In our early years of marriage, Tom and I had many dreams that we were excited to discuss, and some of them turned into big adventures, such as our decision to move from Long Beach, CA to a small town of about 250 people in up-state N.Y. just to experience something very different. We lived there for 6 years, then returned to California.
Now fast forward to 2016. Our children were grown, we had two grandchildren (with more on the way), and Tom was retired. We had settled into a comfortable routine with periodic travel adventures. But something had started to happen that was not good. We were not as excited about discussing our dreams with each other mainly because, when we did, we’d often experience a lack of interest in our partner. The Lord is helping us to re-learn how to listen respectfully and with open minds to each other’s ideas.
The only way to discover which dreams are from God is to look into them together and see where we end up. This requires respectful, receptive listening on the part of the partner who may not be initially excited by their spouse’s idea. And the one with the dream needs to be patient with the hesitant partner. Instead of shutting down, we need to prayerfully discuss the ideas and do the necessary research or perhaps simply take a step of faith that we have agreed on and see where that takes us.
The Bible tells us to treat others the way we’d like to be treated. Since I like Tom to listen respectfully to my ideas, I need to do the same for him. This opens the door to good communication.