Anthony Calzia, a student at California Baptist University, recently interviewed me about With One Voice, a book my wife and I wrote a few years ago. Extended portions of the interview appear in CBU’s campus newspaper, The Banner. The interview appears in its entirety on my friend Jeff Mooney’s blog. Dr. Mooney is an Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University and the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Norco, CA. Here’s an excerpt:
1. Who are you? How did you come to write your book? How and when did you come to date and marry?
I came to Christ as a high schooler, and saw the aimless dating patterns of many high school Christians in my youth group and elsewhere. Later, I was involved in college ministry, and, being single in my twenties, I naturally gave these issues significant consideration. I first worked on Five Paths to The Love of Your Life for NavPress; the idea for that book came from all those helpful “multi-views” books that IVP and Zondervan publish on theological issues. I was finishing it when, in the summer of 2004, I was interning at Grace Community Church in Gardnerville, NV and was asked to teach a six-part series on Christian dating. The audience was the entire church, not one age demographic. So I began to think about how to prepare a series for all ages (high school students, college students, junior highers, parents and grandparents). The six messages I gave became the six chapters in With One Voice.
I met Marni on November 1, 2003 and married her on December 18, 2004 (yes, I’ve got all the anniversaries down!). I was in Berkeley, CA finishing graduate school, and she was living in Oakland and working for SBC (the CA phone company, now AT&T). We were both almost 30, and I guess you could say that we were both “ready for marriage” in that we each knew what we were looking for and were at an age/life-stage to marry. With the guidance, support, and community of her family and a lot of our close friends living nearby, we were able to get to know each other pretty well in a variety of contexts quite quickly. Over the period of a few months it was clear that we both met the criteria on our “lists,” and over the next few months we were delighted to discover how much we enjoyed each other and wanted to spend our lives together. God’s leading seemed clear by mid-summer 2004, when I proposed to her on a walk at sunset on the beach at Lake Tahoe.