One of the people I follow on Twitter (@johnmarkharris) tweeted this earlier in the day:

Husbands, radical idea, prove you love your wife more than football. This season, don't watch any games, take her on a date instead. Man enough?

Now, several questions run through my mind when I read that. Here are some of them:

  1. What if I DVR the game and watch it later? Does that mean I don't love my wife?
  2. What if we go on a date and the place we go to has the game on? Does that mean I don't love my wife?
  3. What if I skip watching the game and take my wife out on a date, but treat her like dirt the rest of the week?
  4. Can I make a similar exhortation to my wife? ("Honey, if you love me, skip watching the Lifetime Network and take me out on a date.")

I could go on. Now, I understand what this brother in Christ is trying to get at. There are any number of women who become "Football Widows" around this time of year. Football can (and does) become an idol in many American households and amongst many American Christian men.

However, is the corrective to quit watching football and take your wife out? In some cases maybe, but whether or not I quit watching football neither proves or disproves my love for my wife. This exhortation can be taken rather legalistically (as pointed out by some of the questions I asked).

Christian character is not formed by a legalistic exhortation, but through a renewed mind in Christ (Romans 12:1-2). If football is an idol in your life, then repent and ask God and your wife for forgiveness. But if you're loving your wife to the best of your ability (with God's grace), then it is not a sin to watch football. Your wife is your primary priority after God, and as long as you've got your priorities in the right order, then sit back and enjoy the game!