Making Decisions in the House

Dear Jack,

My wife and I have some decisions to make, and we seem to be on separate pages about what to do. I know I can give in and let her win, but sometimes I get tired of not getting my way. I thought I should see what you had to say about it.

Please help,
Confused in Colorado

Mark 10:42-45

42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave[b] of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jack: Hello Mr. Confused. Let me say that it just depends on what the decision is.

Uncommen: Jack is that the best you can offer? It sounds like Mr. Confused could use some help here. Surely you can provide some possible solutions to help him resolve this dilemma.

Jack: Hey, it’s his problem, not mine.

Uncommen: Jack, he needs some advice.

Jack: Ok, ok. Here’s what I do when the Mrs. and I can’t seem to come to a reasonable conclusion. I merely let her explain her point of view. As I pretend to listen, I occasionally ask questions to act like I understand while I’m really thinking about how to explain to her that my idea is better than hers.

Then when she’s done, I tell her why her plan won’t work, and mine is far superior to hers. 

Now here’s the best part. If while she’s talking, I ain’t figured out how to tell her my idea is better, I wait ‘til she’s done talking, pause for a moment or two, then I ask her to fix me a sammich.  

Then while she’s in the kitchen, I have more time to figure out a way to tell her, her plan isn’t going to work so we should do it my way. Then I eat my sammich and go on with the day. 

Uncommen: Jack, seriously that’s the best you can do? Tell this guy to ignore his wife while she’s talking? Brainstorm a way to convince her that his idea is better than hers? Tell her to fix you a sandwich so you have more time to justify your side and that’s it?

Jack: You make it sound pretty easy, but I’m telling you it takes more practice than you think.

Uncommen: Well, I just thought your advice would be more helpful for both him and his wife.

Jack: Helpful? My advice is perfect! Besides, what kind of man can think on an empty stomach?

Uncommen: I thought you would tell him to listen to his wife intently as she expressed her heart; that he should try to empathize with her point of view. Then, after listening to her with an open mind, they should commit to praying together and as individuals before coming back together to discuss it again before making any final decisions.

Jack: Why would he do that?

Uncommen: He should do that to help build unity in his marriage. To show his wife that her opinion matters, that she’s loved and valued as a partner in the relationship, and finally that he cherishes her, cares for her, and respects her.

Jack: Hey, you want to grab me a sammich?

Men, when we’re faced with difficult decisions, I would remind you that above all things that it’s our responsibility to be servant leaders in our home. It’s our privilege to do all things as unto the Lord; that includes making decisions both large and small in a way that honors the Lord.

The world would be quick to remind us that a “happy wife is a happy life,” but our desire shouldn’t be fleeting happiness here and now. It should be to make decisions that honor and glorify the Lord above all things. Sometimes that means you have to make the difficult decision to tell your wife you can’t go her direction this time. It helps for her to know that you are genuinely seeking God’s guidance through this process and not just disregarding her input and doing what you want to do.

Question 1: When’s the last time you prayed before you made a difficult decision? 

Question 2: When’s the last time you prayed with your wife concerning direction for your family or your future? 

It doesn’t have to be a big production where you block out days at a time to prepare for what you will pray about, for how long, or to compose a prayer list to pray through. 

Uncommen Challenge: Take your wife by the hand and pray about what’s on your mind, about what is concerning to her. Don’t try to fix it, pray with her. She needs to see that you love her and the Lord enough to lead her to Him!

Author: Dustin Gilbert.

Making Decisions in the House

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