Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Back to Wife 101... Or, When My Husband Dreams

We all have dreams that pass through our heads. I don't mean the type of dreams we have when we sleep. I'm talking about ideas, goals, and plans. Some of these dreams, we will act on; others we will set aside in favor of other goals.

If we are wise, we evaluate our dreams. We determine if they are, in fact, God's plan for us. We decide if it is something that we really want to do, or if it was a momentary fancy. We will consider what steps and goals we need to take in order to help us acheive our dreams. Then, we will put these steps into practice.

Spouses can help each other with this process of evaluating dreams. However, when a husband or wife is brainstorming, that's not the time to bring up a ton of practical obejections. When we are in the first enthusiams for an idea, we want someone to hear us out before they offer us feedback.

Sometimes, young wives are insecure when their husbands talk about great plans. Often (but not always) young wives greatly value family security, while young men greatly value challenge and adventure. Thus, young wives can have a negative reaction if their husbands' dreams involve taking some scary steps. For example, a wife may stifle her husband's dream of owning his own business, because she prefers the security of staying with an established company.

Sometimes, we old wives blow it in this area, too. Recently, my husband told me of a dream he has for serving God in our retirement. It is a great dream! But, it would mean that we would make some changes in our lives. At first thought, that collided with my idea of our future. Immediately, I thought of things I would have to give up in order for this dream to come true. And, I blurted out my objections.

Now, I know better than this. For one thing, our retirment is at least fifteen years away. We have plenty of time to dream and to talk and to pray about how God can use us best during those years. I could have paid my husband the courtesy of listening to him with an open and postive mindset before voicing my objections.

Over the years, I have learned some things about how to respond to my husband's dreams:

1) My husband is both a smart man and a spiritual man. He has some great ideas!
2) We enjoy dreaming together. My husband values my input. He trusts me with his dreams, and he listens to mine. I love the fact that we can dream together. I want to respond to my husband's dreams in a way that honors this.
3) When my husband throws out an idea for consideration, it doesn't mean that he's going to act on it. So, if I have some concerns about an idea of his, it's wise not to over-react.
4) If I do find myself wanting to over-react, it's usually because I'm feeling insecure. If I give way to that insecurity, it clouds my judgment, and I am not able to give my husband wise input. It's far better for me to hear him out, to pray, and, then, to respond. Having said that, it helps my husband understand me better if I say calmly and honestly, "I'm feeling insecure about this, and here's why."
5) Often an idea will have some merits and some cons. So, even if I do need to voice some concerns, I can usually find something positive to say as well.



Anonymous said...

My hubby often makes me nervous with his dreams, lol! I must learn to react prayerfully not with blind panic "nooo, we can't do that!!" :) Thanks for this post it was a good reminder.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sarah,

In general, I need to learn to be quicker to listen and slower to speak!

Gardener Greg said...

Thank you Elizabeth. I was sitting here having a really bad day at work and I decided to unwind a minute or two and read a few blogs. I came across yours by accident but after reading a few of your posts, I have calmed down. Great blog you have here. Thank you.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Gardener Greg,

I'm glad you enjoyed the posts.