The excellent wife: Couples planning their future
When you first marry many couples have long conversations about the future — shared dreams and aspirations, what you both would like to achieve, plans for house, children, perhaps romantic holidays, where you see yourselves in 5 or 10 years etc.. Your life is mapped out in front of you both and it sounds exciting. Then you settle down to "live" and very quickly practical things get in the way of your dreams. You don't build that extension, you haven't been on holidays for ages and it just seems impossible to save money. Dreams have disappeared and reality has arrived with a thud.
It happens to all of us at some stage and whilst we all have to live in reality, it can be unhealthy to one's marriage to plod along with no real direction or plan. That is what can cause couples to become unsettled and restless.
Why not suggest to your husband that you sit down together (over a yummy meal or picnic) and discuss and brainstorm the future. Ways to spice up your life together, to help grow as a couple, to strengthen your faith with God and to give you something to plan for.
But keep in mind that no plan is concrete and God can change all or any at a moments notice. And start any plan with a pray for wisdom and guidances—no matter what you plan, GOD IS IN CHARGE.
The topics can vary greatly, but here are a few ideas:
* Your marriage — what is working well, what can be improved, do you need more couple time away from the children (date nights), do you need to spice up your marriage, does your bedroom need to be "de-childed" and more adult inviting — be honest otherwise its pointless.
* Goals for your children — it is worth asking your children where they see themselves in the future as these things should also be taken into account when planning. For example, if your daughter wants to be a nurse, where will she go for training, costs or your son wants to be a carpenter — what is involved, what can he start to learn now etc..
* Health and exercise — come up with a plan to exercise that will incorporate time together or a new diet that you can both be involved in.
* What home projects would you like to undertake in the next 2 years, 5 years?
* Finances — how is the finances, are they going to plan, do we need a better plan. Once again, be honest.
* Holidays — would you both like to go away, where to? cost? for how long?
* Spiritual development — how are you both planning to grow spiritually, what activities do you see yourselves involved in (with in the church, the community, missionary)?
* Hobbies — most couples have individual hobbies but why not think of some hobbies you could share.
* Dreams — why not revisit some of those dreams you shared at the beginning of your marriage and see if any are feasible.
Tips to remember
You may be more enthusiastic about this than your husband, many men are not into this sort of thing so don't be upset if your husbands isn't as excited as you are.
Pray together about the future — remember, God is in control and can change any of your plans in a moment. Nothing is permanent.
During the excitement of planning we sometimes include silly or foolish ideas, revisit your plan a few weeks later to weed out anything that is unrealistic and that may cause pain.
Listen to your husband — whilst this is a joint planning session, women do have the habit of getting carried away and talking too much (in their enthusiasm) and their poor husbands are left feeling a little battered.
This isn't some legal document so you can remove or add items at any time.
Have fun and not be deadly serious.