On the visiting field it is so much easier to show off
In football there is an advantage in playing on one’s home field. It is on your own grass that victory is best secured. On other playing fields fans can accept a draw, but on the home field the opposing team should be driven to the ground by the home team. Every football coach wants to make his home arena into a dreaded place for any opposing team to come to. But is this how we know the home field in our own lives?
I must admit that it often feels the complete opposite in my everyday life. On the visiting field it is so much easier to show off and take home the prize. It’s not so hard to turn on the charm if I’m meeting friends, making a new acquaintance, or am out preaching. It is so much easier to show the best of myself inside the framework of a few hours or minutes. On the home field, however, the uplifting comments and loving compliments are hidden a bit deeper inside. It is not easy to be a hero for someone who sees you day in and day out.
The picture I had of myself as the strong, Roman gladiator or the selfless, sacrificing husband were quickly deflated and afterwards crushed when the two of us became three and then three became four. But just because it is not easy to win on the home field does not mean that we should give up.
I have been blessed to have grown up with a mother and father who lived out what they taught. Eventually, I have come to the realization that this is not normal for everyone. There are far too many people who have lost their faith or who have a difficult relationship with God because of what they saw and experienced in their home field. It is very painful to experience parents who are rich in faith when they are preaching or among friends, but the reality of who they are among their family is very different.
Since the very beginning of when Elyse and I started YWAM Oslo we have had a desire that our ministry would spring up out of the life we have with God and each other. The past few years have been a journey in finding out what that looks like, as our ministry for God cannot be separated from how we live our lives with those closest to us. It is our hidden life with God and the way in which we treat our family which gives us integrity and authority. It has always been and will always be the home field which is the most important in God’s kingdom. Or, as author and pastor Peter Scaz says, “The strongest and most important message you will ever be able to preach is how you live out your marriage.
Let us make the home arena into a fearful place for our opponents.
By Joakim Magnus
Joakim Magnus is the founder of YWAM Oslo.
Translated by Emily Huyck
Photo by Markbarnes – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2124123