Marriage is a partnership. Part of the beauty of marriage is the ability to work as a team to decide what is best for the two of you as a couple or as a family. Whether you’re looking to buy a house, planning to expand your family, or one of you is trying to make a big career move, it’s important to know how to navigate life’s big decisions together.
Every decision that comes your way affects your marriage–for good or for bad. When you two learn to how to work together in a way that honors each other and sets you up for success, you’ll grow and flourish as a couple.
Here are four simple ways to navigate the big decisions in your marriage:
Plan uninterrupted time to talk.
There will always be some kind of distraction or excuse to avoid the conversation. Your phone will go off from a group text conversation, something exciting will happen in the game playing on TV in the background, or one of your kids will jump in and interrupt your train of thought. It’s important to set aside time for conversations around big decisions. If you need to put a time on your calendar so you’ll stick to it, then do that. Put your phones away, turn the TV off, and focus on the decision in front of you. Making sure your time is uninterrupted will help the conversation be more productive and fruitful.
Do your research.
Spend time looking at all the options. If you’re trying to decide what school to send your five-year-old to then spend some time asking neighbors about their experience, evaluating your child’s needs, and looking into the programs, teachers, and success of your local school options.
Divide and conquer the work with your spouse. If making your decision involves a ton of research, then split up the process. Decide who will look into each piece of the puzzle and be prepared to report back with what you learned. Giving each person ownership in this process will help you feel like it’s a partnership and not a one-sided effort.
As you discuss the information and ideas, listen and respect the opinion of your spouse. You may not agree on the outcome of the decision from the beginning. Emotions may get involved. Work hard to be intentional about giving your spouse the time he or she needs to explain what they’re thinking and why. Approach the subject from a place of understanding and patience rather than jumping right to the result you’d like to see immediately.
Remember: the outcome of the decision is about what’s best for you as a couple and not just what’s best for you alone. You’re in this together.
Approach every piece of the process in prayer. Allow yourself the time to take the decision to God first and listen for His guidance. As a couple, pray together as you make your decision. Pray about the options. Ask for God to make your decision clear. Pray for your spouse as you work through the decision process together. When you’re seeking God’s discernment as you consider all of your options, you will always be set up for success. His plan will always be the best plan.
Decision making doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it does require intentional work and care. As you approach the big choices together, remember you’re approaching them as a team. When you plan well together, you’ll win together.