You hear the sound on an oncoming locomotive. The sky seems blacker than night. The pressure in the air makes you feel as if your head will explode any minute. Impending danger is near. You can smell it’s putrid destruction in the air. The wind whips in and begins to carry off everything you’ve worked so hard to acquire. You run to get your family. You all dive under the bed for cover. You hope this make-shift shelter will keep you safe until the sun comes out again.
In the pitch darkness you hear the roof give away. A biting cold torrent enters the room. You look up. The sky swirls ominously above you. For a moment, you feel like everything and everyone you love will be taken away from you. Panic races like frigid blood through your veins. You peek out, and your worst fears are confirmed. You are in the eye of the storm. A whirlwind has landed on your life and you wonder if you should stay put and pray or try to get out from under this horrendous monster and run for your life!
That’s how survivors of tornadoes sound when they describe their experience. But this is also an accurate description of how you and your spouse may feel in this hectic, fast-paced, technologically inundated — yet virtually unpredictable — world in which we all live.
This summer the movie “Twister” was a box office hit! Audiences cheered as love triumphed over nature. What made it possible for the stars of the film to survive the twister? They invested well. They invested in great equipment, great information, and a great plan. Those same investments can reap great benefits in our relationships and help us survive and thrive through life’s twisters.
Great Equipment: Recently I tried to connect with a friend of mine to leave an emergency message — I did get the answering machine — but I wanted to connect with her sooner. I didn’t have her pager number so I paged her husband and he called back on the cell phone. When I explained my situation to him he said, “I know. I’m trying to talk her into a pager. When you run with me you need a pager and cell phone to stay connected. It’s just an investment that will keep us connected — and in love.” What will keep you connected? Many couples find that technology can be a useful tool for staying close in a hectic world. Other couples invest in equipment for a common hobby or sport. For some it maybe a new set of gourmet pans so they can slow down, cook together and have time to talk. With Christmas just around the corner, beginning thinking about what equipment might be helpful for keeping you in love.
Great Information: To navigate safely through the twisters in the movie, the scientists gathered as much reliable information as possible. In marriage, most couples make the mistake of thinking the relationship will come naturally–spontaneously. The opposite is true. Couples who invest in good premarital counseling DO HAVE a better chance of making marriage work. Couples who attend church together DO HAVE better marriages. Couples who invest in regular marriage conferences DO HAVE more fulfilling relationships. Investing in great information like books, tapes, and conferences is like investing in a quality stock–it pays great dividends!! Bill and I make it a priority to attend a yearly marriage conference and those getaways have served us well. Getting away reminds us of our love, our commitment, our friendship– and if you want to make a good marriage great, great information is the difference.
Great Plan: In “Twister,” the final plan of the movie that saved the couple’s life was their plan to strap on to a set of pipes that ran 30 feet into the ground. That anchor saved their life! When the twister hit they went on the ride of their life — but they survived! Couples who have a plan for their marriage, their family, and their love survive. Couples who make it a priority to seek God together and write down a plan for their life are way ahead in their marriages. Too often couples never set goals, or if they do they are primarily financial goals. Setting emotional, spiritual, physical, social and family goals together fortify a relationship. Some times each individual in a marriage will set individual goals–then they find themselves competing and arguing. Couples need an integrated plan for life so they are both on the same page of the play book. Creating a great plan TOGETHER is the key.
Great equipment, great information, and a great plan are all components of the “Out of the Whirlwind Marriage Conference” that we’ll be hosting in Big Bear, Oct. 25-27. It’s an investment that will have a great pay off in your relationship. Twisters come in all shapes and sizes in this world — but you can create a love that lasts through whatever life may send your way.
Pam and Bill Farrel have a writing and speakign ministry to couples. Bill is the pastor of Valley Bible Church in San Marcos. Call Masterful Living, 727-9122.