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The Mission of Marriage


Dear Married Individual:

Earlier in our marriage, I had an occasional nightmare that in our twilight years Rita would turn to me and say, “Everything I gave up for you and the kids was worth it.”

Why was that a nightmare? Because that would mean I failed—that I didn’t know who she really was. I’m confident that married couples need to be in the business of sharing dreams. Bringing out the best in each other. Lifting each other up. 

The mission of marriage is to help each other chase dreams.

Yes, there will be sacrifices, but it’s mutually beneficial. It’s a win-win. Rita’s victories and accomplishments become my victories and accomplishments. And vice versa.

That’s why Scripture puts such value on marriage. Multiple times the Bible talks about husbands and wives “becoming one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:6, Eph. 5:31, 1 Cor. 6:16)  That’s how and why marriage works.

Let’s apply this idea to real life. Husbands or wives . . . can you imagine yourself saying:

  • “I think I want to quit work and stay home with the kids.”
  • “What if we opened our own restaurant?”
  • “Let’s visit Paris.”
  • “I’m thinking about writing a book.”
  • “What if I ran for City Council?”
  • “I think God is calling me to full-time ministry.”
  • “I’d like to build a boat.”
  • “Let’s have another baby.” 

Could you share those dreams out loud with your spouse?

Too many married couples keep their dreams unspoken. And that’s a red flag. Harboring secret dreams can be divisive to your marriage. You’re plotting and planning ways to make your dream come true.

Finally, when you’re ready to take action, you spring it on your husband or wife who responds, “What! Where did that come from?”

As a result, you become resentful and argumentative. Which isn’t quite fair, right? You’ve been thinking about this for months or years. And your spouse heard it for the first time fourteen seconds ago!

The best recommendation is to kick around your dreams early and often. Even dreams that are silly, ambitious, or impossible. The result will be a great conversation. Or a reality check. Or an unexpected new idea that spins off your idea and eventually comes true.

Or maybe your spouse has been thinking the exact same thing. And you both quit your jobs and open that mo-ped rental business in Key West. If that’s the case, let me know and Rita and I will be your first customers.