Summary: If we are to walk together in meaningful relationship, we must we willing to work together on agreed upon goals and objectives.
The principle laid out for us in Amos 3:3 applies to every relationship in life, beginning, of course, with our relationship with God. If I am going to walk with God, I must agree with Him on His directives for my life. It is only as I am willing to work with God on what He wants to do in me and through me that I can walk with Him in meaningful relationship. That being understood, this principle also relates to every other relationship I have in life.
If we are going to walk together in meaningful relationship, we need to agree to work together. An essential ingredient in our working together with someone is agreed upon goals and objectives. And, of course, as a Christian, I need to seek to make sure that those goals are God led.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” - Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
The word “perish” can also be translated, “go unrestrained . . . each to his own way.” What a tragic but fitting description of many marriages, families, and churches today! It can even be true of an entire nation.
“All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” - Judges 21:25 (NLT)
While the principles we are looking at today can apply to any group of people in relationships with one another, like a church or a country, I want to focus today on marriage and family relationships. Agreement on common goals is key to walking together in meaningful relationship with our spouses and our families. Why set God led goals as a family?
1. God led goal setting is a basis for marriage and family oneness.
Amos 3:3 asks a very good question, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Agreeing on where you’re going is essential to oneness in relationships. You can start with a simple agreement that neither husband nor wife makes a time commitment involving the other without first discussing and agreeing on the matter. Goals can involve family nights, household plans, vacation ideas, or anything with the potential to encourage “walking together” as a family. But whatever the goal is you set, you will find that your relationship with one another will be enriched. The reason being that when we set goals together, we communicate with one another, and that is always good for a marriage!
Old habits are hard to break. One guy invariably left off the toothpaste cap. For years his wife had hounded him about it. Finally, on their 25th anniversary he made a private commitment to break the annoying habit. With faithfulness and regularity he screwed on the toothpaste cap every time he used the toothpaste. After a week of unbroken success the poor guy was blindsided by his very suspicious wife. She cornered him at the breakfast table and said, “Why have you quit brushing your teeth?”
“When a man and a woman marry they become one. The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.” - Anonymous
Goals help you pull together as a couple and a family.
2. God led goal setting offers a framework for making decisions.
Life consists of endless decisions: where to invest your time, attention, effort, and money. Without established goals, confusion and conflict will abound. By setting goals, however, a family faced with a decision can simply ask, “Will this choice further accomplish our family goals, or hinder them?”
The art of navigation depends to a large extent on the existence of fixed points. The fixed point can be a star, or a lighthouse; it does not really matter as long as it is fixed and solid. If this is the case, then the navigator can take his bearing and steer his course. He cannot take his bearing from a cloud: it moves - it is vaporous and, in the course of time, disappears.
Navigation is only possible because of the existence of fixed points.
Goals provide us with a set of “fixed points” whereby we can know whether or not we are “on course” in the decisions we make.
3. God led goal setting is a reminder of important priorities.
“Good” things are the worst enemies of the “best” things. Goal setting serves as a frequent reminder of our accountability to priorities that matter to us. Clearly defined goals will help us give our relationships with God and family the significance they deserve in our daily lives.
“What we want to have achieved tomorrow . . . will determine what we need to do today!” - Anonymous
On the night of April 14,1912, the Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the Atlantic and sank. One of the most curious stories to come from the disaster was of a woman who was in one of the lifeboats. She asked if she could return to her room for something and was given three minutes. She ran through the corridors, stepping over money and gems littering the floor where they had dropped. In her room she ignored her jewelry and instead grabbed three oranges. Then she quickly returned to the boat. Hours earlier it would have been crazy to think she would have exchanged a diamond for an orange, but circumstances had suddenly transformed her values. Oranges had become more precious than diamonds.