In the back of our minds, we all have an image of what an ideal marriage looks like. We usually don’t bring it to the front of our thoughts, because we know it’s unrealistic or we doubt it could ever be that way for us. And yet, that nearly invisible picture will probably influence how we react to our sweetheart when times are good and when times are bad.
It needs to be looked at openly and honestly. It needs to be taken out of the shadows of our mental closets so that we can gain better control over our reactions. We will bless our relationship with our beloved if we describe it to him/her — especially if we choose (with God’s all-knowing help) the right time to do this.
When we feel upset, that’s the wrong time. We’re likely to blame our beloved for unfulfilled dreams. Make time for this discussion when you’re both relaxed and interested in dreaming idealistically the potential future that God might have in mind for your relationship. Don’t wait very long, though. Your ideal image of marriage is alive and seeking attention, jiggling the closet door handle, trying to come out. Unless you’re proactive, it will come out when your sweetheart does something that makes you unhappy.
Here’s an exercise that will prepare you for a good discussion. Do it with honest self-examination and humility. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you with it.
Make three lists:
- A list of everything that has to be true for a good marriage. Include your wishes and hopes as well as what you believe based on what you understand from Scripture and Church teachings.
- A list of everything you’re afraid of, things that are out of your control, problems that seem impossible to resolve, anything that interferes with the dream marriage that you described in #1.
- A list of skills you can learn (you, not your sweetheart) and habits you can adopt and other things you can do to work toward your dream marriage.
Strengthen your relationship:
Share these lists with your beloved when you’re both ready. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand what the Bible and Church teachings say about God’s dream for marriage and what you envision is a dream-come-true marriage.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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