By Erin Smalley
The most powerful benefit of dreaming together in marriage is the synergy it creates. What you can do together is far greater than what you can do alone.
I was at a women’s Bible study group when the leader asked a fascinating question: “What were your dreams as a young girl?”
Over the next hour, I learned more about the women in the group than I knew about some of my closest friends. The women talked about their dreams of marrying a farmer, of becoming a seamstress, a teacher, a nurse or an astronaut.
As the women disclosed their unique journeys, some recalled the circumstances that had caused them to walk away from those early aspirations. My heart broke when I heard the regrets, frustrations and disappointments of unrealized dreams. But I found it uplifting to hear about God’s faithfulness and how He had brought different opportunities, opened new doors and delivered unexpected blessings to each woman.
When you met your spouse, a new set of aspirations entered the picture. Your individual desires mingled, and you began to dream together.
The power of dreaming together
Dreaming has a powerful effect on a marriage. It brings a unique depth of closeness and connection. Dreaming together …
- Strengthens your commitment. Dreaming implies that you anticipate a hopeful future together.
- Nurtures your partnership and helps strengthen your unity and teamwork.
- Creates intimacy by allowing you a glimpse of your spouse’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
- Helps you live intentionally by clarifying what is really important to you as a couple.
- Inspires romance. Find a couple who dream about their future together and you’ll find two people madly in love.
- Reawakens passion. Thinking about what can be accomplished together is exciting and energizing.
The most powerful benefit of sharing a vision for your future is the synergy it creates. What you can do together is far greater than what you can do alone. Your combined abilities, experience, talents and passions create an incredible God-blessed synergy — the two become one. This oneness is a superpower. God wants you to use your oneness to bless others.
Most young couples dream wildly with no limits on what they can accomplish together. But then something happens. For many couples, dreaming ends as the rapid pace of life takes over. And sadly, most couples aren’t even aware that they have stopped dreaming together. But they notice the distance between them and start feeling like married roommates.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can dream together again, and in the process, you can serve God and build a stronger marriage.
The journey of dreaming together
I was adopted as a baby into a wonderful family. As a little girl, I dreamed of the day I could adopt a daughter. I wanted to “pay it forward” — to do for another girl what had been done for me.
Before we were married, I asked Greg, “Would you be willing to adopt someday?” And without hesitation, he enthusiastically agreed. “Someday” was a long time coming, but I never lost the passion to adopt. The desire that had formed in my 8-year-old heart had become a shared dream with my husband, and it finally came to fruition 34 years later when we adopted our daughter Annie.
While our desire was to add to our family through adoption, your dream is likely something entirely different. Over the years, Greg and I have asked couples about their shared dreams, and we’ve heard varying responses. The possibilities are endless. However, the result is that you’re united in vision and pursuing a course of action that will bless others. Every couple has a great calling on their marriage — not just individual callings.
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Take some time to discuss these questions with your spouse:
- What might God be calling us to do together to serve Him and bless others?
- What are some goals we can pursue together?
- What do we want our life together to be like five years from now? Ten years? Twenty years?
- At the end of our life together, what accomplishments do we want to be able to look back on and celebrate?
- What qualities do we want people to remember about us?
- What kind of legacy do we want to leave?
Pray about whatever the Lord begins revealing to you and your spouse. You may wait years before you see God fulfill a dream He’s given you … or He may act much faster than you expect. Trust in His timing. He knows what is best for your marriage.
Some of you might be thinking: Easy for you to say. It all worked out for you. The truth is that we had no idea how my adoption dream would play out. However, we were always confident in the Lord’s faithfulness. Let Him lead; He knows the outcome.
Dreaming is less about the final outcome and much more about the journey you’re on with your spouse and the Lord.
The next steps in the journey
Don’t ever stop dreaming together. When one dream comes to fruition or unexpectedly ends, start asking the Lord what He has next for you as a couple. Once Annie was home and settled in, we began praying and asking God, “What’s next, Lord?” We believed that the Lord was calling us to marriage ministry.
And within the next few months, we accepted jobs at Focus on the Family and made the move to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Now when we’re working with couples, we experience a type of intimacy and connection that is difficult to explain.
We truly believe that God blesses marriage relationships in amazing ways when couples live out their shared dreams. There’s something beautiful about two souls imagining a future together and then working every day to accomplish that shared vision.
This article first appeared in the April/May 2020 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. It was originally titled “The Marriage of Your Dreams.” © 2020 Focus on the Family. All right reserved. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/dreaming-together-in-marriage/