covenant between you, your spouse and God. In our society today, people have watered down what it means to be married but it is a serious deal and it takes a lot of work. That’s why it’s important to be continually growing in these areas, not only with your spouse, but with other couples. No person, or couple, is a finished product.

Recently our couples Bible study group went to our team chaplain’s church, where he had two friends of his — a couple who had been married for many years — come and speak on the subject of marriage. The husband and wife gave their testimony of how they met, the challenges they’ve faced along the way, and what helped them overcome those hurdles. In their testimony were stories and trials that anyone who has been married for any length of time could relate to. Many of the stories hit home for us. The main thing that stuck out to me from their talk was the level of honesty that was in their relationship from day one.

Since they were completely transparent from the beginning of their marriage, when something came up later on, they were better able to understand each other and help the other person through a situation. This just further showed me how important it is to be open and honest — it’s a major key to success in any relationship. Without it, the other person could easily give way to doubting or worrying about many things. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If you have a relationship that is not built upon trust, it’s not going to go very far.

This principle also applies to our relationship with God. If our relationship with Him is not built on trust, it’s not authentic. We may say we trust God and we may recite prayers off like it’s our job, but the real test comes when a trial arises. Our level of faith shows when we respond to a roadblock with, “Why me, God?” instead of trusting that God has a purpose behind the pain. It’s in these moments when God will say, “Do you really trust Me?”

Relationships are hard. It’s important to not go at it alone because someone you know may be going through something that you can help them with. Or they may have gone through something that you are now facing and could use some guidance with. Iron sharpens iron. Listening to other couples’ stories and living life with those around you gives you the encouragement, hope and accountability you need to make your relationship the very best it can be.

Matt Forte

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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