I have plans. Lenny has plans. We have plans together. But which ones are we going to focus on in 2019?
I really like to plan. It’s how I handle waiting for God to move in our lives. One day last year, I was planning in my head, and I realized that my plans did not line up with our plans. I was setting my heart on what would have destroyed the plans that we created together.
Now, I can’t read Lenny’s thoughts, but he also plans so that he could feel a sense of control over the future. If he came to me and had an entire 30-year plan for the rest of our lives, without consulting me, I would be pretty upset. So, why do I do that with him?
Even if our plans never come to fruition, we shouldn’t set our hearts on things that conflict with our marriage. Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). If we keep hoping for what will never happen, our hope will always be deferred, and our hearts will be sick.
The best part, and the hardest part, of marriage is bringing two totally different beings together and having them survive under one roof. We each have grown up differently, so we don’t have the same worldviews and beliefs about certain aspects of life. However, just like every little boy and little girl, we have had dreams about each other and for each other since the day we knew we wanted to be married and have kids someday.
Although we surrendered our single lives at the altar, in a lot of ways, our past desires still come and threaten to tear us apart. We make New Year’s Resolutions that don’t even correlate with the resolutions we’ve made as a couple.
More than anything, we need to be on the same page as our spouses. We don’t have to completely surrender our dreams, but we need to compromise when our dreams are not the dreams of our spouse.
Lenny and I have charts on our refrigerator to remind ourselves of our goals. Our biggest goal right now is buying a house. We have a picture of a house on our refrigerator, and every time we put another $2K in savings, we color in another line of the house. It is so fun dreaming about what kind of house we’d like to have, and our non-negotiable necessities for our ideal living space. We also have a list of goals we’d like to accomplish in the next couple of years, things that we’ve decided we want to do as a couple.
To get on the same page as your spouse, start with prayer. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share about ways you can pray for your spouse, and for your marriage in general. For now, pray that you and your spouse would have one mind. Thank God for each other and for the plans that He has for you. Ask for help to see His plan clearly.
Talk with your spouse about your own personal goals, and listen to him talk about his. As you talk together, you will begin to see how God has shaped both of you to work as a team. After that, make a list of goals that you’d like to accomplish, both individually and as a couple. Whether you are a visual person or not, it is necessary to make your goals known to each other. You can make a list, or a chart, or even record a song! I know several families that make mission statements and hang them up in their living rooms. Do whatever you have to do to make your goals visible and attainable.
Start 2019 on the same page as your spouse. If you’ve let yourself drift apart from your spouse, use this new year as an opportunity to forgive, ask for forgiveness, or resolve a silent conflict that has put a wedge between the two of you. Let’s see how God works in your marriage this year!