A few years ago when I moved back home to the panhandle of Texas I decided I wanted to get into hunting. It had always interested me, and my dad was a hunter when I was growing up. With my mom and dad being divorced and living in different states I was never really able to get into it. So I decided now was the time.
After doing research online with videos, articles, and reading books on hunting I finally decided I was ready. I talked with a friend who was an experienced hunter and he acted as a kind of mentor to me, and still helps me out with it today.
So as hunting season is quickly approaching I started thinking about what it takes to be a hunter, and quickly realized that hunting has actually taught me quite a bit about being married as well. Here are 5 lessons hunting has taught me about marriage.
I am not typically a patient person. I can be, but a lot of times I’m antsy. Sitting out in a blind, or slowly creeping along watching for signs of movement takes a lot of patience. Especially when you don’t see anything for hours at a time, or at all that day.
Marriage is the same way. We have to be patient with our spouse. They are not always going to do things the way we think they should be done, or they may not see something the same way we do. The kids may not always be the fastest to get ready.
When you are first married, you have to be patient with one another as you learn each other’s little quirks, habits, and routines.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – Ephesians 4:2
If you are a hunter you understand what I mean by repetition. You go out over and over, you target practice over and over, you repeat the same skills season after season. You scout land, you fill feeders again and again, and you check trail cameras time after time. There is tons of repetition in hunting.
Marriage takes a lot of repetition as well. You have to compliment your spouse over and over; you reaffirm your love time and time again. Just as you don’t go out one time to fill a feeder or check a camera, you don’t just tell your spouse you love them on your wedding day and then never again.
You repeat the things you know that will make your spouse happy. You take them on dates, buy them gifts, and affirm them with words; you continually repeat these things to build a powerful marriage.
It Takes Work
Hunting takes work. Anyone who says it doesn’t is crazy and has never been hunting. Just like I listed above it takes: target practice, weapon maintenance, filling feeders, checking cameras, if you have your own land you must maintain the land, and clear lanes. Above this it takes hiking in rough terrain in some cases, carrying heavy loads, and processing the meat.
Just as hunting takes all this work, plus much more that is not listed so does your marriage. Marriage takes work, plain and simple. You have to work to understand your spouse. You work to maintain a thriving relationship. We can’t just get married and then sit as our life passes by. We must work to maintain our relationship. If you’re not willing to work, you don’t really want a successful marriage.
I’m not going to lie I originally only had four things that came to mind for this article, but as I was writing I was reminded of the sacrifice that hunting as well as marriage takes. I get up early during the week (like 4 and 5am). On the weekends it’s nice to sleep in a little, even if that’s only till 7 or so.
Hunting takes that away. If you want to hunt it takes getting up before sunrise, sometimes many hours depending on where you have to go. You sacrifice the comfort and warmth of your home and bed, to go hike or sit in the cold. You sacrifice watching a movie or resting for the next week ahead.
Same goes for marriage, it takes sacrifice. You can’t always get your way. Thriving and powerful marriages are built on sacrifice. You sacrifice time, energy, money, your wants and desires to please your spouse. Marriage is a giving relationship. It takes sacrifice if you want to see your relationship not just survive, but thrive.
The Hunt Never Ends
Finally, any hunter can tell you the hunt never really ends. That’s what makes us go out season after season, year after year. We know the cold that waits, we know the work and sacrifice that ensues time and again, but we keep going. Why? Because the hunt is never over.
So it goes with your spouse. You didn’t just get your “trophy” or what you needed to fill your freezer, and then sit back for the rest of time. No, you have to keep pursuing your spouse. The “hunt” is never over.
You have to keep dating your spouse. You have to keep working, and sacrificing, being patient, and repeating this over and over. This is the ingredient to a great marriage.
Hunting is a great sport that has many lessons that transfer to our marriages. I hope you will take these 5 lessons from hunting and apply them to your marriage to build and cultivate a thriving relationship.
Pass this along and tag a hunter you know.
Can you think of any other lessons from hunting that apply to marriage?