Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dream a Little Dream

Did you dream about what your marriage would be like? As a child? On your wedding day? People dream about what their wedding will be like, but fewer dream about their marriage -at least not in great detail. Sure, there are probably vague notions, like “we’ll have lots of fun together” or “we’ll be best friends” but what about specifics? Maybe they’re not conscious thoughts, or maybe people aren’t even aware they have them, but they are there, and if they are not acknowledged, the only time they will come into play is when a spouse doesn’t meet one of them, or worse breaks one of the “rules.” It’s hard to play by the rules if you don’t know what the rules are - or even if there ARE rules at all!

It is essential therefore that we know what our ideas about marriage are, our needs and wants and desires, and also that we communicate these to our spouse. It is not at all fair to hold someone to a standard that is undefined, only penalizing them in some way when they run afoul of the nebulous list in our head.

We must search our own hearts, and in some way define what our “rules” are. We must know what we want and need out of our union, and then we must communicate it to our spouse… repeatedly. Politicians make yearly “state of the-” speeches to talk about what has gone in in the past year, and to set a course for the year ahead. Presidents make the talks about the union, governors about their state; why don’t we do the same with our marriages? I think that having these talks regularly will do good on multiple levels. They provide a reason for self-evaluation: have your needs changed? Your desires? Do you have new goals you want to accomplish as a person or a couple? These need to be shared. These talks also will provide an opportunity to address issues like mis-communications and misunderstandings, and help to make a plan on how to better work together going forward.

Setting the stage for these talks is important. They can’t be sprung on one another; there must be an atmosphere of openness, of honesty. Both sides should be able to speak knowing they will be listened to, and listen knowing that the goal is to increase understanding and love. The attitude of both should be centered in the words of 1 Corinthians 13:7-8, that love

...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails

Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo of the ONE Extraordinary Marriage podcast have available multiple resources to help foster this type of communication, but it comes down to just talking to one another. Seek to really understand what your spouse is saying, and seek to make clear the things that are on your heart. God wants your union to be everything that each of you desire, for when you are loving each other fully, your marriage becomes the picture of what his love is to the world around you. It should be so good that people ask “What’s your secret?” and you can answer “God is good!”

So dream a little dream… dream a BIG dream! And then, together, make it come true.

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