There’s a joke about Crossfit that never gets old:
Given Crossfit’s popularity, most of us have spent some time with a Crossfitter. They’re the ones constantly doing some weird stretch in their cubicle at work, picking at their callouses during church, and talking about all the intense workouts (sorry, “WODs”) they’ve done. If you’ve ever walked by a Crossfit gym (sorry, “box”) in the middle of a WOD, you’ve likely witnessed a sweaty, writhing mass of humanity and thought “what the- why?!?!”.
They’re an easy target for ridicule, but after a while, you’ll think, “Man, that guy is jacked.” And before you know it, you’re doing burpees at 5:30 in the morning, comparing workout times and talking about the latest Crossfit documentary on Netflix (i.e., “Fittest On Earth”).
Have you ever been around someone who has a Crossfit Marriage?
A couple with a Crossfit Marriage is one who is willing to take the necessary steps, regardless of how painful they are or how silly they make them look, to attain a “fit” marriage. I’m talking about the couple who stops in the middle of a conversation to do speaker-listener technique. I’m talking about the couple who turns down a group dinner to have a date night. Healthy couples do not have “FOMO.” They put in the work, day in and day out, often behind closed doors, to no fanfare, to make their marriage as healthy as possible.
CrossFitters are not afraid to look silly. A simple YouTube search of “CrossFit fails” confirms this. Embarrassing moments usually come when someone is trying something they’ve never done before or at a difficultly level beyond their current strength. In your marriage, be willing to try things that are different than what you’ve done, are harder than anything you’ve done before, and/or look a little silly. This may mean a shared Facebook account. It’s awkward being DaveandJennifer Jones, but if it prevents either one of you from flirting (or worse) with your high school bf/gf, it’ll be well worth it.
One-time Christian killer and New Testament author Paul has this to say about Crossfit, writing to his young protégé: “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8, NLT). So, by all means, do pullups until your hands bleed. Max out your front squat until you can’t walk up a flight of stairs.
But let’s talk about how to use the same techniques to make your marriage even fitter.
Crossfitters don’t shy away from a workout because it’s difficult. On the contrary, they seek out the hardest movements and heaviest weight with the goal of becoming as fit as possible. Those who persevere are an awe-inspiring sight.
The “Fittest” Marriage on Earth
Every year, athletes compete in the Crossfit Games, a series of fifteen grueling workouts held over five days, to crown the “Fittest on Earth.” Meanwhile, “the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9a, NASB).
So it is with your marriage. Don’t avoid difficult conversations or tasks. Do the hard work every day. Communicate, pray, have sex, and disciple your kids. Make others marvel at your marital “fitness” as you grow to have a Crossfit Marriage.
Mike and Veronica Netzer have been married for 12 years and have lived in Dallas on and off for the last 10 years. They have three boys and are currently fostering a 5-month old girl. They enjoy playing cribbage and asking each other first date questions.