The other day, my husband and I were talking about Africa and her development partners.
We thought that some of the partners/donors understand the meaning of the word “partnership”.
Two people coming together to build something.
But other “partners” seem to have missed that bus.
They are not interested in building with the nations. Instead, they push “aid”, hand-outs (not “hand-up”), something that leads to dependency.
I don’t have a problem with meeting peoples needs through aid. I believe aid is important.
But I also believe that we must roll up our sleeves, dig in and and deal with problems from their roots.
I believe that scarcity does not end when you put food on someone’s table. I believe it ends when you deposit something in a person’s mind. (Click to tweet)
Or to put it another way, in trying to help people we must ultimately seek to tap into their dreams, not just their needs.
Poverty in Marriage
So often in marriage, I find that our challenges are rarely (or exclusively) “needs-based”.
Our problems are sometimes a little bit more complex than that. They are “dream-based”.
They stem from how we view life and relationship, what we believe and therefore expect.
But some of us do not recognize this. In our ignorance, we are quick to solicit and accept “aid” – band aid solutions that make a mockery of our desperate marital needs.
“It’s his fault that am so angry, he always presses the wrong buttons!”
“Why can’t she understand I need my space!”
People who live off aid rarely take personal responsibility for their lives and welfare.
Marital bankruptcy and droughts don’t just show up from nowhere. They are are rooted in our belief system and the things we feed our minds.
You reap what you sow
When you plant a mango seed and nurture it, you eventually reap a mango tree. Some of us are toiling away in our marriage gardens, trying to dress up our mango trees to look like orange trees.
But there are no short cuts to a healthy marriage: you must plant the right kind of seed to get the right kind of tree.
To experience prosperity in marriage, to nurture a “prosperous” mindset instead of a poverty-stricken mentality, to operate from a dream-level, not just a needs-level, we can think on these two areas; (there are many other areas and I hope you will add your thoughts in Comments)
1. Our diet.
The same way our physical body is a reflection of what we consume, our marital body is also a reflection of what we allow in. Our thoughts are shaped by what we entertain.
As a child, I wasn’t allowed to keep company with certain people (other than when it was necessary and for short periods). Breaking that rule had repercussions – a very sore backside.
Years later, I would appreciate the wisdom of my mum. She understood “monkey-see monkey-do”. Simply put, you end up accepting and living out what you accommodate.
Always remember that you can’t roll in a pig pen the whole day and still look good or smell nice.
What you put before you determines what grows stronger – needs or dreams. You can either grow your urge to fix “needs”. Or your determination to change and operate from a “dream” level.
2. Marriage basics
God is the author of marriage. Any time we try to do marriage alone, we make a huge mess of things. To have a marriage that is driven by dreams, not needs, we must accept two things
1. We can’t have a good marriage without siding with God, without accepting His blueprint for marriage.
2. We cannot (side with God) by ourselves. He must change us from within, help us agree with Him.
In my new eBook Navigating Change, why you don’t have to drown (which you can get for free when you subscribe to my blog via email) I share that positivity (trying to be peppy and upbeat about our circumstances) is good.
But positivity that is rooted in God is power.
When you have a needs-driven, band-aid strewn marriage (and most of us have a bit of it in one area or another), what you need is power, not mere positivity.
Power to overcome negative mindsets does not come from great personal resolve (although that’s important). It comes from taping into the Source of all life and health.
Question – How else can we nurture a dream -based marriage, instead of a needs-based one? How can we find lasting solutions to deeper marital needs?