Having dreams is what makes life tolerable. – ‘Pete’ on Rudy
Spouses often balance each other out. One is a spender and the other is a saver. One is a planner and the other is more of a free-spirit. One is a dreamer and the other is a realist. These differences can be good for providing an alternative perspective and they can also be challenging when making decisions. One is not always right and the other is not always wrong. Being able to acknowledge and submit to each others’ strengths can be powerful, and dreaming together can make your marriage unshakeable.
Here are my 5 ways to encourage your husband’s dreams and the benefits it will have on your marriage:
1. Listen. This is simple and vital. It can be very discouraging when someone discounts what you have to say or acts like they don’t even want to hear it. Imagine if you excitedly started telling your best friend a great idea, only to have her act with indifference or doubt – it would probably put you in a pretty bad mood and maybe deter you from sharing things in the future. Our opinion means a lot to our husbands whether they say so or not. Don’t give your husband a reason to shut down. Giving him time to share his ideas and goals can inspire hope, and show that you truly care about what is important to him.
2. Pray. This is obviously a very important step when discussing future plans. A key part of determining whether or not dreams are worth pursuing is to evaluate if it is part of God’s will. Lysa TerKeurst, founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, offers a great 5-question reference to use to figure out if God is prompting us to action. Often times God will ask us to do things that may not make logical sense or are uncomfortable for us, but when both spouses seek to do what He asks, it builds a solid marriage and foundation for whatever lies ahead.
3. Support. A wife’s encouragement (or lack of) can be powerful. I once read in a book something like this, “Be your husband’s number one cheerleader or someone else will.” When our husbands feel supported by us, they feel valued and have more confidence. Also, when men can spend time and energy doing what they love, they are happier. And *bonus* this translates into a more gratitude-filled home environment. Your husband will probably return the favor to help make things a little easier on you!
4. Participate. Personally, I never had much trouble with being supportive, but once I showed an interest in actually helping my husband achieve his dreams our relationship grew even stronger. I guess this is an example that “actions speak louder than words.” This teamwork mentality has carried over to helping each other out more around the house and with our daughters. We don’t spend time comparing who did more or who is working harder, but strive to find ways to make life better for the other person (most of the time)!
5. Pursue your own dreams. What would you like to accomplish or, rather, what is God putting on your heart? When we discuss and pursue our own goals, we also motivate our husbands to do the same and we will be more open to encouraging their pursuits. If a couple is looking to God to direct their steps then these dreams will be compatible. (I discuss this idea more here.) What’s more inspiring than two people hoping, praying, and working together?! Your husband will thank you, your relationship with God will be deeper, and your marriage will grow stronger than ever!
I know that I’m in my late-twenties and I’ve only been married seven years, but the above points are just a little bit of what I have discovered, especially in the past year. Our marriage is far from perfect and we are constantly learning and growing, but as long as we are evolving together and focused on God, then I know we will be alright!
Do you have a story to share about how you have seen the benefits of dreaming together in your own marriage? Any challenges?