I saw recently an interview with Frank Martin, the head coach for the University of South Carolina men’s basketball team. His team made it to the final four in 2017, something never before achieved by the Gamecocks.
In the interview, Martin unpacked his coaching strategy, how he motivates players, and what he does to prepare for a game. But it was the conversation about his wife that I found most interesting.
It turns out Frank had to ask his wife out seven times before she agreed to go on a date with him. He admitted that he was ready to give up, but he’s so thankful that she finally said yes. He now calls himself “the happiest married man in the world.”
It reminded me that all the important things in life come with hard work. Love is no different. That’s why I’m discouraged when I meet guys who don’t want to put themselves out there for fear of rejection. Or guys who think that true love will just magically and effortlessly come and find them some day. And honestly many guys don’t think the risks of real love are worth it, especially when they have easy access to pornography.
I’ve been married for six years. But I still remember the sweaty palms and pounding heart that come with asking a woman out. It is risky, it can be discouraging, and at times we all fail. But without taking risks in love, there are never real rewards. Love doesn’t just come find us, we work for it and at it. And while there is no fear of rejection with pornography, there’s no love either—which is what men and women really want.
I didn’t have to ask my wife Kara out seven times. But she did say no the first time I asked her out, only to say yes the next weekend. She challenged me often when we were dating. I enjoyed that pursuit, and I wanted to pursue her because I knew that she was worth working for.
The fact that I had to work hard to win her over was a constant reminder that I wanted to win her over. Her high standards affirmed me too. After all, she did finally agree to date me.
My desire to impress her as a man made me a better man. It helped me pick a career path and motivated me to work hard so that I could excel in my job. She helped me grow out of some of my bad habits, like smoking and driving without buckling up.
Even though Kara and I are now married, and secure in our love, she still sets the bar high, and I’m still grateful that she does. I want a passionate love that will always draw Kara and me closer together. I want a love that will constantly challenge me to grow as a husband and as a man. I know that this type of love takes constant effort. It means I can never stop pursuing my wife.
There will always be work to do, because love is never perfect. It doesn’t have to be. Just as Kara set’s the bar high, she’s also quick to forgive me when I fall short. Striving for the best always means making mistakes along the way. I thank God that my wife both expects the most out of me, and is understanding when she gets something less. Real love takes hard work, but real love is worth it! I’m thankful she continues to say yes. She’s made me the happiest man in the world.