Updated: Feb 10, 2021
You know the look, right? He comes in with a smile he can’t quite hide and his eyes have a dancing and far away look. IF he can wait to tell you, he does so impatiently, but soon the words tumble out of his mouth like marbles out of a tipped over coffee can; “Great idea!....Easy!....We just need….!”.
Then he pauses and looks at you with The Question:
“So….what do you think?”
You see that he wants you to love the idea, but you feel like you’re still submerged under all those coffee can marbles and trying to figure out what’s going on.
This is a good time to stop and pray. In fact, if you are married to someone who is always filled with ideas, it might even be helpful to memorize this: Lord, please give me the right heart to hear this.
Then to buy a little more time, perhaps say with enthusiasm “OH, interesting! You always have such fascinating ideas! Let’s get a cup of coffee and you can tell me more.”
The purpose for this is three-fold:
1) It gives you even more time to pray and ask the Lord to guide your heart, your mind, your mouth.
2) It shows support to your loved one.
3) It gives you both time to get over that initial rush of excitement or fear and it enables you both to walk through the idea calmly.
Set the coffee on the table. Perhaps grab a pen and paper to take notes. Suggest that this sounds like a big idea and now is a good time to pray.
Then let him speak.
If you are the one that tends to head off ideas, to put on the brakes, to keep the status quo, let me offer that this may not be the time to do that. Instead, let him get all the excitement out. Often we idea people just have so many exciting ideas that all we need to do is ride the wave for a bit before realizing that maybe we don’t really need to start the idea.
It is also possible, though, that the Lord has given him insight and wisdom that He has not given you in this. I know, I know, that’s not a comfortable place to be sometimes! But that’s ok. It is ok to just trust the Lord!
I have been on both sides: idea person and “NO NO NO!” person. When I was the idea person, I wanted to be heard, respected. See, my ideas, my thoughts, are what I have to offer the world. Not that every idea is a good one—even Elon Musk has had really BAD ideas.
But to have my input valued, my ideas treated thoughtfully, even if we found they were flawed, was vitally important to me.
However, I have also been the “NO NO NO” person. Ideas are safe when you have them, but when someone else has a big idea, it can be anxiety producing. Often wives are more cautious, more careful. We consider future safety of our kids, our finances. We often want guarantees and are often more than willing to have our husbands sacrifice their dreams for our sense of security.
“Ok, but what if it’s REALLY a bad idea?” Honestly, sometimes they are just bad ideas, like trusting all our money to a stranger.
Sometimes it just seems like a bad idea, like buying a new car.
Again, we pray. Often it is not that we don't have the wisdom to help our husbands through the process, but we don’t have the right heart for it.
I would ask questions that both support and analyze the idea:
-Have you been in prayer about this? How long?
-What is the best that could happen?
-What is the worst that could happen?
-If XYZ happens (something bad) what is your plan?
-I love your ideas, but this one is a little hard for me to wrap my head around right now. BUT I want to give the idea full opportunity to grow. Can we start now with (a small scale plan) then upgrade it in a few weeks (months, whatever) to the full plan? If this is the Lord’s will, it will grow. If it doesn’t, we know He will give you more wonderful things to think and try. (This gives him a chance to work on it, but it also buys time for the excitement to wear off in case it was just an impulse. It also, though, gives you a chance to see the possibilities of it, the potential for it.).
We might not always trust our husbands will have the right idea (honestly, we don’t always have the right idea either), but we can always trust that the Lord will work out everything for our good in some way (Romans 8:28).
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
*This is titled Married To An Idea Man, but it might be that you are the idea person! Or you might have a particularly entrepreneurial child. In any case, the simple truths remain: Prayer is necessary. Supporting each other emotionally (whether the idea is good or not) is necessary. Seeking God’s wisdom is necessary.