“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, trust in Him, and He will do it.”
Psalm 37:3-5 NASB
Dear Matt and Simona,
Welcome back! Your honeymoon is now a memory; an oasis to look back at in the midst of the daily crush of bills and schedules and errands and work and that seemingly fruitless fight to keep up.
And so today I want to talk to the two of you about the way into this life you are forging. About the front door and the welcome and the vision of what lies ahead. Because if you get this right, if you consciously wipe the mud off your shoes and purposefully choose to tread carefully, you will experience a welcoming transition into your new life together.
Today I want to talk to you both about vision. Because I have seen that the surest way to the oneness you both want is shared vision.
Vision is the thesis, the purpose statement, the framework for who you want to be and how you want to live.
And the best way for two people to walk as one with the least amount of chaffing is to both know where you are going.
But here’s the problem: you both want different things.
Of course you do! Just like every one else I know, just like your dad and I. Wanting different values to be the shaping factor of your vision for the future is normal. And sometimes, when you each bring those different purposes to the front door trying to fit them in takes some thorough thinking.
You saw this in action while planning your wedding.
Simona, you envisioned elegance and intimacy, a time to relish those who are close to you. You saw your wedding as a suspended moment of beauty, of love expressed in hushed reverence.
Not Matt. He saw a party with every friend, every potential friend, every person who has ever brought delight into his life. He didn’t care so much about beauty or elegance or hush… he wanted fun and dancing— to shout at the top of his joy that he is in love!
And together, with a few tears, a bit of tension, and many long talks, the two of you found a balance of both.
Your wedding was beautiful, elegant, with hushed moments of sacred sweetness.
And your wedding was fun.
John Mark teased his little brother with a hilarity that brought an instant relief to the tension of so much intimate emotion spilling down your faces. We laughed and we cried and we danced in that hopping up and down joy Matt’s D.J. friends played for us.
Now, how to do that for the rest of your lives?
As usual, I have a list:
How Two People Form One Vision From The Dreams Of Both:
1. Take time deliberately.
You are embarking on a quest to discover what God is envisioning for two people who are now tasked with the daunting process of becoming one.
You’ve been pursuing each other with marriage in mind and now that you’re married you need to keep pursuing each other but with a different end in mind:
Now you’re pursuing each other’s vision for the two of you.
2. Ask questions relentlessly.
The hardest part about knowing another’s heart is our self-centered tendency to assume we know more than we do— and the only way I know to learn about another is to ask questions.
Then ask again. Then ask to explain. Again.
Ask in order to discover. Ask in such a way that the other can answer honestly, without having to over-state or justify or defend what may seem silly or impossible.
Neither of you want to play the role of cold-water-reality-evaluator of each other’s dreams.
3. Dream fearlessly.
A dream, for a follower of Jesus, is simply that seedling of desire hidden deep inside, waiting to be cultivated into fruition.
Be slow to squelch those seedlings. Instead, listen, give hope, offer courage and help.
And don’t be too quick to filter one another’s dreams through the lens of your own plans.
God has this delicious way of tantalizing us with just a bite of possibility… and then shaping it through the long wait.
4. Pray expectantly.
Dreams don’t just happen because we’ve talked about them.
Dreams become reality when the both of you, together, clasp hands and pray.
… when you trust and hope and work together faithfully.
… when your delight in God, together, becomes bigger than what you hope to do.
… when you open yourselves up to His shaping of your dreams and then get the thrill of partnering, together, with Him in the doing.
That is the way to live— as chasers after God, together!
5. Listen closely.
Some of us have a hard time articulating our dreams and ideals for the life we hope to live. Strangely, it is often the talkative ones who can’t quite say what they mean. And then it is the quiet listeners who are given an uncanny gift for hearing what the other can’t quite say.
However it works for you, it is your honor to listen both to what the other is saying and what you perceive the other is meaning.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard a wife clearly state her husband’s mission while he’s looking blank about what to say.
She knows him better than he knows himself and she believes in him and his vision and so she uses her gift to put that vision into words for him.
I love that!
6. Write it down purposefully.
Even the prolific Apostle Paul didn’t see his vision clearly. You remember the story- he has a dream of a man gesturing him to come. Scholars call it The Macedonian Call. When he gets to the spot he was supposed to meet this man, he turns out to be a she— a woman by the name of Lydia.
In the male-dominated world Paul lived in, that had to mean disappointment. But he wrote out the whole story and because he did we get to see a pattern of the way God works.
By writing it down you will begin to see the pattern God uses to lead you throughout your lives together.
After 36 years of doing that, your dad and I are no longer surprised or caught unaware of God’s leading. We know the pattern.
7. Wait patiently.
When we had a dream of starting a church we had to wait 7 years to see it happen. I had a dream of writing my story into a book over 20 years ago and I’m just now finishing it up.
Most dreams take a long time to percolate, to be refined and revised and prepared for and achieved.
That’s normal. It’s the way things work in the kingdom of God’s eternal way. He’s just not in the hurry the rest of us are.
Can I just tell you how much fun it is for me to sit on the sidelines, watching the two of you become one?
Simo, I dreamed of a woman like you for my boy. A woman who would let him be who he is while helping him to be so much more.
Matt, I dreamed of the day when you would launch out with a wife at your side to make your unique mark on the world— together.
From a heart bursting with joy for the adventure I know is ahead for you,
P.S. Stories anyone? Have you been helped in your vision? Either to articulate it more clearly or to actually go for it? Has your husband or wife taken up your dream and helped? I love this stuff.
(image by Hillary Kupish)