Decision Making in Marriage
It is said that the average adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions a day. When you’re single, making 35,000 decisions a day is relatively easy, but when you’re married, that’s 70,000 daily decisions between the two of you, which have the potential of having either a positive or a negative impact on both you and your spouse. That’s the reason why decision making in marriage can sometimes lead to conflict. At least it did for us. Because of our different backgrounds and the difference in our ages, we had different opinions about most things. So invariably, we often found ourselves at odds when it was time for us to make major decisions.
Notice I said, when it was time for “us” to make major decisions. I said “us” because my husband has established a pattern of consulting with me on just about every matter or decision that has to be made. Thankfully, he values my input and trusts the God in me. But if it turns out that the two of us can’t come to an agreement on what to do, then guess what happens? My husband won’t do anything. Instead, we’ll pray about the matter and wait for God’s leading. I realize someone reading this may be thinking, “Well, if he is the head why doesn’t he simply assert his authority and make the decisions? Why does he consult with her about everything?” You may even see this as being weak on his part, but we strongly disagree.
Christians often quote the first part of Luke 12:21 as proof that the husband has authority over his wife and should, therefore, make all decisions. Yes, the husband does have authority over his wife, we agree; however, many of us often disregard the last part of that verse. The latter part of that verse says, …”and the head of Christ is God.” Well, if marriage is indeed a replica of the relationship that Christ has with the church, than we must also take into account the relationship that Christ has with the Father. The Father is the head of Christ; that’s what the scripture says. And because the Father is the head of Christ, Christ doesn’t do anything outside of the Father. John 5:19 says, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Jesus was God in the flesh, yet Jesus never asserted His authority over the Father. He never insisted on having or doing things His way. Jesus and the Father are one and when Jesus walked the earth, they were always in agreement.
What does that have to do with decision making in marriage? You and your spouse are also one. For that reason, we say, as much as it is possible, the two of you should be in agreement regarding all decisions. If a major decision needs to be made and the two of you don’t see eye-to-eye regarding the direction you should take, the husband should not assert his authority or insist on doing things his way. Our recommendation is that you delay making a decision and instead come together to pray about the matter. Give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to speak to both of your hearts. If after praying about the matter the two of you are still unable to reach an agreement and a decision must be made, then and only then should the husband make the decision.
Conflict is a normal part of human relationships, so it is to be expected in a marriage. But there are times when conflict can be avoided. When it comes to conflict which stems from decision making, this is easily avoided by walking in humility and mimicking Christ.
“But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” Luke 12:21.