The Girl Next Door has decided to:
- put her kids in public school
- quit her job
- go back to work
- switch to all organic foods
- start clipping coupons
- swear off Facebook, blogs and social media
- start her own blog dedicated to her passion
- hire a housecleaner
- fire her housecleaner and start doing the work herself and donate the savings
You name it and you are bound to run into someone whose convictions go counter to yours and tempt you to doubt your own priorities, goals, and decisions.
There are so many choices in the world. And probably as many combinations of choices as there are people in the world. It is all too easy to see what someone else has decided to do in her home and then to doubt your own convictions about what you and your family should do.
Right, Wrong, and In Between
Some situations are clearly right. And some decisions are clearly wrong. There is good and there is bad. Make no mistake. But there is also a lot of gray in between.
I have found myself in the dilemma of feeling good and confident in something that FishPapa and I have chosen for our family and then five minutes later, I’m wringing my hands because someone who does not know me or my situation has made a blanket statement dictating that I do the contrary.
It was uncomfortable — to say the least. In its extreme, it distressed me. What do you do when you find yourself there?
Don’t let others’ personal choices make you doubt your own.
1. Seek out God’s word.
I believe the Bible is God-breathed and therefore gives us direction on a multitude of topics. Here is where God makes good and bad very clear. But often we find gray areas, too.
In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis says,
When it tells you to feed the hungry, it does not give you lessons in cookery. When it tells you to read the Scriptures it does not give you lessons in Hebrew and Greek, or even in English grammar. It was never intended to replace or supersede the ordinary human arts and sciences: it is rather a director which will set them all to the right jobs, and a source of energy which give them all new life, if only they will put themselves at its disposal.
What are “the right jobs” to which Scripture is directing you? What are the clear cut decisions? Which areas of life is God allowing room for your particular personality, family, and season of life?
2. Consult with your husband.
I have found that when I know my husband feels good about what we’re doing as a family, I feel good about it, too. I have not only his support, but also his guidance which helps me immensely. During my recent hand-wringing moment, he was the quick voice of reason to lead me through the clouds of doubt.
Sometimes discussion is difficult. I give you that. And there are trying seasons for every marriage. But, communication really is key to success in your family life. For inspiration, check out Simple Mom’s questions for developing a Family Mission statement. These might be helpful in facilitating discussion.
3. Refine your goals.
Once you know that you have God and your husband backing you, sit down and write out your goals, or revisit previously written goals. These can be immensely helpful in reminding you where you are going and what your priorities for your family are. They also are instrumental in reminding you that your life can’t be lived by someone else.
4. Take every thought captive.
If you’ve gotten this far and you’re still unsettled, well, I don’t think you should be. If you’ve searched the Scriptures, consulted your husband, taken a realistic look at your life, and honestly determined the best course of action for you and your family, you should be able to rest right where you are.
Trust that God has led you to this decision and pray for peace. He will be a refuge to you.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.