How is it possible that our daydreams can actually be destructive? It starts when we fail to see that Dissatisfaction is a cousin to Distraction. The older we get, the harder we fight to like ourselves. Gray hairs, wrinkles, and fatigue arrive unbidden. We feel a lack of the zest and gusto that defined our younger years. We reflect on when we were free with our emotions, living with unbridled pleasure and unhindered joy.
Most of the time these thoughts or diversions seem harmless; we don’t even realize their danger or potential to harm. But with a little encouragement, a little watering, these tiny, seemingly innocent seeds of unhappiness begin to sink into our souls, making us irritated mamas desiring change. As Elisabeth Elliot warned, “The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
The Danger of Discontentment
There’s something so powerful about discontentment. Those What-if questions and If-only daydreams can change the thermostat of a marriage or alter a mom’s desire to nurture and serve her family, amending plans for the future and throwing the whole family into a state of disarray. If not held in check, those daydreams can multiply oh so quickly, taking over our thought processes, our desires, and finally, our actions before we even realize what’s happening. They begin to color how we view the world and what’s going on around us, painting glorious pictures of what could be and what might have been.
Maybe this seed of discontent starts with a remembering, with recalling that first love or first kiss, the kind that makes a married woman read old love letters or dig through mementos from her past. Or a private conversation with an old flame on social media that leads to an undercurrent of giddiness when a new message arrives. What may begin as a fun, meaningless friendship that makes you smile and feel appreciated can quickly turn into something more.
I’ve watched families near and dear to me fall apart over what started as a little twinge of restlessness, of wishing life could be a little different.
Forgetting the Blessings
This is not something to play with, friends. I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Enemy would love nothing better than for us to question God’s goodness to us in the here and in the now. For us to forget how blessed we are. For us to wonder whether something better might be out there for us.
Again, having seen this personally, I can tell you that what you think could be better is not going to be better. Most likely there will be scars and emotional repercussions for years to come if we allow these daring daydreams. But you can’t understand the aftermath or ramifications if you don’t fully understand the dangerous weapon you’re playing with.
Several years ago, I noticed this trend among married moms of joking about hot hubbies. Not talking about their own husbands, but which celebrities would be their dream husbands. Some women even established their Top Five, as in five celebrities they’d ditch their husbands for.
What started as a joke materialized into something more for some of the couples. The kind of more that rips apart a family and causes generational havoc. Eyes that were once glued onto their own families and marriages were now fixed on the door of possibility, of what else, or who else, might be out there. My husband and I watched as families around us began to fall apart. And not just one family, but several families within our circle of friends. Families that had once been rooted in biblical truth.
Align Dreams with Scripture
Unhindered daydreams can be dangerous if allowed to grow. If not properly aligned with Scripture to hold them accountable or prayed over with godly friends to help keep them in check, these seemingly harmless dreams can turn into a woman’s worst nightmare.
We need to beware. To be vigilant. To take our thoughts and ponderings seriously. Second Corinthians 10:5 warns us to “take every thought captive,” making them obedient to Christ. If we want to focus on what’s truly important, we have to decide what in the world to do with this lack of love for ourselves and our present circumstances. We need to say no to the distraction of detrimental daydreams and keep our hearts and minds focused on the Lord and on what He has for us and our families. To discipline our thoughts and What-if questions and replace them with God’s truth—who He is, what He has done, and what He will do.
Instead of Daydreaming, PrayWe can turn those daydreams into prayers, laying our hopes and dreams at His feet and trusting Him to help us wade through them.Click To Tweet
Maybe that means turning those daydreams into prayers, laying our hopes and dreams at His feet and trusting Him to help us wade through them. Or maybe that simply means doing the next good thing, keeping our heads out of the clouds and focusing on what God has placed right in front of us, like loving our families and loving them well.
Perhaps the next time we’re struggling with discontentment or the desire to look elsewhere for comfort, this verse will help: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). In this psalm, we see a way to check ourselves as we seek what God has for us, as we pursue what will draw us closer to Him and align our desires and dreams with His.
And if He says it’s good, then it’s good.
Adapted from Shiny Things. Copyright © 2019 by Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97408.www.harvesthousepublishers.com