by Scott Kedersha
Life for newlyweds is full of new beginnings, opportunities, and decisions. They face questions and decisions surrounding education, debt, houses, cars, and growing families. There probably isn’t another season in marriage when a couple is faced with as many major decisions—especially with the added factor that they are learning how to work together. And because of that, one of the best ways to help newlyweds is to help them learn how to make those choices.
The problem we most often see in the newly married decision-making process is that newlyweds tend to make decisions without consulting or factoring in anything or anyone. Some of them buy the most expensive house they qualify for, go into debt to buy a new car, and fail to involve others in job decisions and other major life decisions.
God’s Word is full of wisdom on making decisions. If you lead newly married couples, you can help them to navigate the choices in front of them by asking them three key, practical questions:
(1) What biblical wisdom guides your decision-making process?
James 3:17 says: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (ESV).
Contrast the wisdom from above in James 3:17 with the earthly wisdom from James 3:13-16. While you will not find a direct answer on which house you should buy, the date you should try conceiving your first child, or the color of your new car, God’s Word will provide you with the principles you need to make a decision.
(2) What is the collective counsel of your community?
Proverbs 11:14 says: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety (ESV).
Whenever you face a significant decision, what does your community—the people you do life with—say? As you lead newlyweds, make sure you point them towards community before finalizing the decision. (And hopefully they are surrounded by wise friends, not fools. See Proverbs 13:20.)
(3) What factors are driving your decisions?
Romans 12:2 says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV).
What is the motive for your decision? Are you trying to keep up with your friends and comparing yourself to what others have as opposed to being content? Even though I am years beyond my newly married season, I know I still struggle with comparing my stuff with others. Comparison is a thief that robs us of joy. Do not allow comparison, people-pleasing, or a desire to fit in drive your decision-making process.
Remember: newlyweds are in a new season of life! They are adjusting to life together instead of life on their own. As you lead newly married couples in the midst of making major decision after major decision, guide them by helping them follow biblical wisdom, listen to the collective counsel of wise community, and discern the major factors/motives driving their decision-making process.
Scott Kedersha is the Director of Merge, the Premarital Ministry at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. Scott is married to Kristen, has four boys, and blogs on marriage and premarried relationships at ScottKedersha.com. Follow Scott on Twitter @skedersha