By Troy Vincent Sr.

Communication is key to bringing that diversity into agreement. So often we are not flexible on our positions. In relationships, there are constant negotiations toward common agreement. It can range from buying a car, raising children, managing external relationships,  where do we want to go for dinner,  our next family vacation, to what the family agenda is for today. There are so many decisions, so many ways to fall into disagreement. For us, the centerpiece of oneness is found in our faith walk, our relationship with Christ.

We view our relationship  like a relay race, not an individual sprint. In a relay race, we need to stay in our lane. When someone gets outside the lane, there is a disqualification. Similarly, others in the race must stay within the lanes. If they venture over to your lane, they disrupt the race and also are disqualified. Basically keep folks out of your relationship! They can take you off the path of oneness. In marriage, we are called to be teammates. We trip up when we allow ourselves to be distracted, or when we invite others into our race.

The passing of the baton in a relay race is a relational act. To make a successful hand off, there must be communication, body language, eye contact, pacing—all done simultaneously—just like moving at the velocity of life. At the hand off, there is a word, either spoken or unspoken, “Reach,” and the grasp is made without looking back, the feel of the baton passing from one to another. Working together and communicating, oneness ensures that the exchange is clean.

Success depends on hearing and understanding our partner by employing all the communications skills to achieve that oneness as we run the race of life together. Often we listen, but we do not hear. From my experience, I sometimes find myself impatient asTommi goes into the details on various topics. I find myself wanting her to land the plane rather than circling in the holding pattern! When you are in a holding pattern there is congestion, weather, etc.. Once the airways are clear, it is OK to land. Imagine what would happen if the pilot tries to land before the traffic controller allows him.  She  is giving the details because they are necessary. Not hearing may result in missing paying a bill, something that has emotional consequences, an important work deadline, or something involving the children. Giving undivided attention, communicating, working together all need to be in order as we seek oneness.

Relationship is all about achieving oneness, and relational and spiritual maturity. Forgiveness, trusting, empathy, teamwork, and communication are tools we have in our relationship toolbox. We must have the awareness on when to apply the right tool, be intentional and committed to staying focused on what God has destined for our lives, both individually and in oneness together.