We all have Daydreams.
Some are healthy and beneficial while others might be sinful and destructive. It might be about our children, marriage, or the food we will be eating after the kids are in bed (just me?). We could be rehearsing an upcoming conversation or preparing for a mission trip. Our thoughts might be contemplating our worst fears or reliving past hurts.
No matter what goes through your mind, we all have daydreams.
In 1997, I met a boy. Although our age was all we had in common, we quickly developed a friendship. We cared about and trusted each other deeply. My adolescent daydreams quickly focused on our friendship moving to a dating relationship which would lead to marriage. He wasn’t a believer, so, of course, my fictional scenario involved me leading him to the Lord before our wedding day. Even though I was only fifteen at the time, I picked October 19th, 2002 as our future wedding date. It was perfect (probably because it wasn’t real).
The trouble with daydreams is sometimes they are hard to wake-up from.
In the boredom of the classroom or the loneliness of a Friday without plans, I would visit this story, and my mind began to use it as an easy escape from everyday life. No matter what was going on around me, I had a place I could go that was exciting and romantic. To clarify, I never daydreamed about being intimate, or even kissing him; it was more about our hearts melting together into one and the way we would spend our lives serving God as overseas missionaries. To my adolescent brain, it seemed harmless at the time.
Daydreams aren’t always benign.
As I grew older, the dreams became less frequent as real life became more exciting. On October 19th, 2002, the day I was “supposed” to have gotten married, the Lord orchestrated it to be the day Jason and I began dating. As our relationship moved towards marriage, my thoughts of this other guy seemed to fade into the distance. But, I never made ridding my mind of this fictional story a priority because didn’t realize the toxicity in my thinking. Over time, something would trigger a memory, and I would think about him. Throughout the years of our marriage, in seasons of frustrated or hurt, my mind can quickly breathe life into that old alternate reality.
To make myself feel better, I amend the storyline to go something like this: many years from now, once I become a widow and he a widower, we will reconnect, be united in faith, and begin a life together. I cringe confessing this, but it is the truth. I’ve been living with this fantasy for so long that it I’ve become numb to what it is — a dishonor to Jason, our marriage, and to the Lord.
Daydreams should never compete against our reality.
I have a wonderful husband. Just this morning he treated me to a special breakfast (my favorite meal of the day) to celebrate the fourteen years we’ve been dating. He made sure to tell each of our children that today is a special day because it is the anniversary of his first date night with “mom-mom.” He leads me well, prays for our family, always has a humble and teachable spirit, and is incredibly romantic and kind. Yet, at times I throw all of that out of the window just to visit a make-believe life. I no longer want my wild imagination to steal moments from this precious life. Bringing my sin into the light is the first step to accomplishing that goal.
Daydreams are within our control.
I would love to use the “it doesn’t harm anyone” or “no one needs to know about this” excuses to keep this quiet. But God has been convicting me lately that holding onto this daydream, no matter how infrequently I visit it, is a sin against Him and my husband. I could complain about being unable to control my thoughts, but Scripture is clear that we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s my choice to entertain the daydreams, and I want to choose never to let my thoughts begin down an empty and destructive road again.
For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:7
What are your daydreams?
Perhaps you have a similar thought you use as a retreat from your reality or maybe your fantasy comes in the form of a job promotion or befriending characters in a book or on TV. We all have daydreams, but we must exercise extreme caution on where we allow our minds to camp. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Those are the themes I can ponder on. Anything outside of that does not honor God and is not beneficial to my husband or our marriage.
What unhealthy daydreams do you need to rid from your marriage?