Follow The Fellow
I remember hearing the line of a song that particularly caught my attention: “Follow the fellow who follows the dream.” This line really struck a chord with me. You see, I’m married to a dreamer. As the years have gone by, I’ve found that I’m not the only one. We’ve met a number of couples who are misty reflections of us in the mirror.
I think that, generally, men tend to be the dreamers and the visionaries while women tend to be more practical, cautious, and detail-oriented. This can create some interesting, even tense, moments when the husband and wife have different views of where they should go and how they should get there. What should we sensible women do? Follow the fellow!
I can already hear the groans. I can already hear the words, “But you don’t understand! My husband wants to start a coconut plantation in Anchorage!” Believe me, I understand, but there are a lot of things we need to take into account as we ponder our coconut-planting husbands.
First, let’s remember that our husbands are different than we are. Men are wired in a peculiar sort of way. While I am saying that there are no coconut plantations in Anchorage, he says that it’s a wide-open market just waiting for him. His perspective is entirely different. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Dreamers have never gotten very far by thinking the way everyone else does.
The next logical thought to the sensible woman, then, is that there are no coconut plantations in Anchorage because coconuts cannot grow there. It just doesn’t work. What it is good to remember here is that just as we grow and mature over time, so do our husbands, and so do their dreams. They need the time and opportunity to refine and fine-tune their visionary intent. They don’t need us to squash their dreams, but to help them formulate a more workable plan.
This isn’t a time for tug-of-war, but for loving suggestions and pointers. It may be self-evident to us detail-oriented women, but to them it might be a sudden revelation. “Yeah, that makes sense.” Sometimes I wonder if that’s why God made men and women the way they are. We provide a good balance for each other. Without Jim I might be stuck on Main Street, USA. Without me, Jim might be chipping ice with one hand while holding coconut seeds in the other.
But there’s a little more to it than that. Our husbands may require that extra time not just to ‘develop a plan’, but to develop within. God may choose to take our husbands through different experiences to mold their character. Their experiences now may fashion their priorities, their values, and the way they see the world. They may need to acquire special skills or knowledge that will be of use to them later. We have no idea how God will use what we are going through now. It’s a big puzzle, and the pieces are slowly coming together. In the end, we may be really surprised.
As an aside to this, I want to mention that we love our husbands. That’s why we married them! One expression of our love is supporting and encouraging our husbands. There are enough people in this world who will cut our husbands down at their knees and tell them they’re crazy and wasting their time. I don’t want to be one of them. I want to be on his side, and I want him to know it.
The pivotal point in all of this, however, is that we may not know what God has called our husbands to do. I don’t want to be the one who hinders or prevents my husband from fulfilling his God-given purpose. In Matthew 13 we read this about Jesus: “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. ‘Isn't this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.’”
Is my husband a prophet? Can I say that he is not? How dare I assume that God does not have an important work for him to do. May I not be the one who stands in the way of my husband’s work for God, whatever that work may be. God can accomplish great and impossible things through our husbands.
When we get down to it, we are not left with much choice for our actions. We are to be submissive helpmeets to our husbands. As long as they are not doing anything sinful, we are to follow them. We may rather live on the beach than next to an iceberg, but the final decision is not ours. Our role is to follow our fella.
I’m not exactly sure where we’ll end up, but I’m following my fella who’s following a dream. It’s been a pretty interesting ride, and I wonder how it will all turn out. It’s even a little exciting! So if you’re ever in Alaska and craving coconut milk, check out the yellow pages. We may just be there.
Springfield, Missouri, USA
Jim and Cindy have 11 children - Michael 18, John 16, Shannon 15, Meghan 13, William 12, Kathleen 11, Keenan 9, Heather 7, Bridget 5, Kelly 3, Josiah 1.
This article is used with permission from SALT magazine, published by Jim and Cindy McDermott. For more information, check out saltmagazine.com or saltchristianpress.com