In the summer of 2000, my wife and I took the children and my now late mother in-law on a10 day journey across America. We passed through many cities including Dallas, OklahomaCity, Kansas City, Des Moines before stopping over in Minneapolis, Minnesota.We spent just enough time in Minneapolis to show our children some of the most beautiful lakes in North America. They were fascinated with the deer and gees that roamed around the parks. Then I gave them a tour of my Alma Mata, William Mitchell Collage of Law in St Paul. They could not believe that I studied in that Law School and were amazed that some of buildings were over a hundred years old.
After the second day in Minneapolis, we drove through Wisconsin, Indiana Polis, Chicago, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana before we returned back to Houston Texas. Visiting theTrinity Broadcasting Corporation in Hendersonville, Tennessee was a treat to my mother in-Law as she was an avid fan of Jane and Paul Crouch of theChristian broadcasting television.
I will never forget Atlanta Georgia because we had so much to see; CNN, Coaca Cola, Martin Luther King Center, Down Town Atlanta and Creflo Dollar’s Church.
As I reflect on that trip now, twelve years later, I see similarities between that journey and the journey of life. The principles that made that journey so much fun and purposeful will make any journey of two or more parties successful. It won’t matter whether the journey is from Houston to Minnesota or from birth to death.
As reflected further on the principles, it dawned on me that they are the answers to the questions that many young men and women are looking for. From America to Africa, Europe to Asia, all the young adults are asking: “How do I know she is the one? What if he is not the one? How do I know which the many suitors to choose? That’s the response to the exclamation, “Oh God, I am so confused right now!”
Now the thing that helped us the most on that journey was unity. We had the same goal. Not surprisingly marriage also require unity or Oneness. Genesis 2:24 says that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. It means that if you cannot become one, you cannot become married. No wonder, the Prophet Amos asked that rhetorical question; “Can two walk together except they agree?” Here are the three core areas you must agree:
- Unity of Purpose: You are to look for a team mate in God’s “A” team, a soldier in your camp of God’s army and partner in God’s business. It’s important to have the same purpose. That summer that we travelled across America, we had the same purpose which was to see America and have fun with it. We were all vested in that enterprise too.
- · Unity of Process: We both love to travel preferably by road and the children could care less how we got there. You must agree on how to get to your destination in life. I once counseled a young couple that had the same purpose but different process.They both want to be successful in life but they could not agree on what success meant.
- · Unity in Permanence: The hardest part of marriage is that it is for life. Before God there is no provision for a second chance in marriage unless one of the parties died. During our trip across America we agreed on a10 days’ vacation and it worked because we all were committed to it to the end. Any disagreement on this point would have ended the project. If any of the parties abandons ship during the journey, the party of two becomes a party of one. Marriage is for life. Make sure that life means life to your partner and not till our differences become irreconcilable or till you fall sick or till your money runs dry or till one party gets older and less attractive.
Make your hopes and aspirations known to all. Our plan to travel across America was simple and easy to understand by all the parties involved. We could not have made the journey if one of us thought we were going to California, by air for 21days. The Prophet Habakkuk says we should write the vision and make it plain so that anybody can execute it.
Perhaps the most important part of the voyage was the planning and preparation. (This is where all the singles are right now). We talked about and settled all the nutty issues before we set out on the journey. We knew most of the landmarks that we wanted to visit. Before you start your life time journey, settle all the nutty issues too. Talk about serious issues like; vision, concept of marriage, money and romance and minor things like, color of couch, favorite vacation spots, where to spend major holidays etc. Avoid the temptation to day dream away your courtship time. It’s always better to disagree at this point of the relationship than to endure.
Instead of asking “How do I know the right person”?, ask, “How do I know the wrong person”? You don’t want to drive through life with the wrong partner. Unfortunately we have millions of suitors who are not meant for us and you are more likely to encounter them than the one. That’s why God gave us a natural mechanism to identify the right person. Adam, Isaac and Jacob recognized their life partner without hesitation. The right person feels good in our heart, is desirable to us, and we can’t seem to get enough of that person. I remember when I met my wife at the University. We could talk for hours and hours. The right person comes with unbelievable peace and unprecedented promise or outlook. I pray that you will recognize him or her when the time comes.
For now your challenge is to quickly identify the wrong person(s), keep the path of the right person clear and be expectant. Keep your eyes wide open to welcome him/her. It is a tragedy of great proportion to have the wrong person obstruct the way of the right person.
Here are a few tips about the wrong person. The wrong person comes with some resistance, inner turmoil and lack of peace. You know it because you feel that something is not quite right. God presented all His creations to Adam but Adam only named them and stayed single. Adam gave names to the birds, the fishes and the animals but knew that none of them qualified to be his wife until Eve came. I imagine that the last name of all the creatures that was presented to Adam was “wrong” as in Elephant Wrong, Lion Wrong, and Shark Wrong.
It’s always a red flag when you are obsessed about physique, beauty, wealth, sense of obligation, family pressure, Peer pressure, emotional attachment, debt. One young woman asked us during a radio broadcast, “How do I say no to him after all that he did for me, the years we have been together and the things we have gone through?” My answer to her was; “do not mistake friendship for marriage, or generosity for generation.”
Ask yourself: Are we headed in the same destination? Are we taking the same bus? Are we in it for the same duration? Pause for a moment, think of being cramped in the same house for life with the same person and you begin to get a glimpse of what’s at stake here. Keep that thought for a minute longer and now imagine the frustration of that man or woman in a wrong relationship. Now you understand why there is no life without your life partner. You may get by with a life Partner but there is no joy with the wrong life partner.
Two-gether for Ever