Let’s be honest, we all want to do the right thing, but the right thing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Why? Because, as men, if given a choice, we’d often rather do what feels good TO us, rather than what is best FOR us.
Unfortunately, the logic of choosing what’s good over what’s best doesn’t always lead to the best results. As husbands, fathers, and spiritual leaders, we have a huge responsibility of making decisions that can potentially have a huge impact on our families.
- Should we homeschool our children?
- Should my wife or I take on a second job?
- Should I accept a job promotion that requires me to relocate my family?
- Should we leave our church and find another one?
- Should we consider getting marriage counseling?
The truth of the matter is, sometimes it’s not always easy to do the “right thing,” especially when there are several “right” options or the right thing to do isn’t so crystal clear.
So, here are four questions to guide you in making better decisions in almost any situation:
1. Does your choice agree with God’s word?
2 Tim 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness; so that the man of God will be equipped for every good work.” And if that’s the case, then your best choice should never contradict what God says in His word.
When I had to discipline my teenage son and choose an appropriate punishment, I simply asked myself, does my choice of punishment also reflects God’s love for him as well as mine?
2. Will your choice cause you to depend on God more?
Prov. 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path.” The best decisions will usually require you to trust God more and walk in fear less.
I remember a university offered me a substantial amount of money (that I really needed) to speak to their incoming class of 2,500+ incoming freshmen; but they also asked me to promise them that I wouldn’t mention “God” in my presentation. I respectfully turned down their invitation, and a week later they dropped their demand and asked me to speak anyway.
3. Will your choice draw others closer to God?
If possible, never try to make decisions in a vacuum. Meaning, your choices shouldn’t only be about you but rather to reflect God’s will to make him known to others.
Months after I arrived on that campus to speak, one of the Board Members who was on the conference call to select me as a speaker said that my stance to not compromise my faith made her examine her own. I had no clue that my decision was strengthening someone else’s faith; but the best decisions usually do.
4. Will your choice please God?
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I love this promise from the Psalmist; because it shows that our decisions should always be made through the filter of what is most pleasing to God.
Imagine. What if your children made their decisions according to what you taught them was right and what made you smile? What kind of results could they expect to experience?
I believe we should always choose to do what’s most pleasing to God, whether it “feels” good or not, because we know our Father in Heaven knows and wants what’s best for us.