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A Strong Finish

By:  Donna Martin

It was the bottom of the 5th inning and our grandson’s team was way behind 7 to 2.  Inning after inning they had struggled to come back.  It was the fourth game of the tournament and the players were tired, but they kept on struggling.  Our grandson went in to pitch - three up, three down – no scoring for the other team.  We were up to bat again, and the opposing pitcher was getting tired.  One of our batters stepped to the plate.  He had not made a hit all day, and he didn’t again.  Instead he walked.  Then he stole base after base until he was all the way around to third.  A wild pitch and he ran home!  We scored.  The next batter did the same thing.  Then we had a hit and another hit – two players on base and our grandson stepped to the plate for a home run.  The inning was over when our team had scored 7 runs to make the score 9 to 7 our favor.  After more fantastic catches and hits and amazing tags to keep the other team from scoring, our grandson’s team made a great comeback and won the game 13 to 9.  It was fun and inspiring to watch the group of boys struggle together to win the game. They did not give up when things looked bleak.  Each player did what he did best whether it was stealing bases, making catches, or simply cheering on his teammates.  It would have been easy for the team to have given up in the 6th inning, but they chose to press on and to finish strong.

When life gets hard it is easy to get frustrated and give up.  This happens so often today in marriages.  Conflicts arise, illness strikes, financial difficulties tear at the budget, and expectations are not met.  Sometimes people give up on their marriage and each other.  Instead of working together as a team to resolve conflicts, instead of offering grace, forgiveness, love and encouragement they leave. 

What if couples today looked at the trials and hardships in marriage as opportunities to grow and mature into the people God wants them to be?  James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Working through conflicts and hardships can often make marriages stronger.  As you learn to communicate, compromise, forgive and solve problems together your bond of love matures and grows stronger. 

Don’t give up when things get tough.  Try to see what God is teaching you about yourself, offer grace to your spouse when he or she fails to meet your expectations.  Press on together as a team so that in the 9th inning of your life together you will finish strong and glorify God in your marriage.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


Learn more about how to glorify God in your marriage. Order Sacred Marriage by clicking below on the words "Shop Now."

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