When was the last time you decided to help your “helpless” mate? You know, when you’re sure he’s on the wrong track, and you have no choice but to take over decision-making “for the good” of you & your husband? After all, a wife may find herself in a situation on occasion where her husband just isn’t heading in the “right” direction. What’s a girl to do?
No wife is neutral when it comes to her husband’s reputation, and no woman is without influence when it comes to making decisions in a marriage. We approach decision making together, but the buck stops with our groom. How does a helpmate help her man make decisions?
Dirty Decisions in Delhi
We unlocked our hotel room door at 3:30 am in Delhi. After being up for about 36 hours in 4 airports and 3 countries, all we wanted to do was take a shower and go to sleep. A quick attempt at a shower revealed the floor of our stall was broken and unattached from the walls, meaning I had to balance in the shower to keep from sliding into the hole This was hard to do while avoiding the cobwebs, so my shower was brief. I stepped out to find myself in a large pool, since the water drained out the broken shower bottom and into the bathroom. I dried off and headed for bed, only to realize the stained sheets were filled with hair … not ours! “I don’t think this room hasn’t even been cleaned,” (I’m super observant at 3:30 am) I stated,”and I think you’re going to have to ask for another room in the morning,” I concluded to my equally tired husband. (I’m also not at my sweetest at 3:30 am)
Jeff coaxed/begged me (with the slurred speech of a very sleepy man) to come to bed. I tried to take up as few inches on the sheets as possible, hoping my man would hear from God and do what I wanted him to do. (After all, it was a MINISTRY trip!) Instead, he just wanted to sleep. He also wanted me to sleep. He decided to do nothing. He wanted me to help him by allowing God to divinely (this is what it took, folks) put me to sleep too. He wanted me to be satisfied. (He wanted me to be quiet!)
Couples navigate many decisions in married life. It could be a small decision like restaurant choice, landscaping, weekend plans, or a dirty hotel room. It could be a big decision like a career change, relocation, or discipline of a child. Jeff and I are in a season of making big decisions. Perhaps the hotel room in Delhi was a reminder to me of bigger decisions at hand and those to come. The principles of decision making vary little based on how little or big the decision is to be made.
I remember 9 keys when I’m deciding how to respond to Jeff’s decisions:
9 keys for a wife’s decision making in marriage
- God hasn’t asked me to be silent
- God has asked me to speak with the fruit of His Spirit
- God hasn’t asked me to be the leader of my home
- God has asked me to put myself under His order
- God has not asked me to be answer for the fruit of our marriage
- God has asked me to walk with Him in any circumstance
- God hasn’t asked me to complain
- God has asked me bring my burdens to Him in prayer
- God has asked me to trust Him to speak to, move, and reprove my man
I am not the Holy Spirit, even in Jeff’s life. Especially in Jeff’s life. God is at work to teach, convict, lead, guide, correct, and motivate my husband. A wife is called to be her mate’s helper, not his commander.
A decision-making time is often a waiting time. While our husband thinks and ponders and considers and concludes, we wrestle with our urge to take charge for our preferred course of action. Instead of interrupting with a barrage of words, we can love him by offering him the gift of time to decide, even if the decision isn’t what we alone would choose. While waiting for seconds or for a season, we can prepare our heart for the God-directed outcome and cultivate our personal reservoir of faith.
Waiting on our man to come to a divinely directed decision making solidifies the trust between us, fuels his sense of respect, and grows us in believing God supplies our needs.
I didn’t fall asleep that first night. But I fell asleep the next night and every night that followed … in those sheets, in that bed, in that room, after balancing daily in the broken shower. Jeff knew that when morning came, I would see streets lined with those who slept without a room or a sheet, who haven’t set foot inside a shower. He knew the our hotel room, in the condition we received it, was exactly what we needed for the moment. It was his decision, and it was the right one.
Are you in the middle of making a decision? We are! I’m praying this prayer. God listens to our prayers for our husbands, our marriages, and our homes. Will you pray this with me?
God, help me not to obstruct my husband’s decision-making and thwart what you want to do in our lives. Help me to truly be a “helpmate” as I contribute to, pray for, and wait on decisions small and large.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want … I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (From Galatians 5:16-26)