Some Relationship Essentials (Part 2): Who wrote the owner’s manual for the institution of marriage?

by Willie Muhammad

Besides wanting to have a successful marriage myself and wanting to see others do so as well. My motive for this guest blog is based upon the following desire of the Hon. Louis Farrakhan, “I want to see successful marriage in the Nation of Islam and among Black people.”

Have you ever heard of Irv Gordon? He was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for being a single owner of a car that has over one million miles. He is a 70-year-old retired science teacher from East Patchogue, N.Y., who owns a 1966 Volvo P1800 with more than 2.8 million miles on the odometer. In 1998, when the car had reached 1.68 million miles, it earned the Guinness World Record for the most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle. While that was an impressive feat, the car was just getting warmed up. Having surpassed his own record by a million miles, Gordon continues to push the new record into the stratosphere every day, on his way to his ultimate goal of 3 million miles.

Some of you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with me being married?” We can learn something from this MR. Gordon, because just like his car, our marriages can benefit from and are in need of “Regular Marriage Maintenances.”

You'd think that a strict set of rules would be needed to make a car last this long, but Gordon has pared it down to two. The first is to follow the owner's manual. "I follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, not the dealer's," said Gordon. What's the other secret to making your car run forever? "Drive the car like you love it," says Gordon.

Who wrote the owner’s manual for the institution of marriage? God has. For many marriages God is only mentioned during the wedding ceremony or during profane statements being yelled during an argument. That is a problem. Do you know there is research that shows that people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith — be it Christian or other — have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population. Seriously is defined as couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes — attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together. The couples did consider themselves perfect, but did see themselves as being serious about their faith.

Drive the car like you love it! How does that relate to our marriages? On a daily basis do we handle our marriage in the sacred way that it should? During a lecture on the topic of marriage the Minister said the following, “We can talk about many things that are important in life, but nothing is more important or sacred than family and the cornerstone of family, which is marriage.” When was the last time you and your spouse set down to check the tires (durability), engine (the drive), oil (life) and transmission (communication) of your marriage?

Here is a tool that can help us. Visit www.marriagebuilders.com and search for “The Most Important Emotional Needs.” Take the time and really read the article. Then click on “Emotional Needs Questionnaire.” MAKE THE TIME TO COMPLETE QUESTIONNAIRE WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Since we talked about the value of God in our marriage, add Spiritual Fulfillment to the list.

I have used the questionnaire and even Bro. Jesse and his wife Sis. Shareefah have. It is a tool that we can use to check the health of our marriage on an annual basis….Peace.

(Student Minister Willie Muhammad is the New Orleans representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Nation of Islam. Follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/BroWM46)

Related Posts in this Series:
Some Relationship Essentials (Part 1): "Be That Which You Want to Attract" (7.27.11)


  1. I like the way you compare the two, I compare my relationship with food I feel like over the years I have put TLC into my cooking and that is why it has gotten better over time. I had to make a few mistakes trying to get that red velvet cake perfect from scratch it was hard and cost me alot of money but it was well worth it because I worked hard and was truly dedicated to getting it right. And like my relationship it was bumpy at first but we didn't give up we worked at it we prayed on it and we all read books on it we want so hard to perfect it because we knew it would make us stronger and it has. It's made and nurtured in love. an that love is what gets us from point A to point B like that old Volvo.... Great story!!!

  2. Smile....like food comparison and your desire to work to save your marriage


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