I didn't marry the man of my dreams.
That sounds disappointing doesn't it?
Who Was The Man Of My Dreams?
As I think back to my younger, 90's self I can't recall who the man of my dreams was. But based on what I recall from 90's culture, he probably looked something like Luke Perry and Mark Wahlberg. He'd sweep me off my feet, carry me across the threshold and we'd live happily ever after. He would be a great husband, communicate well and – wait, I never thought that far ahead. On second thought, what is a great husband?
Fast forward into the new millennium and I still can't quite remember what the man of my dreams was. He'd father my children and be a great – wait, what is a great dad?
When I met my husband, who I knew I'd marry after our second date, I don't think I could define the man of my dreams. I'd given up trying to find him. He was elusive and seemed nonexistent.
With all that, the person who stood before me was a manly man of rare quality amongst the circle of men I'd known. That was the first clue that he was different from all the rest. The others were not men, only boys over the age of 18. He was a gentleman, another new feature I'd never seen before.
He was reminiscent of the man I saw in my grandfather: strong, knowledgeable, hardworking and protective. He wasn't the man of my dreams, but he was the man for me.
He had flaws, he drank a lot – so did I. He wasn't thrilled about church every Sunday, often he'd come after worship because he disliked that part. He swore more than I preferred, but then again, we're all a work in progress, aren't we? Now, as I look back over the last 13 years the man that stands before me is not the man I married. He's not the man of teen dreams either.
Better Than A Dream
This man before me is still hardworking, strong, knowledgeable, and protective, but he's so much more. He's the father of our son and a hands-on Dad. He's the man who suits up in the rain to build a fire pit in the back yard because Wyatt thought about it would be fun to build one together.
He's thoughtful and generous, giving his time up to help others.
He's devoted to his family – time together is important.
He has not drank in four years and his cussing is minimal.
We go to church as a family, every Sunday. He even sings along.
He prays with me every morning before he goes to work.
He acknowledges God's hand in our lives.
For me, there is no Earthly place safer than in his arms.
Had I married the man of my dreams I would have married a one-dimensional shadow of a man. Instead, I married a real man. Someone who is not perfect yet is perfect for me.
He hasn't made all of my dreams come true. He isn't prince charming. He's Brad Tate, a gift from God who came to me when I'd given up on finding the man of my dreams. He has given me reason for new dreams. Dreams of family, dreams of a future doing what God has called us to.
He's given me dreams of growing old together, and maturing our relationship.
God's Dreams Are Bigger Than Ours
I remember telling God not long before I met Brad that if He gave a hoot about me getting married He would have to to find me someone, because I was done trying. The man of my dreams was a reduced to a crumpled, tear-stained diary entry. Even though I was broken and searching God knew the plans He had for me and He knew my dreams were nothing in comparison to what He had in store.
Sometimes we need to be thankful we live in reality and praise God he doesn't give us everything we dream up. The beauty of a relationship with Christ is that as He changes us, He changes our dreams, goals and motivation. We begin to dream dreams and desire what He desires – a far superior state of mind then living in the dreams of our past. My life is not what I expected, my marriage not what I dreamed of. It's so much more even with the imperfections. For that, I praise God.
How is your spouse different from the man of your dreams?
Find out how your past can taint your dreams leading you further from a true relationship with the man before your in my book, Restoring the Lost Petal.