Sally (my lovely bride) and I have a lot of conversations. Well, that should be obvious as we ARE happily married. But I don’t mean conversations about the normal day to day activities. We certainly have those. Something interesting has been happening in our conversations in the past year and a half or so and I really like it.
Over the course of our 23+ years of marriage we have moved through times of high busyness and other, slower periods. Raising children took (and still occasionally takes) a lot of time, effort and emotional energy. Other areas in life, work, church, home based businesses, time with family and friends also had similar requirements. We have always been close and made it a priority to care for and love each other but we didn’t always have great depth of conversations.
As regular followers of this blog know the two of us are in a transitional phase of our lives. God has removed some things which used to have great focus and is moving us into new directions without a lot of details. It feels something like what Matthew must have experienced:
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
The Bible doesn’t indicate that Matthew asked any questions but I just have to wonder, did Matthew consider where he was going? Did he question where Jesus might lead? Was he excited, apprehensive, filled with anticipation or fearful? Or did he simply trust in the One?
We find ourselves in a “follow Me” moment and are working through the ramifications. It’s an interesting time. But that’s not the complete point of this post.
An Unexpected Result
One of the areas Sally and I have been very intentional about over the last several months is praying together. If you’d like to see why this is critically important check out the post 22 Years of Failure. The regular prayer, along with the life changes have led to an unexpected but wonderful result. We spend more time talking about not only our current circumstances, but also our future hopes and dreams. In addition we are both opening up in a deeper way about things outside of our relationship. Things that are good and things that are challenges.
You Need to Know
Now I’m not saying that Sally and I never had these kinds of conversations. But the difference is simple…we have them very often now. It’s pretty amazing. Let me ask you a question. Do you know your spouse’s secret hopes and dreams? The ones they are almost afraid to admit to themselves because they don’t believe they are even possible. Do you know her passions? The things that really get her excited to accomplish? You need to know them. Recently Sally and I were having a couple of deep discussions which had three results. 1) I learned things that she really enjoys that even she had not really remembered and 2) I explained an area that she knew I was struggling with but she didn’t really understand why. 3) I found out something she has regretted never completing for many years.
Be the Catalyst
Here is why you MUST have conversations about where you have frustrations as well as your hopes and dreams. First, you can help to relieve areas of frustration. Just sharing them with Sally eased the burden somewhat. In addition she was all for making whatever change is necessary to remove the problem. This had nothing to do with our relationship, but because it was important to me it was important to her. In addition your wonderful wife may have given up on her private hopes and dreams. She may have resigned herself to a life of mediocrity and acceptance that what she so passionately desires, a dream given to her by God will never happen. But YOU can believe for her. You can tell her that it is possible. You can hold her hand and start down the path together. You can be the catalyst for her dreams!
Cheerleader in Chief
Marriage isn’t just about love and devotion. Marriage is also about support and encouragement. You need to be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader! But in order to do so you need to know what she really dreams about. That’s why you need to have these conversations. You don’t really know a person until you know what they ache for that no one else understands.
In order for a marriage to grow both parties need to grow individually and as a couple. People grow by going through challenges and accomplishing goals and dreams. You will grow closer to each other by giving hope and being an encourager for your spouse. When you know her dreams you know her. When you help her reach them you show her more love!
Love you all!