If we were to ask you if you personally know any marriage heroes, what would you answer? Would you be able to give us the names of a married couple or two that you know? Or does a particular spouse that comes to mind? Does anyone come to mind? Or maybe you first need more of a definition of what we’re asking before you could answer? Here’s (a shortened answer of) how one relationship coach defines it:
“A hero is defined as ‘a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.’ And they are all around us. It isn’t just doctors, nurses, and first responders who are rightly heralded as heroes right now. … You can be a hero without leaving the four walls of your home. You can be a hero in your own marriage and with your family. How you choose to behave right now will reveal your heroic tendencies or not. That’s because stressful conditions are like a magnifying glass for your character.
“There are no restrictions for who can be a hero. … All that matters is that you step up to the plate. That you deal with the challenges with courage, kindness, and generosity. Nowhere is that more important than in your marriage.” (Lesli Doares, from her article, “Being a Hero in Your Marriage”)
We Need Heroes in Marriage
And we totally agree. Courage, kindness, and generosity—especially giving God’s grace should begin with the challenges you face at home. Most importantly, it begins in the challenges you face in your marriage. After all, you made a vow to do so on your wedding day; didn’t you? We need to say that if you’re courageous, kind, and generous to everyone else but not to your spouse, your heroism falls short.
Today, in praying about this issue, the Lord brought to mind many marriage heroes. One of them is the football “hero” Drew Brees. We wrote about him a number of years back. But the impact of his heroism in marriage still sticks with us. Drew was voted to be the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the 2010 Super Bowl game. But we’re sure to his wife, he holds the place of being a MVS (Most Valuable Spouse) in how he has approached his marriage. You could call him a football hero. But you can also call him a marriage hero. Here’s why we believe he could hold this title.
We came across a testimony, written by someone on a web site (Justmyconcerns.com). We thought it was inspiring. The author writes:
“Thanks Drew Brees for your witness on marriage.”
“I was reading a Sports Illustrated magazine at my Dentists office. I’m not sure how old the issue is but… while reading the article I came across the following quote from Drew. ‘When I put the wedding ring on Brittany’s finger, I said, for better or for worse, till death do us part,’ Period. No matter how bad it could possibly get, I am committed. It’s not about happiness. It’s not about feeling. I committed myself to her for the rest of my life, and I promise never to walk away.’
“I was surprised to hear this because usually you only hear negative stuff about sports figures, especially on relationships. Drew certainly speaks as a true champion. That’s because he takes his personal life just as serious as his professional life.
“Drew brings up a good point. Marriage will not always have happiness. Certainly, we strive for that and will get it through the grace of God. However, there will be times when feelings for our spouse is dry. But we need to remember it’s not about feelings all the time; sometimes we have to grind it out.
“…We should try to get in tune with our feelings and if they are not there, then make a choice to ‘Love’ when we don’t feel like it. So, thanks Drew for reminding us all out there that our marriage is a work in progress, and we are ‘never to walk away.’”
Not a Walk Away Spouse
Not being a “walk away” spouse definitely makes Drew a hero to his wife, for sure. It makes him ours, as well.
A while back, a man posted a comment on this web site stating that he has decided to stay in his marriage. He decided to keep working on his relationship with his wife, even though she appears not to have the same resolve to work through their issues. She ignores his pleas. And yet he still stays and has pledged to love her as Christ loves the church. As I read what he wrote, I thought to myself, “This man is a hero in my eyes. He is a hero, whether his wife ever recognizes it or not.”
It’s true that we don’t know all the background. All we can do is judge by what we know. And to us, anyone who keeps working on their relationship when the other isn’t, shows heroic character.
I’ve thought that about several others who persevere past the tough times since then. They truly are my/our marriage heroes. Most of them are not in the spotlight. As a matter of fact, they would probably shun the spotlight. But they lead heroic lives within their marriages, nonetheless.
Drew Brees, the man mentioned above, other (non-walk away) spouses who leave comments on this web site, different friends we know, and especially my husband Steve, are all heroes in my eyes.
More Marriage Heroes
I need to say that Steve shows me continually that he is my hero. I appreciate the fact that he joins together with me to work through our issues. He also goes the extra mile to show me he cherishes me. Every day in little and big ways he makes me feel like I am the most loved and cherished wife in the world. I feel secure in his love.
And (sad to say) that isn’t always easy. He has loved me through times and seasons when I have not acted very lovable. And yet he has persevered to show me love anyway. Additionally, Steve has put the effort in to learning to love me in the ways I most need. He has become a student of love and marriage, and me. And for that… he is my hero. There’s no doubt about that one!
Concerning marriage heroes, we know a husband who is spending his life caring for his dying wife. She has been sick for a number of years. And he has been caring for her many needs all this time. His efforts have been inspiring. He has been willing to sacrifice his all for her. And now the doctors have diagnosed her condition as “terminal.” Through it all, he keeps caring, and caring, and caring. We love him for this. (And of course, she does too.) He is definitely one of our top heroes in marriage. He vowed to “love, honor, and cherish” her. And he does.
But it’s not just husbands who can be marital heroes. We personally know a LOT of wives who are truly marriage heroes, as well. These women keep in the forefront of their minds that they made a vow to God and to their husbands to “love” for the rest of their lives.
This is where I (Steve) want to slip in and honor Cindy as my marital hero. She has sacrificed so much and endured so much in our 49 years of marriage. She has stood beside me and ministered to me through 47 years of my Type-1 diabetes, a widow maker heart attack in 2016 and cancer last year. When we made our vows to each other in 1972 we had no idea what lay ahead; but God did. And I am so blessed He gave me this Proverbs 31 wife whom I cherish with all of my heart.
Because I’ve worked as a fire department chaplain for more than 17 years I’m very careful to whom I assign the title of “hero.” But when you read the testimonies of what some couples have gone through, and made their marriages work (for many years), I think you would say they are heroes, too.
Marriage Heroes Are Becoming Rare
But sadly, there are not a lot of Marriage Heroes in our world today. A marriage hero goes the extra mile in loving and giving grace. They don’t do this to be recognized. They go the extra mile because the love of Christ compels them. And they would go that distance in showing love and grace whether anyone else ever knew about what they did, or not. That’s silent, unselfish heroism. We love it! We love and admire anyone who live by those standards. They work to please Christ; and thankfully, their spouse reaps the loving benefits.
Here’s a link to a married couple that lived this way. It’s quite inspiring:
So, thank you Steve, Billy and Ruth, and all those other heroes in marriage. There are so many more that we can’t even start to list. But hopefully, you know who you are. You are a living example of love in action. You are following Jesus, our Bridegroom, who set the example for us all. Jesus said:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.’” (John 15:9-12)
We’re also told in the Bible:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
Living Out Heroism in Marriage
May we all show heroism in the love and grace we live out, within our marriages. May we live in such a way that the love of Christ is revealed and reflected within our marriages. Love is to be shown by our words and our deeds, both behind closed doors and outside of them.
If your spouse has shown heroism in your marriage, could you please share it with us? This way we can be inspired all the more and rejoice with you.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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