Big Decisions

So um…can I be personal with you? If not, it’s ok. You can put this down now and read no further. …….

Are you still there? Still reading? Great! I’ll take that as permission to get personal.

So…what big decisions are you facing in your life right now? Are you thinking about where to go to college? Are you thinking about what major to pursue? Are you thinking about marriage – whether to get married, who to marry? Big decisions!

Are you thinking about a career change? Are you thinking about moving? Are you thinking about having children? Are you thinking about whether to have more children? Are you thinking about adopting, foster parenting? Big decisions!

Are you thinking about retiring? Are you thinking about going into full time ministry? Are you thinking about becoming a missionary? Big decisions!

I think all of us at certain points in our lives face some really big decisions, ones that affect not only us but those around us – they can affect our families, our relationships, our futures. So…how do you make them? How have you made them in the past? How will you make the one you’re thinking about right now? And does it matter?

Ask those who have made bad ones if it makes a difference! Or ask those who know someone – I’ll bet we all could tell some stories! I think of a man who decided to get married, but the girl he set his sights on was….well…let’s say she was known for her attitude, her mouth, and certain deeds. So everyone – friends, family, fellow Christians – cautioned this young man about this woman. He ignored all their counsel, married her, and they had a child. A year later, she took him and his family to the cleaners. Sad.

Truth is, big decisions are a big deal in life. No one knows that better than our God who has given us a lot of wisdom and insight for decision-making in Scripture. You might read through the book of Proverbs for example and put a little ‘dm’ beside all the verses that have to do with decision making. A few of the Proverbs with ‘dm’ beside them in my Bible are Proverbs 1:25, 2:6, 3:3-8, 4:7, 11:14, 12:15, 13:10, 14:8, 15:22, 16:2-3 19:2, 24:6. There are many others. In the New Testament, there is a big DM beside Romans 14:5. I’ll bet I’ve used that one a hundred times in counseling over the past few years.

So what’s my point? Be wise, be careful, if you’re considering a big decision. Go slow. Get info. Get counsel. Take time out to really think it through. And don’t make a decision until you are “fully convinced in your own mind” about what would be wise and right.

We just made a big decision ourselves about foster parenting. Going through the process reminded me of how important our big decisions are. So can I be personal with you? On the other side is a letter we wrote to our boys today about our big decision. And I share it with you in the hopes that somehow it might help you in your next big decision!

Hi guys!

How are you?? We hope that you’re both doing great!

Hey Mom and I thought we would write you and let you know about our final decision re. foster parenting, not just to inform you (which we could do over the phone) but hopefully to give you an example of how we make such decisions in our marriage – maybe it will serve you guys in your relationships!

– First, we were considering foster parenting as a good deed we might do for those in need (Titus 2:7, 2:14, 3:8, 3:14).

– Second we took a few months to pray about it and gather a lot of information so as not to make a hasty decision – he who makes haste with his feet errs (Proverbs 19:2).

– Third, we got counsel from good and godly brothers and sisters (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 24:6).

– Fourth, we considered what we’re already doing to serve the Lord, what we’ve already committed to, and how foster parenting could affect our current ministry (Proverbs 14:8).

– Finally yesterday, with all the information and counsel in mind, we asked, “are we both fully convinced in our own minds (Romans 14:5) that this would be a wise thing, in light of all we’ve learned, all we’ve heard, and all we’re doing and hope to do for the Lord?”

Actually, in light of everything we learned and heard, we both became fully convinced that for us it would not be wise to pursue this. We’re convinced that it would be wiser for us and for the sake of the church here that we continue doing all we’re currently doing to serve the Lord, and consider other options for good deeds, options that would not consume the inestimable amount of time, energy and long-term full-time commitment that foster parenting demands if it’s to be done well.

Anyway, we really REALLY appreciate how you guys support us and encourage us in so many ways in the things that we consider! And we thought you might like to know how we thought through this and came to a final decision. You both will surely face many such decisions in the future in your marriages (should the Lord grant that). Learning to make big decisions carefully, wisely and in unity is key to a successful loving marriage!

We love you guys!

Mom and Dad “Let God be magnified!” Psalm 70:4