Recently our family was faced with a difficult decision. I realize that many people approach decision making even within marriages and families from an individualistic approach. Our family has chosen a different path. As a matter of fact, I would argue that for married couples who are both followers of Christ the Ephesians 5 model reveals that when a couple is united in Spirit all decisions are made together.
As our daughter has grown older, we have begun including her in the decision-making process. Some might say that a teenager is not prepared to make big decisions. I think it’s vital for a teenager to learn to make wise decisions and what better environment than in our home where there is an abundance of counselors. Our goal in parenting is to prepare our daughter to not be dependent upon her mom and dad to make her decisions. Rather, I want to equip her to make wise decisions on her own.
So how do we make decisions as a family?
- Pray! Before we consider any major family decision we commit ourselves to pray about the decision asking God for His wisdom and to unite us as a family.
- Discuss Openly! This is an important part of the process for our family. This is the opportunity before our minds are made up to ask questions. We can better understand perspective. This also provides a great opportunity to consider the ripple effects or the consequences both good and bad of the decision we are about to make.
- Seek Counsel! If advice from others is needed, this is the time to ask others for their opinion and ideas.
- Agree Together! There are times when I counsel with both pre-married and married couples and they make decisions but they fail to agree together about the decision. One person ends up making the decision and all others just go along or there is tension because of the decision. After discussing the decision, come back together and agree as to the decision and the next steps that need to be taken.
- Take the Leap! If God has united your family in prayer and there is agreement together, don’t delay when God gives you the green light. Delayed obedience is disobedience. If it’s a major decision, there will be uncertainty. There might even be some fear. But at some point in time we must stop putting off the decision and take the leap.
- Take the Hit! This is really for husbands and dads. If there is a family decision you make together, men, please do not blame the decision on your wife or children. Be the protector of your family and take responsibility for the decision you have made. God will honor that decision!
What have I missed? How do you make decisions as a family?