Making Decisions With Your Wife (Part 2)
Every wife wants a husband who will take full responsibility for spiritual leadership in marriage and in the home. How can we do this when it seems like our wives don’t agree with us or won’t support our leadership?
Ken Nair, in his book Understanding the Mind of a Woman states, "Contrary to popular notions, most wives do not want to occupy the throne in their marriages. A wife wants her husband to be her spiritual leader, but she is designed by God to feel secure only when she sees that her husband is not the final authority in their marriage, that he is looking to God for direction and guidance. Only then can she be confident that her relationship with her husband will be based on scriptural principles and not on her husband’s personal preferences, which she recognizes can be prejudiced or selfishly motivated. Rather than argue with her, when a husband discovers that his wife truly feels that he is prejudiced or selfish, he should be willing to learn what he can do to change in order to restore her confidence in him. From God’s perspective, becoming Christ-like is more important to a man than developing a home government in which the husband is established as king. And more important than being the boss is having the character traits of mercy and justice. God notes the benefits of that thinking in Proverbs 20:28: Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. "
I agree wholeheartedly with Ken. During my years of coaching Courageous Conversations between husbands and wives I can’t remember a time when a woman was glad that her husband simply said, “Yes Honey, whatever you want, we will do it your way.” A wife wants the opportunity to influence her husband with the counsel she believes God has given her, yet she knows that it needs to be balanced by other wise counsel. The motto Often wrong but never in doubt can be applied to some wives but for the most part even these wives don’t want the final responsibility for making all the decisions. Wives truly want the privilege of discerning the will of God as a couple. Scripture states, How can two walk together unless they be agreed? (see Amos 3:3). Wives want more than anything the joy of being one with their husbands. They know that they will be able to support their husbands if they will allow them to be involved in the decision making process. In business consulting I usually refer to the statement No involvement equals no commitment. The secret to raising morale and motivating a workforce is to involve them in the decision making process by asking for their input. When a leader truly believes each person has some piece of the answer, he will dig deeply to draw out the counsel in the heart of every man or woman involved. King Solomon stated Counsel in the heart of man is deep and a man of understanding draws it out. (see Proverbs 20:5).
How to make a decision with your wife
1. Connect with your wife by listening to her
The way a woman feels about a decision is at first more important than the decision itself. She wants to know how willing you are to hear her thoughts and feelings. This shows her the value of her worth to you as a wife. You can review the four elements of connecting with your wife by viewing From Zero to Hero
You can also ask her the 10 questions of a courageous conversation if you really want to understand her heart and rescue her from her fears. See The 10 Questions of a Courageous Conversation
2. Tell her you will seek counsel in prayer, from God’s Word, and from others
You can calm your wife’s fears and frustrations by giving her a time in which you will get back with her. Even if you don’t have a definite answer by this date, give her an update of what you have been doing and what thoughts you have so far. Sometimes it is the wife who needs to process the information and seek counsel so she can be supportive of her husband. King Solomon wrote many proverbs in regards to seeking counsel such as the following:
- “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
- “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15
- “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22
- “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” Proverbs 19:21
3. Incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding
Take the counsel you have been given and begin to sift through it. Ask the Lord to lead you through the night and give you counsel in your reigns (gut) while you sleep. (see Psalm 16). The nineteenth-century mathematician Jules-Henri Poincare proposed a model of the basic four stages of the creative act that more or less holds true today. (As quoted from Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, pg. 101)
- Phase one is Preparation – immersing ourselves in the problem, gathering a broad range of data and information. This first stage more often than not leads to a frustrating impasse: lots of impossibilities, but no insights. It may lead to the paralysis of the analysis for some people.
- Phase two is Incubation – the information and possibilities simmer on a mental back burner. We let the mind play: daydreaming, free-associating, brainstorming, harvesting ideas as they float up.
- Phase three is Illumination – that “aha!” moment where the breakthrough insight comes. This is a thrilling moment, a culmination.
- Phase four is Execution – following through with action. This demands a dogged persistence despite all the objections, setbacks, trials, and failures that typically arise with any innovation.
4. Ask God for special insight from His Word
These Words from the Lord are called rhema words. There are two words in the Greek that refer to “word,” they are logos and rhema. Do a word search on www.blueletterbible.org and you will discover that man does not live on bread alone but by every rhema that proceeds from the mouth of God. They are the written words spoken to our hearts regarding a specific situation. These are the words that we ponder in our hearts like Mary did when she was given many rhema words by the angel concerning the Son of God.
5. Share with your wife the decision you are contemplating
Allow your wife the opportunity to ask any further questions and give any last minute counsel. The following questions could be used to review your decision with your wife before making it final.
Ask questions regarding Biblical principles:
- Does this decision conform to God’s design?
- Are our authorities in agreement?
- Does our conscience question it?
- Am I willing to yeild my personal rights to serve God and others?
- Will it cause others to stumble?
- Will it advance God’s purposes?
Ask questions regarding priority:
- Person – will this decision enrich our daily walk with God.
- Partner – will this decision foster a greater oneness in our marriage?
- Parent – will it nurture a greater unity in the family?
- Provider – will this decision maintain good name and uphold God’s reputation? Will this decision cause us to violate prior commitments?
- Proclaimer – will this decision advance the kingdom of God?
Ask questions regarding the rightness of the decision:
- Is it the right thing to do?
- Do we have the right motive?
- What is the right method?
- When is the right time?
- How will others be affected by this decision?
Sleep on this counsel. Ask the Lord to lead you in the night. Be ready to write your thoughts down during the night watch.
6. Give her your final decision
Take responsibility for the final decision and let her know you are willing to course correct and fail forward as God shows you further direction. God doesnâ€™t always give you the final steps â€“ he expects you to take the steps of obedience he has shown you and walk by faith. Remember Abraham as he left Ur not knowing where the Lord was taking him.