They Do Not Care How Much You Know

“It all comes back to football.”

That was the catchphrase that I used probably too many times with a certain assistant coach. It became sort of a running joke. We could be talking about anything outside the realm of football –  a conversation on faith, marriage, teaching, child-rearing, or even the dreaded politics of the day – and invariably we would be able to identify a potential life-lesson that could be related back to a gridiron coaching point.

I thought our banter to be only witty and humorous. That is until I came to the realization of how an old coach’s saying was influencing my marriage for the better.

“They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

I first saw that phrase posted next to the door of the coaches’ dressing room at Youngstown State University. The poignant thought was attributed to a former Ohio high school and Baldwin Wallace University head football coach – the late Lee Tressel. I have seen and heard variants of the phrase many times since, but I will always attribute that bit of advice to Coach Tressel.

From football to marriage.

My wife and I have survived that rollercoaster of a ride known as the first year of marriage. And when I say rollercoaster ride, I really mean a rickety wobbly carriage ride through a minefield (or some mental image similar to that).

Our survival has led several other couples to the false conclusion that we have some super secret method of achieving wedded bliss. Despite my many arguments to the contrary, my bride assures those other couples that being married to me is not always joyful. Yet, hand-in-hand we continue our walk together into that final sunset while at the same time so many other couples choose to take a path separate than that of their spouse (or former spouse as the case may be).

How is it that my bride and I remain so much in love? How are we able to see through the hard times that the enemy will invariably try to present? Is it true that I am just that much of a joy to be around, or is it that my wife is so much more mature (see the term COUGAR)?

When a man would ask me, I would give some coaching snippets such as “Man-up and do the right thing,” or “It’s not about you, it’s about the team,” or “Just G.I.D. (Get It Done).”

I once heard the advice my wife gives to her friends, and without a doubt she does a much better job at counseling. When asked how we are able to maintain our marriage, my wife tells those that will listen that she focuses on the only thing that really matters: “I know, at the end of the day, that my husband loves me. I know in my heart that he would never purposely do anything to belittle, degrade, or endanger me.”

My wife does not care that I know that I am always right, or that I know that I never make mistakes, or that I know how to act like a bear when I am tired, or that I know how much she spent on a mirror for our front door breezeway. She knows how much I love her, and love never fails (1 COR 13:8).

I am blessed to have such a wise wife.

So, I suppose I will be changing my advice to my guy friends and be telling them to make sure their wives know how much they care.

Which reminds me of something I heard the great coach Lou Holtz once say, “Remember men, the greatest thing you could ever do for your kids is show them how much you love their mother.”

It all comes back to football.

5 Replies to “They Do Not Care How Much You Know”

  1. Well said! If I ever take the path to marriage and raising a family, I will definitely remember this.

    1. Please accept my apologies for the long delay in answering your comment. I just now learned that the editing program allows me to respond.

      Love you, my brother. That path is still before you, but just know that I would have done myself a great service to have put these same concepts in play long before I was married and with more than just my wife. I have and do fall short more often than I like.


  2. You are an inspiration! Very well said! I will make sure that both my girls read this. Lessons learned – because it all comes down to the end of the day and not all of trivial stuff in-between!

    1. Please accept my apologies for the long delay in answering your comment. I just now learned that the editing program allows me to respond.

      You are too kind. Hope you continue to comment and share with the girls, and then they share with their friends, and they share with their friends…you get the idea. 😉


  3. Hey there! I thought I already signed up to get your emails but I am not getting them.

    Yes Ma’am, you did sign up and the first newsletter is coming out by the end of the week.

    And just so you know, the email newsletter will likely be the primary method of notification from here on out as I no longer wish to rely on Facebook.

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to check on your status.

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