After 23 years of marriage I’ve come to understand that hard decisions come often. When we enter marriage with a mindset that everything is “happily ever after” we deceive ourselves. Can a couple be happy ever after? Well that is a subjective question. It depends on what one considers happy to be.
If you think that happy is all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, then you will not be prepared for times when the rain comes. If one thinks happy is what they feel in a moment, then their emotions are wrapped up in a moment of time leaving them open for sorrow, let down, and hopelessness.
There will be struggles in life. There will be times when you as a couple will be faced with making tough decisions. While you are two people, you joined your life to each other, you are united as one. So how should a couple approach making difficult decisions, especially, when you have a difference of opinion on what to do?
Learning to Discuss and Submit During Tough Decisions
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Even though we live in a culture that tells us that men and women are equal, there must be a way within a healthy relationship for compromise to occur when differences exist in making decisions. While it isn’t popular the reality is that God designed marriage to function in a certain way.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wivesbe to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” “Ephesians 5:22-31.
As a Christian woman, I strive to live a godly life, in Christ. He has set forth a pattern for marriage in His word, the Bible. When we follow that pattern our marriage is much more peaceable, much more joyous. In this way we can face decisions knowing that we can and will come to a resolution even when we start out disagreeing.
There are times, when we do disagree. Sometimes, the disagreement becomes overwhelming. Other times, we calmly talk it out and work through it. Compromise can be a two-way street and when it is, and both the husband and wife can work toward each other, rather than digging in heels for each owns desires, then that pattern for marriage functions beautifully.
As I submit to him, I can trust that he is working to ensure that I am nourished and cherished. He can be honored through the trust I place in him. Together we work to ensure that we both are satisfied with decisions that are made and we both are seeking the highest good of the other as well as our child.
Tips for Making Tough Decisions
- Discuss What the Decision Options Are
Make sure you both understand what needs to be decided. Too often, there isn’t a consensus as to what the facts are, or what the goal is. Writing it out can help with this, because if you, like me can visualize the matter, then you can ensure you both are approaching the same decision.
- You Each Share Ideas for Solutions to Meeting the Goals
Open communication is key in this area. If you are like me, you too get caught up in not wanting to speak what you really think for fear of being rejected or hurting your husbands feelings. For me, this is especially true when I know his ideas are different from mine. BUT, he’s a guy, while I don’t mean to stereotype, and God has given them a different way of approaching emotions. They can compartmentalized their emotions and deal with a situation at hand. Unlike women who approach decisions from their emotional viewpoints. You both need to openly share what your ideas are for meeting he goals.
I can’t stress this enough. We too often, think we heard something when in fact we did not. That’s because we, women, approach most things in life from an emotional standpoint. We let ourselves feel what we hear. Then, we react to the emotion rather than the words that were said. We analyze what meaning behind words might be rather than truly taking the words spoken at face value. In doing this, we make what was spoken subjective to our own thoughts instead of letting our husband speak his own mind. We need to listen to him, trust that he loves us, and know that when he approaches a decision he has your, and the children’s best interest in mind just as much as you do.
- Weigh & Pray about the Solutions Offered
When you approach decisions knowing that you are going to pray to God about them. When you weigh both sides of the discussion, you may find that one just simply seems more right than the other.
- In the End, Let Him Decide
Yes! This takes a lot of trust on your part. He is your husband and you should be able to trust that he is making decisions for your best interest. For me, I know my husband does love me and wants the best for me and our child. Sometimes, it’s hard to let go and trust, but stand or fall, I will do so beside of him. Why? Because Christ desires me to be in submission to my husband. He also desires for my husband to love me “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25. He bears the greater burden than I do. So I choose to trust him. More often than not, when gently submit to his authority we are able to reach a mutual compromise which makes our life more peaceable and joyous.Learn
Have we ever made bad decisions? Yes! Plenty of them. We learn from our mistakes and pray for wisdom so that when we approach the next big decision we will do so with wisdom. The one thing I try to not do is hold bad decisions against my husband because, stand or fall, we are in life together.
Have we made good decisions? Yes! plenty of those as well, some leading to great joy. But surely, when we approach decisions from the right viewpoint in the end we know we both came to an agreed understanding of the decision.
What tips do you have for making tough decisions in marriage? Please feel free to share your tips, or questions in the comments below.
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