Sunday afternoon, I was off by myself steaming inside. “Vanessa did this and that, if she didn’t, this wouldn’t be so difficult.” “Vanessa made this happen.” “It’s her fault that this didn’t go as planned.” I wasn’t coming to peace.
Sunday late afternoon, all was calm but unresolved. I caught the end of the Broncos game—the last five minutes of regulation and the 11 seconds of overtime when Tim Tebow threw a direct pass to Demaryius Thomas, who himself threw a great stiff arm, and took the ball 80 yards to win the do-or-die game for Denver.
Twitter exploded. “Was he Tebowing?”, the name for his kneeling and praising God after a win. Tebow threw 316 yards (3:16…) and won by throwing to a guy born on Christmas.
Sunday night, I was brainstorming topics for this week on the site. “The controversy” came to mind. Plenty of people are casting stones at the quarterback for being too religious. I mean, he actually mentions Jesus outside of church and didn’t mean it as a swear! God forbid! That’s when it hits me: Leaders must be positive and take ownership of the situation.
Leaders should not lay blame. They can be critical, but taking crackshots is not being critical. Do not blame Tim Tebow for thanking God for letting him miraculously win games in the final seconds (which Tebow thanks God for quite a bit more than that). The leaders of the other team can’t say “If Tim Tebow wasn’t so overtly pious, we would have won that game!” No, leaders take ownership, look to determine if there was anything different than they could do to change the impact and leave the circumstances outside their control alone—including the opposing quarterback’s spirituality.
As I was developing this thought while doing the dishes, it hits me: I’m doing exactly the opposite of this with Vanessa.
If I’m to claim some stake in the leadership of this household, I can’t blame my partner for whatever problems I perceive to exist. My duty is to do whatever I can do to move the family forward, taking into account both the strengths and weaknesses of my wife. Yes, she might grossly underestimate the amount of time it takes to get ready, get out of the door and drive somewhere leaving her to be, um, late quite a bit. I can get mad about that, get onto her and make life miserable for both of us.
Or, I can lead the situation differently. Do more the night before. Start the process of leaving long before I normally would have to account for our differences. Whatever the case, I can do only what I can do and I need to be at peace with the rest.
Vanessa and I talked and all is right in the world again. Our marriage was not in serious trouble, but after enough time and with me laying enough blame, who knows. So, no. Tim Tebow didn’t actually save my marriage, but his controversy reminded me of my duty of servant leadership in the home.