Willie Spears

Willie Spears

Win At Home is a series of opinion articles written by author and keynote speaker Willie Spears. Be sure to catch the Win At Home Podcast in January 2022 and order the Win at Home devotional for leaders now at www.williespears.com.

I was named "Coach of the Year" and "Teacher of the Year"; however, I have never been named "Husband of the Year." The concept of Win At Home is pursuing the same level of excellence at home as we do at work. This week my wife and I celebrate eighteen years of marriage. I thought about flowers, a nice vacation, maybe a nice dinner on the beach, or some jewelry for our anniversary.

After pondering all these excellent choices, I decided on a marriage conference. Yep. For our eighteenth wedding anniversary, I booked us for a marriage conference. I worked hard as a coach, and part of that was learning and growing through professional development.

Although I never chased awards or recognition, I believe I should have won "Coach of the Year" two more times. I won it in 2009, 2013 and should have won it in 2018 and 2019.

That is the competitive side of me. Why am I not that competitive in my marriage? Although I believe I should have won "Coach of the Year" in 2018 and 2019, there is no year that I think I should have won "Husband of the Year." Maybe "Husband of the Weekend," or even "Husband of the Month." But the "Husband of the Year?" Never. Shame on me.

I have participated in several professional development conferences, seminars, and trainings as a teacher and administrator. I would imagine your job makes you go to trainings also, but do we ever go to trainings for our marriage?

There is no human resource department for relationships. I am an only child, and my wife is an only child. We learned so much at this conference. When I am at work, I am a lion. I am a born leader, take charge, love challenges, am driven, get to the bottom line, love pressure, and love solving problems.

However, I do not consult with others well; I can be critical, harsh, and controlling. I want blind obedience, and I demand allegiance.

On the other hand, when I am at home, I am totally different. At home, I am more like a golden retriever. I am warm, loving, caring, a good listener, and encouraging. I also avoid confrontation at home, am stubborn and indecisive, or appear not to care.

Learning more about myself helped me in several ways, and attending this conference helped us both. We learned about dirty fighting, bonding, had some tough conversations, learned tremendous skills, and talked about meeting each other's needs and the natural cycle of relationships.

There is this illusion when you first get married, then disillusion, confusion, and some conclusion. At the conclusion, you have a choice to either be miserable married roommates, get a divorce, or try to thrive and not just survive. We learned the best way to get the last word is to apologize.

We learned how to communicate our thoughts, feelings, concerns, and desires. We learned that love is experienced when needs are met. Unmet needs seek pleasure, and pain always pursues pleasure.

What was amazingly ironic for me is that I was sitting in a church on the first Friday night of football season working on my marriage.

Across the street from the church was a high school football stadium, and as Tanika and I returned to the conference on Saturday morning, we could hear the public address announcer calling out the touchdown scored.

I have a long way to go in my marriage, but part of winning at home is trying. I want to encourage you to try. I will be "Coach of the Year" again one day, but my new goal is "Husband of the Year."

Three ways to Win At Home:

1. Seek professional development for your marriage.

2. Do not take your spouse for granted.

3. Strive to win in your marriage.

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