Part 2 of the Decision Making Series
Have you ever watched movies about searching for hidden treasures?
One of my favorite quotes from Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade is right at the very end of the movie. To set up the scene (for those poor souls who haven’t seen the movie yet – yes, this is a spoiler, consider yourself warned), the knight is guarding a set of cups. One of which is supposed to grant eternal life. The bad guy chooses the fanciest cup, made of gold and rare jewels, and drinks out it. Well, it was the wrong cup, and he dies a terrible death. But then the knight says, “He chose….poorly!”
In life and in marriage, you need to know the hidden gems of decision making, and why it is so important for you
- Understand “WHY” you are making this decision
- Wisdom and counsel are important
- Make the decision
It is that simple. These three little gems can help you so very much if you wisely use them every single time. So let’s unpack each of them.
(1) Understand WHY you are making this decision
One year ago, I saw my marriage heading towards a brick wall. No, we weren’t “on the rocks” yet…but I could feel it heading that way. We seemed like the perfect couple to everyone, and we could fake it when we had to. But underneath, we were losing our glimmer. The fun teasing, laughing, sharing of our true feelings, the deep intimacy was fading away. I wanted to be near
You can read more about that here if you want a better explanation.
When I finally started to open up to Stephen
The word “why” is one of the hardest in the English language. It forces you to stop and really consider the motivations behind what you are doing. This process is not quick, logical, emotional…but it is a soul-searching. It is an uncovering of hidden skeletons and packed away feelings.
(2) Wisdom and Counsel are Important
[There is} a lot is talked about in the Christian world about stepping out in faith — which I believe in wholeheartedly.
I believe God clearly instructs some to jump right in.
But that doesn’t mean God calls everyone to jump right in.
Sometimes the greater act of faith is to let God lead us, talk to us and instruct us beside the water.
As I said last week, I can be person who drags her feet making decisions. AND…then…well, I can be a girl, with one hour’s notice, who packs up her family and runs off to an indoor waterpark in the middle of January. (It was five degrees, there was snow on the ground, and the kids were really bored!)
Impulsiveness is my second middle name. I can make snap-decisions when I have to. Sometimes, like the trip to the water park, it works out really well. We had a great time in the 80 degree building, playing in the water, soaking in the hot tubs, and doing the waterslides.
However, it doesn’t always work out so great in life or in spiritual decisions. I too have made decisions that I regret. I chose poorly with choosing my Netflix TV shows instead of being with my family. I’ve chosen chocolate instead of working through the real issues. I’ve skipped prayer and Bible reading when I should have stopped and waited on God’s timing for my life.
Here’s the thing. Impulsive decisions can be as paralyzing as delaying decisions. They both hurt you. They both can ruin your life. So how can you know what to do? Ask for help.
Yes, ask for counsel. Get advice. Ask your spouse for their opinion. Talk to spiritual leaders who you trust. Read good books on leadership and decision making. The more you expose yourself to other’s mistakes and lessons, the easier it can be to apply those to your life.
One of the best books on decision making, for busy mothers and women, that I have read is The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst. She explains that in a culture of others demanding you to always say yes to everything, you are actually hurting yourself and spreading yourself too thin. By learning how and when to say no, you can say the Best Yes that affects positiviely your family and your life.
Make the Decision
Burn the bridges. Cut the Ties. Refuse to look back. Clear out the house of chocolate and sugar (ok, that may be a bit too extreme, but you get my point). When you make a decision. Do it.
Yes, those hard decisions require guts. It doesn’t get any easier when you start factoring in money, family, memories of past events, worries about the future…but when it comes down to something, you have to decide to make the decision and actually do it.
Not making a decision is actually a decision. It’s the decision to stay the same. Lysa TerKeurst
Most recently, my family and I made a life-changing decision. It affected our children, our businesses, our friends, and future memories that would never happen. We agonized over this for months; praying for wisdom, seeking counsel from multiple people, and simply wondering what to do. When we finally had our decision and made it, it was not a bed of roses. It was a terrible few weeks. We cried. Our children cried in our arms over the loss that they were facing. We said goodbye to so many people. And yet…
Now that it is has been a few months, I can honestly look back and wonder why didn’t we do it sooner? The agony that we had putting it off, the indecision, hurt us. And it hurt us deeply. Some wounds still are raw and painful.
I am so glad that we made this decision. We are stronger and healthier as a family and couple. We leaned hard on each other; we drew our strength from our faith and in each other’s arms.
The lesson to be learned here is this: Sometimes you have to wait to make decisions because now is not the time to do it. Other times, you put off the decision because of fear and indecisiveness. That is what paralyzes you and makes your decisions so hard.
Was the decision emotional or logical? It was neither, and it was both. Our decisions were based upon the knowledge that we had gained through many years of decision making, and upon our faith in Christ.
Are all decisions perfect? No, and they will never be. You can only make decisions with practice, and with practice it requires you to make right decisions. At the end of the day, remember, do your best and choose wisely.