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A Top Gun Re(a)lationship

By now, you have undoubtedly heard, and possibly seen, the movie Top Gun: Maverick. It has been a much-anticipated release. Especially for all of us who were a product of the ’80s and captivated by the original hit movie Top Gun (circa May 1986). The movie provides a glimpse into the prestigious and highly competitive Navy Fighter Weapon School, where only one set of Pilots would be given the distinguishing honor of being the Top Gun. The opening of the original movie is just script that reads:

“On March 3, 1969, the United States Navy established an elite school for the top one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and insure that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world. They succeeded. Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapon School. The flyers call it: TOP GUN”

As of yet, we have not seen the sequel, but the original Top Gun certainly did not disappoint. It was filled with all these colorful characters and their individual backstories, flight scenes, daredevil stunts, and memorable quotes from characters like Maverick, Goose, Iceman, Stinger, and Slider.

Just for fun, here are some of the great quotes from the movie.

Goose: “Great balls of fire”

Iceman: “You’re everyone’s problem. You’re unsafe. I don’t like you because you’re dangerous. Maverick: “That’s right Iceman, I am dangerous.”

Stinger: “Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land the plane! You don’t own that plane! The taxpayers do!

Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”

Slider: “Remember boys, no points for second place.”

Jester: “That was some of the best flying I’ve seen to date - right up to the part where you got killed.”

And probably the most known and requoted from the movie…

Maverick: “I feel the need…” Goose: “...the need for speed.”

But there was one thing that really stood out to us in the movie.

The decision to be or not to be a good wingman.

This got us thinking about how to have Top Gun relationships and what it takes to do so! Without question, at least in our minds, one absolute must is to be a good wingman. We believe when it comes to relationships, everyone needs a good wingman. Every marriage needs good wingmen. Every child needs to know their mom and dad are their wingmen. Every great friendship will have good wingmen.

In fact, we would go as far as to say that all elite relationships have one thing in common, they all have good wingmen.

So what is a good wingman?

A simple google search to the question

“what does it mean when someone calls you a wingman

provides this answer

A pilot in a plane that flies just outside and behind the wing of the leading aircraft in a flight formation, in order to provide protective support. A person who helps, protects, and guides a friend/associate. In other words, watches his back.”

You see, if you are going to have top gun relationships, you have to be a good wingman. While this blog in no way provides an exhaustive list of what relational qualities a good wingman possesses, here are three that are critical if you are going to have elite relationships:

1. A relationship wingman is reliable.

What we mean by the word reliable is this - when you say you're going to do something, you do it. You can be depended upon. The word reliable is defined as someone who can simply be trusted. They are trustworthy in their actions and approach to the relationship. Being reliable in your relationships is one of the most powerful things you can bring to it. Being reliable in your relationships provides them with safety, peace, and confidence.

2. A relationship wingman is undivided in their loyalty.

The word undivided is from a root word that means to be filled with integrity. Top Gun relationships are full of integrity. The wingmen in these relationships are committed to doing the right thing, in the right way, with the right kind of heart. A relationship wingman’s loyalty is not divided. Their care for the relationship communicates their commitment to building and maintaining a firm, secure and solid relationship. Their commitment is “not here today and gone tomorrow” because their integrity keeps them loyal for the long haul.

3. A relationship wingman is protective.

They know the value of having and being a safe place for their relationships. They protect their relationships by not being a party to or repeating gossip. They protect the relationship by not participating in slander and they don’t air their friend’s secrets and struggles. They protect their relationships by not talking badly about their relationships behind one another’s back. They are careful not to criticize their friends in front of others. They are careful not to point out faults, make fun of or run their friends down to other people. They protect the relationship by covering the relationship with confidentiality and care.

- - -

As a final encouragement,

let us give you ten top gun relationship verses for you to

exemplify as relationship wingmen:

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Prov. 11:13

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Prov. 17:17

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thes. 5:11

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."

1 Peter 4:8

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Prov. 18:24

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Eph. 4:29

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matt. 7:12

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" Prov. 27:17

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[a] and take delight in honoring each other.” Rom. 12:9-10

We truly believe that you can have elite, Top Gun Re(a)lationships! But to successfully do so, you will have to be a relationship wingman that protects and cares for your relationships. Your relationships have to know that you are watching their back, so take a moment soon and tell them you’ve got their back, no matter what! Tell them you will protect the relationship, that you will be reliable and undivided in your loyalty.

If you do these things and seek to live out the verses above,

then congratulations, we believe you will build elite, Top Gun relationships.

Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries a non-profit 501 C3 ministry. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships.

To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website

You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at @daleandjena

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