How can a marriage tap into dreams, not just needs?
Here’s what I mean
The other day, my husband and I were talking about our continent of birth, Africa, and her development partners.
We realized that while some of her partners/donors understand the meaning of the word “partnership” – two people or institutions coming together to build something – others have missed that bus.
The one’s who’ve missed the partnership bus like to peddle hand-outs, instead of partnerships aka “hand-ups”
(Please track with me, I promise we are going somewhere!)
As a result many African nations have become dependent on their wealthy benefactors. I don’t have a problem with meeting needs through aid because this.
But I believe in partnerships – where both the donor and beneficiary are willing to roll up their sleeves and deal with problems at it’s root, even as they try to put out the fires.
I am strong believer that scarcity doesn’t end when you put food on someone’s table; it ends when you deposit something in their mind.
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 main problem is not always the obvious – the anger, border-less living, the financial indiscipline, the passivity e.t.c.
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 and so 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!”
“I hate sex and if he loved me he’d get okay with that!”
“Why does she want to talk all the time? So childish!”
Here’s the thing; people who live off aid rarely take 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.
Dream results – 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. See 8 Signs of a Maturing Love
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 need to think on these two areas;
1. Our diet
The same way our physical body is a reflection of what we consume, our marital body is a reflection of what we allow in. Our thoughts and habits are shaped by what we entertain.The same way our physical body is a reflection of what we consume, our marital body is a reflection of what we allow in. Our thoughts and habits are shaped by what we entertain.
As a child, I forbidden to keep company with certain people (other than when necessary and for short periods). Breaking that rule had repercussions – a very sore backside.
Years later, I would appreciate the wisdom of my mom and dad. They understood “monkey-see monkey-do”. Simply put, you end up accepting and living out what you accommodate.
Proper marital diet includes surrounding yourself with marriage friendly people, spending time with God, having fun, protecting your marriage through self-discipline, serving others, tuning-out popular culture e.t.c.
Truth: you can’t roll in a pig pen all day every day and smell nice.
What you put before you determines what grows stronger – your 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 accepting His blueprint for marriage.
2. We cannot accept His blueprint without His help. Yes, it’s that bad. God alone helps us accept His help. “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
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 a marriage tap into dreams? How can we nurture a dream-based marriage, vs a needs-based one? How can we find lasting solutions to deeper marital needs?
Photo by mododeolhar from Pexels