Q&A: Are My Dreams Sinful?

Q: I am a married man and very much in love with my wife.  We communicate well and there are no secrets between us.  I mention that because I want you to understand that she and I have already spoken about this and she knows everything.I am faithful to my wife and we are very intentional and conscientious about living lives that draw us closer to God.  While I have always been faithful in flesh, I have had a string of recent dreams where I have been adulterous.  The women in the dreams are nobody I know or have seen before.  My question is not “what does that mean??”, but rather what your advice might be on ways to ensure that my wife and I work together to overcome this.  It’s causing no marital discord, but I want to make sure that we are diligent in making sure that doesn’t happen and give Satan so much as a hairline crack to get his fingernail into.  I am praying for God to do this in my life and while he doesn’t need my help, I am a husband who wants to make sure I’m not going to fall into the trap of neglecting my wife by way of inactivity.

A: Thanks so much for your email.  That is a great question.  And I will start off by saying that I love your heart and how you are trying to honor God and your wife in everything you do.  I know that pleases Him.  I think the fact that you have been open with your wife about all of this speaks volumes about your communication and openness with her.  I would encourage you to continue to communicate to her about things like this.  In that, make sure you are communicating to her that she is your standard of beauty and that you have no desire to look elsewhere for getting your needs met.  The only other thing I can tell you to do to involve her in this process would be to have her pray over you before you go to sleep.  Get her to intercede for you and ask God to protect your mind even while you are sleeping.  There is power in asking our spouses to pray for us when we are troubled with something and it communicates to her your vulnerability and need for her to be involved in working through this with you.

The last thing I will challenge you on is to not believe lies that you are doing something wrong in this situation.  Having a dream like this is not sin.  Sometimes the enemy can even use things like this to distract us and get us off focus.  If that is the case, scripture calls us to take our thoughts captive and run to the Lord with the things we are struggling with.  We cannot control what we dream about or what happens while we are asleep. Therefore, we should not allow the enemy to put guilt on us as a result of those things or believe for a second that we have sinned as a result.  The only exception to this would be if we are allowing lustful thoughts in our minds during the day, then it is possible for these things to show up in our dreams. In that case, the dream itself would not be sin, but the actions that led to the dream would be (dwelling on lustful thoughts).  I don’t feel this is the case with you and I am not assuming that this is what you are dealing with at all, but as men we must always be on guard with what we look at and what thoughts we dwell on during the day.   Examine what sort of images you are taking in and ask the Lord to reveal to you if anything needs to change in this area.

I hope this helps, please let me know if I can help you with anything else.  I hope you have a wonderful week.

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