How Marriage Works

Musings: Day Two…

Friday Night Lights was not a show about football. It was a show about the power of relationships.

The relationship of a favorite teacher, coach or mentor and the impact that he or she can have on a young person’s life. The powerful pull of peer pressure on a teen. How family support, or lack thereof, can impact a teenager. But most of all, what a solid, loving marriage can look like.

Over and over, the critics (including a mention on NPR this weekend), lauded the portrayal of marriage by Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tammy (Kyle Chandler,and Connie Britton) as, “The most realistic marriage on television.”

For me it was the relationship I wished for, and did not have in any shape or form. Friday Night Lights began as my marriage was failing. I realized that what I thought was a partnership was in reality, a dictatorship.

I what I craved was Eric and Tammy’s marriage, but hey, it’s Hollywood, the land of make-believe. Watching their interactions, their arguments, and their playfulness on screen gave me hope that it is possible to forge such a relationship. To do so the two key elements must be present: deep love and a mutual respect for the other person.

We, as parents so often forget that our child’s perceptions of how a relationship works is based on what they observed in their own parent’s marriage. For those of us who have moved on to our second marriage’s it’s a chance to let our kids see how a good marriage works.

As I was watching the show with my son the other night I realized that Friday Night Lights has opened up dialogue with my teen-aged sons on a variety of difficult topics: teen drinking, sex, dating, friendships, loyalty, perseverance and what a good marriage is, and isn’t.

Friday Night Lights reminded me that although our child’s peers become more influential as they grow towards adulthood, we still have plenty of gifts to give our children. A model of a good marriage is one of the most important.

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