On the topic of marriage and a month of questions, here’s another:
What do you do when you completely disagree about a really important decision? Does “submitting” mean you have to completely give up your own brain and right to exercise intelligent decision-making?
I have been really challenged in this area over the past few years (oh, I wish I were not so slow a learner!)
Because I had more life experience in a certain area, or had more interest in researching the best possible solution to a problem, I figured I should naturally be the one to have the final say on such decisions.
Gulp…I think that’s called pride? Seriously wrong thinking.
Giving our input, as women, is important for sure. We are a team and we’re together for a reason. We both have strengths and we both have blind spots. Many areas of decision-making: like coming up with the kids’ schedules & routines, choosing avenues of health care or exploring new ways of eating, purchasing things I know they need- these things & more, he gladly hands off to me.
Saying that, I’ve found such a freedom in choosing to zip my lip on so many occasions! I have wasted so much precious energy on second-guessing any number of his ideas.
I think this is especially true for those of us who are married to visionary, dreamers…they need to be encouraged and validated. Negative words only shut them down emotionally- which is a sure path to a failed marriage.
Allowing our husbands to make decisions without unsolicited negative input is so important for them, but it’s for our own benefit too. There’s a weight that many of us carry that we simply don’t need to. And I’m ALL for having less stress in my life!
We are meant to be able to rest in knowing that the responsibility of our family is not on our own shoulders. The only result I’ve seen come from, “are you sure…” or “well, what about…”, when combined with an attitude of disrespect, is a hurt, angry man…and a resentful, bitter wife. Talk about a recipe for a failing marriage.
I had a really deep revelation about all this a few months ago, and thought to myself: “I wonder if God is really speaking through my husband more than I realize? I’m going to just…listen.” Ahem. Talk about a no-brainer! I have been amazed at how much this has blessed us., and it’s humbling to realize how limited my thinking had been previously. Oh the grief that could have been avoided.
Of course I still like to research, and make plans and dream…but I know that if I want Al’s blessing on my ideas, he needs to also trust that his dreams and ideas are safe with me.
Even if I may initially may disagree with a decision Al has made, the heart check is trusting that God will work it all out. And in the meantime, I try to say a little less. Or nothing at all…and pray with anticipation to see what is coming next for us!
The peace I’ve felt has been worth so much more than the desire to prove myself “right”. Regardless of the outcome. And our good God always works it out in ways that I can see are the best for us all. I’m still learning and undoing some years of bad habits, but I’m loving what I’m seeing so far.
How about you? What does decision-making look like in your marriage?