You wake up and can’t wipe the smile of your face. The dream seemed so real, so close, so perfect. And you finally feel loved and wanted.
The only problem is your dream wasn’t about your husband.
Romantic dreams are common in loveless marriages. But even those of us with husbands who love us can find ourselves wrapped in a romantic dream that leaves us feeling both good and guilty. I know, because I’ve been there myself.
What’s a girl to do?
1. Acknowledge Your Needs
Dreams are born of the worries and desires of our real lives. Is it possible that you long for a deeper connection with your husband? Has it been too long since you’ve loved each other? Do you find yourself longing to be pursued and swept off your feet?
These are all legitimate longings, and God created us with sexual, emotional, and spiritual needs as women. Acknowledge what needs your dream was born of, and then take them to God.
2. Surrender to God
No matter how wonderful our husbands are, they will never be able to meet our deepest needs. Each of us must learn to take our deepest longings to the Lord, and ask Him to satisfy us with Himself. After all, God created us with these needs, and He knows best how to fulfill them for us.
He is the great Romance of our souls. He loves us; He pursues us; He calls us beloved; and He romances us every day. His love is perfect, and His presence is sweet. And our souls were made to long for His heavenly love. No husband, no matter how wonderful he is, will be able to meet that deep soul need that we have for our heavenly Groom.
3. Communicate in Love
When we take our needs to God, we relieve our husbands of undue pressure and unrealistic expectations. We’re also free to communicate with them calmly and gently, free of anger or resentment. With God satisfying our deepest needs, we will more readily accept the way our husbands love and serve us as they desire, not as we demand them to.
If you’ve identified a legitimate need in your marriage, this may also be the time to lovingly talk to your husband about it. Or maybe you don’t even have to talk about it; maybe you can do something yourself.
For example, when I realized I was longing for romantic dates with my husband, I decided to plan them myself. My husband was relieved of the burden to impress me, and I enjoyed the date either way. You can also buy yourself flowers, spark passion in the bedroom, or surprise your husband with an evening of simply watching the football game with him in amiable silence. Whatever you do, whether in words or deeds, do it in love, and God will be glorified.
4. Take Captive Every Thought
When that warm, fuzzy dream comes back with all its temptations, take your thoughts captive and make them submissive to Christ. This step might require some pretty radical actions on your part. Anything that contaminates your thinking with romantic thoughts that are not about your husband needs to go.
Throw out your romance novels. Stay away from the chick flick section. Cancel your Hallmark Channel subscription. And whenever you daydreaming about a Prince Charming other than your husband, stop what you’re doing, and ask God to redirect your thoughts toward your husband’s great qualities.
5. Love Your Husband
Women aren’t the only ones who struggle with unwelcomed romantic dreams. We have an enemy who is out to destroy marriages, and he will do whatever he can to do so.
Be proactive in protecting your marriage by seeking ways to love and serve your husband. As we pour energy into loving our husbands, our emotions will follow. Pick up the 40-day Love Dare or The Five Love Languages. It’s time to switch our game from defense to offense as we work toward deeper relationships with our husbands.
6. Find Joy in Jesus
Inevitably, we’ll experience disappointments in marriage, even after walking through all these steps. We need to remember that the primary romance in our lives is not the one with their husbands, but the one with our heavenly groom. In fact, our marriages are meant to illustrate that heavenly marriage in the way we love and serve one another.
Keep seeking joy in Jesus. You’ll find all you need in Him alone and your marriage will benefit also.
And those romantic dreams you might still sometimes have? You will learn to wake up to the reality that you are loved and cherished by the greatest Prince of all time. And that is better than any counterfeit romance Hollywood can toss our way any day.