My Wife’s 68% Failure Rate and Baseball

Being a blogger, you’re subjected to many people’s opinions. Most of the feedback we get on this site is positive, but on occasion we get a real home run from a reader. I want to address a specific comment thread that developed on the post “7 Keys to a Happy Wife“. I’m not defending myself or cutting down the commenter, but rather addressing a fleshly thought process that holds people back from true fulfillment in God’s plan.

Comment made on my post: Thank you and your wife so much for putting this out there. I’m in a relationship and we have talked about getting married and it will be my 3rd marriage and that scares me. I’m trying really hard to not make the same mistakes, and he has never been married so getting both points of view from an outside point of view really helps.

Reply from another reader: No one buys an automobile that fails 68% of the time but that is the failure rate of 2nd marriages. It jumps to 76% for 3rd marriages. It’s less work to make the 1st marriage work.

First of all, let me say that before I decided to marry Karen, these thoughts were running through my head. I understand this analytical line of thinking and was more worried about me failing her in another marriage than the other way around. I lost sleep over the fear of failure.

As I grew in my Christian walk, I was able to learn from others’ mistakes who had gone before me, screwed up, and were still chosen to change the world. Since it’s summertime, I’ve decided to add a little baseball twist as a metaphor for how God can overcome the “statistics”. Here is a quick list of some infielders from the God’s All-Star Failure team:

1st Base: Moses – Moses was part of the Egyptian regime that had oppressed Israelites for 400 years. What in the world would God want to use him for? To me, the baseball equivalent of Moses would be Harry Caray. Harry spent time broadcasting for the White Sox and as a Cubs fan this is bad. Finally, he fulfilled his destiny by leaving the White Sox to broadcast for my Chicago Cubs. Of course, he didn’t lead them to the promised land.
2nd Base: Peter – Peter denied Jesus even after Jesus told him he would. The catcher gave Peter the next 3 pitches and he whiffed anyway!
Short Stop:  Paul – Paul was a Christian killer. Probably most equivalent to Ty Cobb playing dirty.
3rd Base: Matthew – He was a tax collector. Tax collectors were DESPISED and considered lowly in that time.
Catcher: David – David is to God what Pete Rose is to baseball. Both of these men embodied their greatest love. For David it was God, for Pete Rose it was baseball. When David (the rockstar of the OT) screwed up, he dealt with the consequences, but always loved God. Then there is Pete Rose, my childhood example of hustle and giving your all, who is now dealing with a lifetime ban from baseball for his mistakes. But he loves the game and should be in the Hall Of Fame. (The commissioner needs to extend grace like God, but this is a different discussion. Ok wait, 4,256 hits, seriously? Put the man in already!)

Each of these men had one thing in common – colossal failure! Why would God want use them? Why would God want to use you? Or better yet, why would He want to use my wife who – according to the statistics – fails at marriage 68% of the time? The answer is easy. We ALL fall short of perfection and God doesn’t care. The only people that care are us. You and I are the ones caught in a flesh battle against God’s plan vs our plan. Your plan has to be lined up with His in order to be truly fulfilled and until that happens you will be a prisoner to lies from the enemy such as “failure rates jump to 76% for 3rd marriages.”

God chooses everyday people who have depended on Him to carry out His plan on Earth. Everyone has failed. In fact, it’s probably easier to figure the number of daily successes than to count daily failures. All of these “failers” were redeemed by God and now have an irrefutable testimony to share with the world – forever! And THIS is how we are redeemed by Christ! It starts with faith, not percentages and risk assessments.

maddux_rook

Greg Maddux’s Donruss rookie card. He finished 8-18 in his first two seasons. Now he is considered one of the greatest of all time.

Failing = learning, and learning at a high level separates humans from every creature and every automobile. Greg Maddux started pitching in 1986. In his first 2 seasons his record was 8-18! Now he is a baseball Hall of Famer with 355 wins (8th all time) in his career. He didn’t just get good in 1988. He learned and changed his game.

God created humans and we are sinful by nature, but we have the ability to learn and give our hearts to the Creator. Humans are the only species on the planet that can do this. Rationalizing with odds and percentages is a way to assess risk, not pick your new wife. Once you start counting pitches, you remove the faith component from the game. Like the great Crash Davis said at the end of his epic speech in Bull Durham, “I don’t believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.”

Crash Davis finishing off his famous speech to Annie in "Bull Durham".

Crash Davis finishing off his famous speech to Annie in “Bull Durham”.

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6 thoughts on “My Wife’s 68% Failure Rate and Baseball

  1. I started reading your blog because the post “7 keys to a happy wife” caught my eye. This is a great follow up. This is both mine and my husbands second marriage. We are both are Christians and attend mass on a regular basis. I am, however, the “Jesus leader” in our home, and often wonder if I’m choosing the right path for my family. I realize it’s ok to fail, this is how we learn, and I also often wonder if working this hard on my second marriage is even worth the time and effort that I put into it. Then I also realize, God put me with this man and our children for a reason, some days I catch a glimpse of why I’m here in this marriage, and sometime I just keep chugging along for the good of God. Thanks again for your blogging

  2. Thank you! This really made me feel better. I am divorced with 4 children. I WAS in a relationship with a great Godly man who had never been married and had no children of his own. Everything was going great until some well meaning church friends started making comments such as “2nd marriages never work”,
    ” Dude are you crazy, she’s divorced with kids”, ” I bet she’s just using you,” and my all time favorite, ” why would you want a used up woman with a package”. Needless to say he was so afraid he would hurt me again he ended the relationship. I am trusting God to ease the loneliness and I know He is always faithful even when we are not. Thanks again for your post. 🙂

  3. Great post Frank. The great thing about going to the plate with God? We’re always batting 1.000, even when we fail.

    Love the quote from Crash too!

  4. Thank you for writing your perspective so eloquently. It confirms my personal belief that humility is our greatest asset before a mighty Creator that loved us despite our egregious ability to fail.

  5. I love reading your blog every month.. This article is so true! Keep encouraging us to keep fighting the good fight of faith.

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