I remember a time in my younger married years, following my husband around the house like a puppy dog begging him to plan our next year together. I wanted to set marriage, financial, spiritual and physical goals together. However, at that time he wasn’t fond of setting goals or planning. He admittedly was ignorant about the benefits of goal setting and planning. He thought they were restrictive and that they would chip away from his independence. He didn’t want to be accountable, limited or bounded by any words printed on a paper or on mounted on the wall.
I can’t say I didn’t know what I was getting into because early on in our courtship years I shared with him my dreams, one of which was traveling around the world. I remember clearly, he was very upset at me and I didn’t understand why. He said I needed to be more realistic and “down-to-earth”. In that moment, I was in tears and I questioned whether or not I should marry him. I later decided to marry him and to take the situation to God in prayer.
Before you cast judgement on my husband, you have to understand where he was coming from. We all have stories created from our childhood experiences, environments and labels people have placed upon us throughout the years. We all have a story, hurdles to jump over and baggage to sort through. No doubt in my mind, my husband is an incredible man. I’m forever thankful he chose to ask for my hand in marriage. My hope is to have him share his story with you one day. I think it will help and inspire many of my readers. It’s remarkable to see all that has transpired in his life over the last 18 years we’ve been together.
One year it was particularly amazing how he finally developed an affinity for goal setting, planning and dreaming. As I shared before he was anti-anything planning. So when we attended a Bible Business Seminar at our church and the message touched him, I surprised he purchased the CD and listened to it repeatedly. The message was specifically on planning and goal setting. The very next year, he was chasing me to dream cast with him. I’m convinced prayer works!
Over the past ten years, I’ve met other couples who’ve struggled similarly. It seems like when one spouse is ready to make a positive change and wants to start setting goals, the other drags their feet. Now that I have a greater understanding of planning, goal setting and having a vision for my home; I know it’s nothing more than the enemy trying to hinder marriages and families progressing to a better life. He has been deceiving, and lying to married couples for thousands of years.
God says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Unfortunately many have suffered the consequences of not taking the time to plan simply because they did not understand its benefit. The truth is throughout the Bible, we repeatedly see the connection of goal setting with life and the lack of vision with destruction (in this case destruction can mean wasted time, loss of purpose, or even death).
Proverbs 29: 18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law [vision, instruction, order], happy is he.” When there is a vision
The Bible references in Amos 3:3, in order for two to walk together we need to agree on where we are going. If I’m not in agreement with my husband about our future we won’t accomplish anything. We need to agree on what we envision our lives will be for the next year(s). We already know life is valuable and we have a purpose. If we expect to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives, we’ll need to set goals and be in agreement with our plans. If we plan to be debt free, invest, or put our children in college; these goals require us to come to a common ground on how to budget our finances. If my husband and I are divided, our collective goals will never be met.
I encourage you to set some time for you and your spouse. Before the New Year, make some uninterrupted time. Make it a date night and dream together! In the Spanish culture, when you have a dream with someone else in it, you don’t say “I dreamed of you” instead it’s translated as “I dreamed with you”. Share with each other your deepest desires and hopes. Take time to dream with your spouse. Goal set, plan a successful year for yourselves and your families for the year 2017 and write it down (Hab 2:2-3). There are some great resources online on how to get started on goal setting. Keep in mind you’ll have to adjust your goals throughout the year because life happens, but make it a priority to adjust the goals as a team. You and your spouse will be glad you did. I’m praying 2017 will be your best year yet!
It’s your turn! What do you and your spouse do to prepare for the New Year? Comment with your traditions or ideas. Let’s help each other be successful!