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Becoming a World-Class Traveler

Growth Is a Necessary Component for Every Marriage

New Book by Paul and Terrie Chappell ‘Are We There Yet?’ Debuts in Just Over a Week; Launch Event Set for Couples Conference in Hagerstown, Maryland, on Oct. 19

LOS ANGELES—We’ve come a long way, baby.

That’s a line many married couples could use with some accuracy, as few husbands and wives are the same people they were when they said “I do.” In fact, if there hasn’t been any growth in one, 10 or 50 years of marriage, problems are sure to abound.

After 37 years of marriage, authors Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell can look at each other and say they’ve come a long way, too. Now, the Chappells are sharing their marriage insights in their soon-to-be-released, travel-themed book, Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples,” out in just over a week on Oct. 17.

In “Are We There Yet?,” the Chappells candidly share biblical principles and personal, transparent illustrations that will equip couples to travel down the road of marriage further together. Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way.

Chapter 11 of “Are We There Yet?” titled “Becoming a World-Class Traveler” focuses on the topic of growth, a necessary component of any successful marriage.

“All too often,” Dr. Chappell said, “we talk with couples who have been married 15, 25, 30 years, but rather than developing as a couple, they have stagnated. Instead of getting further along, they’ve fallen into ruts of hurtful relational habits. Rather than growing closer to one another, they become distant or even hostile.

“How does this happen?” he continued. “Actually, a better question is, ‘How can we keep this from happening to us?’ After all, growth isn’t automatic. It isn’t merely by being married for a decade that you become a better spouse; it is by intentionally pursuing growth.”

The Chappells add that God designed for marriage to be more than an “okay relationship” where each person has their own agenda and appreciates the other on an as-needed basis.

“Marriage is to be the weaving together of two lives,” they write in Chapter 11. “‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). This kind of weaving takes both time and effort. Over the years, provided you continue investing effort, you build a repository of shared experience that draws you closer to one another. As you intentionally lean in to each other through every phase of life and share together in the decisions, plans, events, and memories, you grow closer. And as you, through this process, give attention and intention to your relationship, you become a better spouse as well.”

In “Are We There Yet?” the Chappells also give five specific ways couples can pursue growth:

  1. Grow together in Christ. Only growth in grace can give you the desire and ability to unselfishly invest in your marriage. So determine that you will be a couple who grows in grace together.
  2. Create traditions and memories. Traditions are so healthy for a relationship. They tie your past to your present and help you look forward to the future.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. If there is one way to grow in any area of life, it is learning from your mistakes. This is good news because most of us have plenty of raw material from which to draw, especially when it comes to marriage.
  4. Get help as needed. Seeking counsel doesn’t need to be a last resort. It can be simply one of several tools to provide maintenance along the way.
  5. Trust God together. Like travel, sometimes life and marriage are unpredictable. Although experience does make you better able to adapt to the unexpected, it can’t change circumstances beyond your control.

In 10 days, the Chappells will be featured speakers at a Couples Conference attended by hundreds at Emmanuel Baptist Temple in Hagerstown, Maryland. Along with Dr. Tim and Sharon Rabon and Dr. Mark and April Campbell, the Chappells will lend their insight and expertise at the three-day event on Oct. 19-21 that aims to give couples a boost of strength and encouragement for their marriage.

Also at the conference, the Chappells will offer a launch reception for “Are We There Yet?” at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 19, where the couple will answer questions about the book and be available to sign copies. View further details about the Couples Conference here. Those who purchase the book at the conference will also receive the bonus companion guide.

Pre-orders for Are We There Yet? may be made online at www.AreWeThereYetBook.com. Additional bonus items for those who pre-order before the Oct. 17 release date include: Chapter 1 in PDF format, a marriage Q&A video session with the Chappells and downloadable “Travel with Me” cards—52 questions to inspire the marriage journey.

            Read more about “Are We There Yet?” and the Chappells here.

For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit paulchappell.com or www.lancasterbaptist.org, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.