I never wanted to be a “somebody.” I hated the question what do you want to be when you grow up because I knew that my answer was inadequate. I wanted to be a wife and a momma. Although, I was perfectly okay with being married to a “somebody.” Not in a gold digger sense but more like a helping-on-the-sideline deal.
And while I’m sure that had a lot to do with my self-esteem at the time, it does make perfect sense that I married who I did.
My husband is one of those people who follows hard after his passions and dreams. Let’s just say he accomplished his lifetime career goals at 27. So there’s that. And despite my desire to be nothing more than his cheerleader, it hasn’t always been easy to support his passions.
We’ve moved an insane amount of times. I’ve wanted him home more. There has been a lot of give-and-take over the course of our marriage, and sometimes it felt like I was giving more than my share.
But it has been a huge privilege to be his biggest fan and to see him realize his goals. And I have learned so much along the way about myself, about him, and about God. And here we are on the other side of it, and I am grateful for this journey.
So whether you are in the midst of supporting your spouse’s dreams or you are just beginning, I hope these lessons that I have learned encourage and inspire you to love your spouse well throughout the journey.
4 Ways to Support Your Spouse’s Passions
Evaluate your own heart
First and foremost, I’ve learned that if I want to effectively encourage and support my husband’s passions, I must have a willing and open heart. If there is any amount of resentment, bitterness, or anger at the unfairness or injustice of it, any attempt I make to encourage him will be counter-productive.
As much as I’ve wish that I could say the things he needed to hear without actually feeling them, it didn’t work. He knew. And he was more upset about me trying to cover up my resentment than he was me feeling it.
If this is already something that you have agreed on (going back to school, church planting, change in career, starting a business, etc. . .), give your frustration and fears over to God. Talk to your husband about what specifically is bothering you. And then take the time to work through why you feel that way.
Remind Them Why They Started
Even the things we are most passionate about can seem too challenging and insurmountable. Your spouse will get down. They will feel like they made a mistake by jumping into their dream.
As their wife, you have the awesome job of reminding them why they started and pointing them to Jesus. One of my greatest privileges was to give Dylan pep talks when he was down. If you are certain that this is the path that God has called you to, don’t let them forget it. (Not in an obnoxious nagging way, obviously, but in a you-got-this-man I believe in you and in the God who has commissioned you way.)
Be a Sounding Board and/or Be Willing to Jump In
Listen. Listen when they have concerns. Listen when they want to share their successes and failures. Take the time to understand and empathize with where they are and what they are feeling.
Depending on what your spouse’s passion is you may be able to physically help them. Whether it’s quizzing them for a test, shepherding the kids out of the house for a little bit of quiet, or taking on a part of a project, be willing to jump in. Ultimately, your spouse’s passions become your own.
If it wasn’t for my EMS director husband, I couldn’t care less about new first responder policies or what medications they keep on an ambulance. But I do, because he does. And that blesses him and our marriage.
Pray & Seek Guidance
Cover your spouse — in all areas of their life — in prayer. Pray for their heart. Pray for them to seek God’s guidance above all else. Pray for your own heart as you seek to support and encouragement them. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Seek guidance from God’s Word and other men and women of faith. I wish I had a mentor to help me help my husband as we waded through a lot of scary, messy situations. If there is someone in your life that is willing, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or prayer or both.
What will you do?
I still have no desire to be a “somebody,” but I’ve seen through watching my husband chase after his own dreams what a person fully alive in who God made them to be looks like. And I want that.
Won’t you use them for His glory? And won’t you support your spouse to do the same? Not to make you or them a somebody, but so that somebody can see Him through you.
Go love well.
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