Dreaming Together: How to Develop Joint Marital Dreams

Before we can intelligently talk about developing joint marital dreams, we must first understand what we’re talking about. We all have dreams about matters important to us – our lives, our jobs, our accomplishments, our dream vacation spots, and of course, our marriages.

The fascinating part of this concept is that few of us ever vocalize most of our specific dreams. In fact, many of us have never consciously determined what many of these dreams are beyond a vague idea of success, competence, fame, fortune, happiness, fulfillment, and/or influence. Just because we haven’t consciously determined what most of these dreams look like, however, doesn’t mean that we don’t exert considerable influence on our mates to reach the ultimate achievement of our dreams.

For example, suppose a man’s fondest boyhood memories of time spent with his father involved time bonding together while working on and riding his dad’s motorcycle. As a result, one of his unspoken and unfocused dreams for his marriage might be to take biking trips with his wife across several states, camping out on the way, just enjoying nature and the love of his life. The woman he fell in love with and married thinks “roughing it” involves a week’s stay in a 5-star hotel in the Caribbean, and never on a motorcycle. On a level he may not even be aware of, he views his marriage as a disappointment and failure because they can never bond in a way that speaks volumes to him of happiness, intimacy, and mutual interest.

Because our marital dreams color our view of happiness and success – at least, in marriage – understanding what our marital dreams are and what they mean to us is essential to our feelings of a successful and fulfilling marriage. Understanding our own dreams for our marriages, however, is only the first of three vital steps.

The second step is to understand what the spouse’s dreams for the marriage are, and what those dreams mean to him or her. Finally, once you both understand each other’s dreams and the significance behind each one, each spouse must find a way to fulfill as many of the other’s marital dreams as possible. Obviously, the likelihood of some dreams being mutually exclusive with some dreams of the other is a real possibility. Consequently, not all dreams can be fulfilled.

When both spouses allow a give-and-take attitude to prevail so that some of both mate’s marital dreams are fulfilled, and what is not achievable stems from fulfilling an opposing marital dream of the other or some other reasonable factor (like insufficient time or resources), love, respect, and appreciation permeate a marriage.

When two mature people who love one another deeply follow this plan, they see many marital dreams for both fulfilled. Isn’t this what every married couple dreams of achieving?

– Family Dynamics Institute

 

Family Dynamics Institute collaborates with Churches, Companies, and Community Organizations to help them provide a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry to help married and engaged couples grow stronger at all ages and stages of marriage.

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What Kids Learn From Their Dad

How well are you representing your heavenly Father? To your son? To your daughter? That is your priceless purpose.

Both the Scriptures and statistics clearly communicate that there is no more influential person in the life of a child than his or her father. Whereas moms are priceless, irreplaceable, and needed beyond measure, they were never designed to be men or to fill the role of a dad. When the Bible states that “the glory of children is their father” (Proverbs 17:6 NKJV), it is revealing an important dynamic of how God has wired the hearts and minds of children.

They learn their identity from you. When your kids are young, they don’t know who they are, what is right or wrong, or who God is. They don’t know how to live life. But kids naturally go to their dads for answers to their biggest questions: Who is God? Who am I? Am I loved? Am I a success? Do I have what it takes? What is my purpose in life? And if dads don’t teach their kids the truth about these things, then the world will teach them lies.

They learn their values from you. Kids watch their dads to find what’s important. It’s a dad’s job to keep his children from having to learn the lessons of life the hard way. A father’s wise words and actions constantly reinforce the higher priorities and deeper truths of life. So if he is not there–or if he’s there but not intentional in his training and leadership–his kids will be walking through their most important decisions without the one person who should be loving and leading them the most.

They learn their worth from you. When a child has a dad who says, “I love you, I’m proud of you, and I’m going to stand with you and always be there for you,” it changes the life of that child forever. Sons who have their dads in their lives do significantly better in school, have better social skills and self-esteem, and are more likely to say no to criminal behavior. Similarly, when a daughter looks into the mirror, she needs to hear her father’s voice in her heart reminding her that she is beautiful and loved. As a result, girls with strong dads are much more likely to feel secure–and are much less likely to have eating disorders and identity issues or to become sexually active in their teen years. But in too many families, this is not what’s happening.

We need to rediscover God’s original intention of what our homes are supposed to be like. Families should be havens of love and enjoyment. Homes should be places of peace and purpose. But great homes don’t just happen. They are gardens that need to be intentionally cultivated and guarded. A man must let truth, love, and wise discipline become constant ingredients to his fathering. He should carefully nurture his wife, his children, and his own attitude so that his home is a place where his marriage and the next generation can grow and thrive.

That’s why we need a game-changing Resolution.

 

Excerpt from The Resolution for Men by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

Are You Asking the Wrong Question?

 

For years I repeatedly asked God what He wanted me to do. I heard only silence. So I attempted with all my heart to obey Scripture and do what I thought He would want me to do. I wasn’t always sure, but I did my best. Yet I still felt inadequate, like a son who could never please his father.

 

Finally at one of my lowest times I heard my heavenly Father say, “You have been asking the wrong question, son. The right question is, ‘What do you want me to become?’ Once you experience that, live out of who you are becoming.”

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen.”

 

Maturity is not accomplished by striving to reach some level of performance that would deem me spiritual or by obeying a set of laws to count me as righteous. Performing and obeying will never earn my Father’s favor. Jesus is everything we are called to be and become. The Jesus in us will always delight the heart of the Father.

 

The first words that came out of the Father’s mouth at Christ’s baptism were, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17). What had Christ done to deserve such a pronouncement of favor? At this time he hadn’t preached any sermons, healed the sick, raised the dead or turned the water into wine. He had simply been a faithful, loving son both to His Father in Heaven and His family on earth.

 

Understand this: What God said about Jesus, God says about all his sons and daughters. Because of the work of Christ on our behalf, God is well pleased with us.

 

“Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. We accomplish the whole purpose of God in our lives when we have our whole being summed up in Him by simply abiding in Him.” – Rick Joyner

 

 

Reflect

 

What does God want you to do? He wants you to abide in Christ.

 

 

Written by and in memory of Dr. Dan Erickson