In 1903, British author James Allen penned the book As a Man Thinketh, based on his reflections of Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In this work, Allen tells us, “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.”
Looking back to Genesis 12, when the Lord first gave a huge visionary promise to a man named Abram, God said, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
A Vision Worth Pursuing
Can you imagine the Maker of the universe showing up on your doorstep someday and telling you to leave everything you’ve ever known—to embark on a journey where the destination is entirely unknown? It surely takes faith to do such a thing.
In light of a grand vision and the promise of a blessing, however, Abram felt the security to head out on this journey with his family and all he owned. Believing the journey laid before him was a vision worth pursuing, we see that Abram’s belief was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). The journey and adventure of marriage is also worth pursuing when we trust God with an eternal vision for our relationship.
There is value in believing our marriage serves a greater purpose in the grand scheme of life. When we believe this to be the case, we can push through the struggles that are inevitably thrown our way—as little or large as they may loom in our lives.
Finding Your Vision
Think back again to when you were engaged. What did you think your marriage was going to be about? My guess is that most of us had a fuzzy mix of spoken and unspoken expectations for our marriage that were difficult to articulate.
We either didn’t know what to dream for, what to expect, or even what we didn’t know. And as years of marriage have gone by, it’s likely that our original vision for marriage has changed—hopefully for the better, but possibly not.
Defining a vision might sound like a big undertaking, but it can really be as simple as making the time to connect and ask each other some questions. As you think about this idea of vision, here are a few questions that might help you and your spouse start to narrow it down.
- What do we want our marriage to be about?
- What is worth fighting for, working towards, and dreaming of?
- What are two or three key words or short phrases that might describe our vision?
Just like Abram thousands of years ago, you and your spouse have the possibility—even perhaps the invitation—from the Maker of the universe, to dream lofty dreams for your marriage. And in light of these dreams, perhaps you will continue on in the journey of marriage, “walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1) as you strive toward a vision worth pursuing.
Matt is the director of Winshape Marriage, which hosts marriage programming through intensives and retreats held in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. (They also connect couples with adventure experiences all over the world.) Matt holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been married to his wife Nicole for 22 years and they have four kids.
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