No, your marriage is not over, said former slugger of the New York Mets and Yankees, Darryl Strawberry and wife Tracy. Team Strawberry should know, they survived crack houses, prison, and adultery. In a raw account, their journey is documented in the book, The Imperfect Marriage, a how-to-guide in improving your marriage.
“Our message to people is that you have to be open. Look where we came from and look at what we were like,” Darryl said. “Our life was full of sin and full of dysfunction and we came to the cross and committed ourselves to God and surrendered.”
Stardom had its price for Darryl, skyrocket into stardom in the Mets organization. Cocaine, wild parties, and affairs became part of a lifestyle. When his second marriage ended along with his career—the bottom even looked good. Tracy, who also battled drug addiction, joined her husband in studying godly principles that led to their testimony.
“The Bible says that we are saved by the word of our testimony and by the blood of the lamb,” Tracy said , who is now a minister. “I truly believe that being transparent would bring people hope.”
At one time the couple blamed the marriage, but marriage was not the problem “We were the problem."
“God is the leader of us and the leader of us as individuals. Most people don’t have the relationship that they need with Christ,” Darryl explained. “For us to be practical, we had to deny ourselves in order to be open to who we are in Christ.”
The once toast of New York was saved during a Morris Cerello conference in 1991, but continued to struggle with addiction, and toxic relationships. After marrying Tracy in 2006, the couple struggled to keep their marriage on track until they both made God the center of their lives.
“It’s incredible how a marriage that is God centered can lead to an abundant life. People think that [having] stuff is an abundant life. An abundant life is having more wholeness, happiness, joy and freedom in Christ.”
Transparency lacks among authors and in the pulpit, so laying their lives out in black and white was imperative.
“People might not go as far down as we did, but God can restore any situation,” said Tracy. "He can restore hope, love, and any marriage if you give him complete control.”
Here is what you can control:
- Safe guard your marriage by limiting unclean entertainment.
- Watch time spent on social media.
- Forgiveness is not a feeling, or a magic word, when your spouse betrays you. Use it as a building block to move forward.
- Beware of the company you keep and places that lead into temptation.
By the way, you can now address the multiple World Series winner as Pastor Darryl, who was recently ordained.
Learn more about the Strawberries and their tips by visiting http://www.strawberryministries.org.