Life Lessons From A Losing Season

By Mark Hopper

In my last article, I shared some suggestions for frustrated baseball fans who are enduring a losing season.  After I wrote that article, I realized that many of these principles could apply not only to frustrated sports fans but to married couples, too.  Maybe these can help your marriage.

First, avoid negative conversations.  Fans of winning teams enjoy talking about the failures of the losing teams.  The result is discouragement and division.  If you are married, you already know your spouse’s faults and short-comings.  Don’t dwell on these.  Your spouse knows them as well as you do.  Don’t dwell on the negative.  Focus on the positive.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t let unkind words come out of your mouth, but only words that are good and that build up others” (Ephesians 4:29).

Second, don’t dwell on the past, but focus on the future.  Baseball teams with losing records can’t go back and re-write the record book.  The past is the past.  Look ahead to the next season and hope it will be better.

Every married couple has wounded their spouse and made mistakes.  The key is to be willing to forgive and put the offense behind you.  And, if you have hurt your spouse, you need to admit your mistake and ask for their forgiveness.  In First Corinthians chapter 13:5 it says,  “Love does not keep score of the sins of others”.   Don’t keep adding to the old score book in your marriage.  Start over with a clean slate.  Be willing to forgive others as you hope they would be willing to forgive you, too.

Third, invest in the future.  I suggested buying your tickets for next season now while the team is not doing well.  Ticket prices might be lower after a losing season and you might find some bargains!

The same is true in marriage.  You need to keep investing in your future.  Work together on a home improvement project.  Make some plans for a trip or weekend getaway.  Dream together about what you will do after the kids are grown and you two are alone again.  Don’t dwell on the past. Dream about your future together.

Finally, never give up hope.  Some baseball fans quickly abandon their team after a losing and frustrating season.  They are ready to switch their loyalty to the other team in town.  This can happen to married couples, too.  After years of frustration and disappointment, some spouses are ready to give up on their spouse and look for a new one.

Let me urge you to not do that.  Marriage is a lifetime commitment.  Don’t be mislead into thinking that someone else will make your life better.  The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.  The last verse in First Corinthians 13 says, “Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.  And, the best of these is love.”

If you are going through a difficult “season” in your life or marriage, don’t give up.  Find a good counselor.  Find a good church.  Get help and never give up hope.

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd.  Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.