Couple Hacks - Dreaming Together
Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Chan Gin Kai
So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
When God created humankind, He created us in His image.
We are created SENTIENT, we have the ability to feel, perceive and to experience subjectively.
We are created AESTHETIC, we appreciate and even need the beauty in nature, art, music and stories.
We are created MORAL, we possess an innate compass that helps us to distinguish between right and wrong.
We are created RELATIONAL, we value relationships and shared experiences; relationships affect us in big ways.
We are created ASPIRATIONAL, we hope for better things, dream of a better future, and we work towards them.
God Intends For Us To Dream As A Couple
God gave Adam and Eve the dream to multiply and to rule over earth. The call to multiply is not so much a command to procreate (childlessness is not a sin), but the establishment of the human race – people with the image of God, in a relationship with God. The call to rule over the animals is not about enforcing our superiority over animals, or the permission to abuse and exploit nature as we please. Instead, it is about good stewardship, the kind of rule that God has shown us Himself.
God gave Adam and Eve a vision of a beautiful three-way partnership between them and God, to create this paradise of a human race on a beautifully managed planet, in daily communion with Him. It is an incredible vision, heaven on earth.
Since sin entered the world, the plans have changed, but the vision remains. The plan now requires atonement and Jesus has provided it. The dream for us to bring humanity to a connection with God and to build a beautiful world remains. We embraced this vision when we became Christians.
The question is do you pursue this same dream with your partner? God had intended for Adam and Eve to do it together. He plans the same for you and your partner too.
Why Some Lose Their Dreams After Marriage
We've all developed spiritual dreams after we got baptised into Christ, and lost some of those dreams for a variety of reasons too. But some lose their dreams after they got married. Why is that so?
The various “couple dreams” like setting up a beautiful home, having children, and going on holidays, become more important than the spiritual dreams.
A heavier schedule like spending time with each other, household chores, and raising kids distracts them from their spiritual dreams.
Their spouse does not share the same aspirations and so they die to their dreams.
I'm sure we all know some people in this situation. They were more excited and more spiritual before they got married. But they've lost the sparkle in their eyes. Their 'glow' fades as their dream to glorify God diminishes.
But there are some couples that share their spiritual dreams with each other, form new ones together, and grow in incredible ways to glorify God. It is easy to identify these couples in church. They are the ones that shine. You can see the innate joy in their lives as they actively serve God and continue to grow.
How Do We Develop Spiritual Dreams Together?
Here are some questions you can discuss as you develop your spiritual dreams together as a couple:
What kind of marriage do you want to have and what can you do to achieve it? Prayerful? Joyful? Encouraging? Serving? Fun? Of course we want all of the above and more, but many couples sink into a mundane routine with little of the above. Strive for all, but pick one or two that you really want to work on this year.
How can God use you to impact the lost? What can you do to help each other’s family come to Christ? Identify friends you can reach out to as a couple. Think of how you can work as a tag team, especially with colleagues, old classmates, and friends who are of the opposite gender. How about reaching out to other couples?
Is there a group or a ministry that you can join where you can give together? Many talk about looking for a group that meets their needs instead of a group where they can serve. Yes, we should have our needs met, but really, most of us are already more blessed than others. Be outwardly focused.
How about doing a special project together? A charity project to help the poor? Developing a syllabus for teaching others? Regular hosting of single Christians? Building a ministry or 'alliance' to meet an emerging need? Planting a million trees?
What If A Partner Dreams More Than The Other?
There will always be situations where one partner dreams more than the other. Perhaps one partner is blessed with more talents, or is simply more ready. Or perhaps one is more spiritual, or just more naturally inclined to aspire more. Past failures, discouraging situations or other pressing matters may affect a person's desire to dream too. How do we handle the disparity in dreams?
The one who dreams more for God shouldn't make the other feel lousy, but gradually inspire (not push) the other to dream. Helping the other party work through his or her past discouragements or fears will help very much too.
The one who dreams lesser for God shouldn't try to dissuade or discourage the one who dreams more. He or she should work on desiring to dream more, as that's what God intends us to do.
Some ministries require a special talent which only one partner possesses, for example, singing, writing, or leading in a bigger capacity. The one who lacks the skill should encourage the one who does to use it to glorify God. But this ministry where only one is a part of shouldn't become more important than the dream that the couple pursues together.
Pursuing dreams together as a couple is good for the relationship. Having a common purpose helps the couple bond deeper. Facing the challenges together and sharing the joy of each victory does wonders for the relationship too.
If you do not have spiritual dreams as a couple, it is not too late to start. And if you already do, let's strive to have more. Enjoy your journey, dreaming and working together.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".