My first fight.
I'll never forget my first fight with Elizabeth. We weren't even married. It was the summer of 2011. I was 25 years old, madly in love, broke and homeless. I spent the summer looking for work in ministry and I couldn't find a place to serve. So, I turned my attention to getting a "real" job. Kal Tire was looking for help. I was hired right away. Excited that I had some source of income, I phoned Liz to tell her the good news," Great News babe, I found a full-time fixing tires!" A long pause rang through the phone. It wasn’t the response I was hoping for, "I don't think you should take that job Dan." "Why Not?" I was annoyed. "I don't know, I just have this strong sense, a feeling that God has something else." "Honey we need money; I can't make decisions based upon a feeling you have" I hung up the phone and went to work.
It turned out she was right. A week later I was fired. In that same week I was offered a position as youth pastor. I can debate about how healthy it is to make life changing decisions on the feelings she had but at the very least I can’t debate that what I did was wrong. I didn't take my wife's opinions into account when I made the Decision. I had no regard for her opinion. I was right, she was wrong, end of story. We' weren't one.
It's Not Easy.
There are many decisions we must make where no clear right or wrong is indicated in the Bible. Which church to attend, how many (if any) children to have, which car/ house to buy, jobs to accept etc.
One of the mistakes we often make is making a choice and then expecting God to bless that decision without first seeking his counsel.
In marriage the situation becomes more complicated when both parties feel differently about the best direction to take. Have you been there? Of course, you have! The following is a great tool I picked up from Ken Dyck, author of Freedom Session ( A program I highly encourage you to take). It's designed to help you make the best decision you can as a couple. I hope it helps. The heart behind this is to help us make decisions that are of one mind.
How to make Decisions as a Couple
1. Cleary define the question you are asking God - i.e. One of you may be faced with moving to a new city to accept a new job. The primary question you need to ask is, "Is God providing this job for you to take?" Accepting the job requires moving to the new city. Asking God if you need to move to a new city doesn't mean he desires you to take the new job. Are you asking God to take the job, or move to a new city? Clearly define the question.
2. Agree that you will be both praying asking God the same question - i.e., "God would you like us to accept this job offer?" It is very important that BOTH of you are willing to pray and ask God for HIS desire, INCLUDING the one would like to accept the job.
3. Determine the Date the Decision needs to be made. - Then determine an earlier "Choice testing" date. This will be the date that you will make your decision. This is to give God the time to give or withhold his peace. For Example, if you need to decide by Dec 30, create a test day on Dec 15
4. Gather Information - If there is information that either of you need that would help in prayer be diligent to get it
5. Pray individually and together - Don’t talk about it except to share whatever you are sensing from God. Do not try to persuade your spouse.
6. Seek out the WORD- from the Bible - Consider adding one chapter of Proverbs every day to your normal Bible Reading. Journal.
7. Share what you have heard - on your “Test Decision Day" Each of you should share what you think God has been saying. Also share how strong you have felt God speaking. This has nothing to do with what you want. This is about what God has said. Your answers should be "Yes" "No" "Not Sure"
8. Make the Decision
- If both sensed God saying yes, we move forward. The idea is you are one.
- If both sensed God say no, we don't move forward
- If one senses God saying yes and the other senses a no, we don't move forward. Make the decision as one.
- If one senses no and one is unsure, we don't move forward. This about making choices as one.
- If one sense God saying yes and one is unsure it's the husbands call. I believe God has called men to lead and I feel this is the place men should do it. If both are unsure what is saying it is the husband's call. If the choice is not pressing, we generally wait until one of us is sure.
What I am hoping you notice is an attitude of submission on both parties to God's Will. It also relies on a high level of integrity and personal honesty. It is very foolish idea to confidently assert God has been speaking clearly on an issue when the truth is you are not that sure. If my spouse says God has been speaking strongly, I need to carefully weigh that. Similarly, if God has been speaking strongly to me, my spouse needs to know.
9. Test out the Decision - Give God the Opportunity to Veto the decision. It's my belief that God will never punish us for seeking his will even when we turn out to be wrong. Seek for his peace, sound out your Decision with a couple Godly people. If we make a decision after seeking his will and it is wrong, I don't think God will punish us by remaining silent. He loves us and we honor Him by seeking his will.
10 Make your Final Decision and trust the Results to God. Accept the consequences of that choice as part of God's plan and do not bring them up against each other when difficulties arise. The idea is that you are one.