Co-Captains on the Marriage Team

Wearing the “C”

Okay, this is not a sports blog, but I need to use a sports analogy to set up my message. As we all know, a “captain” is a commander or leader. You will notice a “C” on the jersey of a team captain. Naturally, I have used a player from my favorite football team to illustrate below. Note: a gold star under the “C” represents the number of years the player has been a captain. If four years or longer, then all the stars are gold, and the “C” is a gold color.







Complementary to One Another

Sports fans will also know that there is more than one captain on the team, or in some cases alternating captains. There is also the term “co-captains”, which I really like as it relates to husbands and wives.  My wife and I have been co-leaders in our marriage, as committed friends, parents, and ministry partners. We are complementary to one another. We command the ship together. Naturally, as a man I am the primary warrior in the house. If a window breaks in the middle of the night, I would never consider staying safe under the covers while sending my beloved wife out on surveillance. I will always lead that mission.

Aside from the obvious example above, I have discovered that I am not always the stronger or better equipped one, to take the primary lead role. Over nearly forty years of marriage, in multiple categories of governing a family and making decisions, I have learned when to step back into a supportive role.

Celebrating Together

Here is a great example of two co-captains on the Israel team. A woman named Deborah was a prophetess and one of the judges in Israel. She called for a man named Barak, commissioned him to take 10,000 troops and go out to battle against the evil commander, Sisera. Barak’s response: “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” Her reply: “I will go with you, but because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” 

Once on the battlefield, Barak bravely led his troops at Deborah’s command. The army of Sisera was routed and the evil king fled on foot, ending up hiding in the tent of a woman named Jael. Sisera asked her for a drink and for protection. Once he was asleep Jael took a hammer and a tent peg and drove it into Sisera’s head and into the ground. That which Deborah had prophesied came to pass. (The Lord handed Sisera over to a woman.)

The celebration of this victory is told in the “Song of Deborah” found in the Book of Judges, chapter five. “On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song.” (v.1) Take note that they sang the song together, and in one place they give honor to Jael: “Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women.” (v.24)

Confidence in One Another

I believe that Deborah had confidence in Barak and thus called him to do the job. He did not lack bravery, but so admired and trusted in Deborah’s leadership, that he refused to go to battle if she wasn’t by his side. There’s a story here and probably several sub-stories. I will not conjecture at the moment but simply accept the fact that husbands and wives, co-captains, need to fervently believe in and trust one another.

We are co-captains on the journey, both meant to wear the golden “C.”