Whenever I see a sports game on television such as football, I also see the cheerleaders dance across the screen. There is a part of me that never understood the importance of cheerleaders. They appeared to be so happy, so healthy, so beautiful, which were never adjectives I would have used to describe myself as I was growing up. Seeing them flare up my insecurities as a woman.
Instead of taking the time to understand the value of cheerleaders, I opted to accept a negative view of their role in the sports arena; wishing that their presence would one day become obsolete so I wouldn’t be reminded of how much I am not like them.
Yet, as I watched a game last year and the decorated colors of cheerleaders danced across the screen, a thought flashed across my mind relative to their purpose reflecting my purpose as a wife. I was challenged in my negative perspective of cheerleaders as God showed me a few similarities in the role of cheerleaders and the role of wives.
Just so we are clear this article will not address any specific details regarding my opinions of dance routines or outfits chosen to wear by the coordinators of the cheerleading squads. I am leaving those aside to address the heart matter, and so I hope you can follow along.
I want to share with you a list of what I believe a great cheerleader and a great wife have in common:
- She values the team she is a part of and represents it with pride.
- She respects the teammates with words of affirmation and encouragement.
- Her joyful attitude reflects faith in the teams ability to overcome obstacles and win.
- She is willing to get up off the sidelines and rejoice together, celebrating each and every victory.
- She is not lazy, but rather practices and pursues excellence, etiquette and exercise.
- Her body reflects her health and her ability to participate in physical activities.
- She is presentable, spending time to do her hair and make-up for special occasions.
- Her vocal support is heard during victories and during times of despair or even defeat.
- She wears the team colors as an outward sign of her commitment to the team.
- She is fearless and confident.
- She is passionate.
- She fulfills her purpose despite the opinions of others.
- She takes risks.
- She sings.
- She dances.
- She smiles.
- She cheers.
After seeing this list, would you agree that cheerleaders and wives have a few things in common? And that their roles are valuable to the team?
Cheerleaders and wives have the opportunity to motivate their team/marriage to thrive, to overcome challenges in the face of fear, and to celebrate along the way, no matter what.
I admit I struggle to be a cheerleader for my husband, for our marriage. It is not easy to get up and selflessly and intentionally affirm my husband. My body is not as healthy as it could be because I am still learning how to overcome laziness. I don’t always smile and sometimes I let the opinions of others dictate how I respond to my husband.
Perhaps I also have accepted a negative view of my role as a wife and that keeps me from being a great cheerleader for my husband…
My flesh fights against me and wrestles with me to stay selfish, stay lazy, stay discontent, or even stay isolated from my husband. There are days that I don’t want to be associated with his team at all.
But, I also know I can change! I know because there are parts of me that have been transformed by the grace of God. And it is insights such as these that reveal my heart issues and give me the opportunity to repent and then allow God to transform me.
I want to be a great cheerleader for my husband, I want to reflect the qualities listed above, and I want to be a great wife.