We were staring at each other. Stuck on the same couch in silence. It was one of those moments in our marriage when my husband and I were facing a decision that we didn’t agree on.
I remember it vividly. He wanted us to move to Africa to become full-time missionaries and I thought we were planning to live in Texas forever. We were in completely different places. In fact, on a scale of one to ten, he was a ten and ready to jump on a plane across the ocean while I was a one struggling with leaving the comfort of my home.
It was a big decision in our marriage. And it just felt like we were at an impasse. Stuck.
I’m guessing you’ve had some of the same moments in your marriage. Moments where you or your spouse have felt stuck in decisions that involve two very different people, with two very different opinions, trying to make decisions together. It shouldn’t be a surprise if you have because marriage takes two very different, unique people and brings them together as one. Marriage involves God taking the best and worst of each spouse to live in unity together for the glory of God. It is not always easy to walk out and takes unselfishness and hard work, but it is God’s design for marriage.
So, what did we do when we disagreed that first time about moving to Africa? Well, we learned a few ways to go about making decisions together that have changed our marriage forever.
And throughout our twenty-one years of marriage, we continue to face many decisions that we disagree on and have continued to apply those principles to LEAP into these decisions together whether they involve children, career changes, moving, etc., even if we come from very different viewpoints on the subject.
Here is how we have learned to LEAP into decisions together:
Listen: First we listen to each other and give each other the freedom to have our own opinion on the topic needing a decision without judgment from the other. This takes time and requires an open mind. Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”
Encourage: Remind each other how much you care for each other. Validate each other’s thoughts and opinions. Encourage one other that this decision does not change your love and commitment to one another.
Advice: Seek out wise counsel and ask a mentor couple who knows you to speak into your decision and to pray for you both.
Pray: Come up with an amount of time to pray together and separately for the decision that needs to be made and for the Lord to lead your hearts to the same place on the decision.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them,”
After you have followed the LEAP process above, come back together, and make your decision. If you still feel stuck, repeat the LEAP process again until you can find common ground on your decision. You will not always agree one hundred percent, but you will find that your hearts will be drawn to the same place, having unity in your decision.
Once you have applied this strategy to your decision-making together, you will find that whatever your decisions together involve, you are able to make them with love, respect, and grace for one another when you LEAP into them together.
My husband and I did end up moving to Africa if you were wondering. And our life together was forever changed.
I’m excited to hear how you and your spouse are going to LEAP into decisions you are facing in your marriage. I know that as you let God lead you both in your decisions and LEAP together exciting things will happen!
Check out For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk. FBOFK is a book packed full of our personal stories of marriage and parenting over the last 20+ years, practical help and biblical wisdom that will enable you to have a loving and intimate marriage regardless of the season of life you find yourself in. Grab your copy today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook or anywhere books are sold.