Take Dead Aim
By Heather Riggleman
“But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” – 1 Timothy 6:11
The setting sun sent swirls of golden fire across the blue sky. The wind blows and causes my hands to tremble under the tension of my bow. I breathe out and steady my hands and take aim.
I hear my husband tease me, but I drown out his words and focus. Less than a second passes before my arrow hits the target with deadly accuracy. In triumph, a smile spreads across my lips as I turn and wink at my husband.
“Beat that, cowboy,” I smirk and step back, as Chris moves forward.
We are an archery family. There is something about loosening an arrow that satisfies a fire within our spirits, especially mine. It calms everything on the surface and creates clarity out of the tension. Maybe, I’m slightly off my rocker here, but it also saved my marriage.
Years ago, my husband and I were barely speaking. Overnight we went from being high school sweethearts to married with a baby on the way. Neither of us had a chance to find ourselves–much less grow up. Statistically speaking, the odds were stacked against with a one percent success rate of staying married. One percent! But the worse part—neither one of us knew Jesus.
Yet on good days and bad; after fights, petty arguments, or other harsh adulting realities, we would find ourselves at the shooting range. It was the one activity we could enjoy. Instead of becoming each other’s targets with resentment and misplaced feelings, the bullseye united us on the forefront as our common enemy. There, we shot our arrows of frustration and anger. And believe me, we had a lot of frustrations. The friction of trying to mesh our lives together and grow into ourselves constantly pulled at the seams of “us.” But on the field, we found common ground. It wasn’t until both of us came to know Jesus that our aim changed.
Love Aims at Truth
Chris and I didn’t have anything significant to aim toward until we both knew and loved Jesus. We soon learned so many of our fights could've been avoided. It is crystal clear in the Bible, that God means for us to aim consciously at something significant in life but also in marriage.
Like focusing on our target in the field, we learned to target Jesus at all times. But here’s the thing, if we aren’t careful to keep our aim on Christ, there is an adversary out there who has us in his sight. He has a target on your back, mine, and every marriage attempting to emulate Jesus. He will stop at nothing to destroy your marriage. If he can destroy your marriage, then he can destroy your family, too.
He sends flaming arrows in the form of misunderstandings, misplaced expectations, parenting differences. He will use co-workers at the office. He will use Facebook and long-lost friends of the opposite sex. He will use anything and everything. And last but not least, if you're wise to most of his tactics, he will use the sin of being too busy.
So keep Jesus in front of you. These three words, “Take dead aim,” may sound negative, but it’s quite the opposite. Your aim should be clear, sure, and focused. We must have a clear vision of the target and focus on it, daily.
1st Timothy 6:11 says, “But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
Since there is much that could keep us from the best God has to offer, we must take dead aim on the really important things in our life. What are your goals? What do you want to complete and accomplish? Do you want a long-lasting, successful marriage, one that keeps you fulfilled for years after the wedding guests have gone home? I imagine you do. Begin target practice together.
Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (Hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, faith, relationships, celebration and heartache. She is the co-host of the Moms Together Podcast and is a former national award-winning journalist. She is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let’s Talk About Prayer. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com.
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