By Kristin and Matthew Schultz
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3–4 ESV).
What do you want to do tonight? Where do you want to eat? What color should we paint the bathroom? When do you want to go on vacation?
As families, we’re often making decisions that affect all of us. When deciding where to eat or what to make for dinner, we take others’ preferences or allergies into account. When deciding when to take a family vacation, we take everyone’s schedules into account. But those are easy decisions. What do you do when you’re faced with a big decision?
It may not happen often, but from time to time every family will face a big decision: Should I go back to work? Should we move the kids from one school to another? Should we homeschool? Should I take a job out of town and move the family or commute and be home only on the weekends? Is it time to move Mom into assisted living?
These are big decisions. Choices like this don’t affect just one person in the family; they affect everyone. They involve massive change for all involved.
In the face of a difficult decision, it is tempting to think primarily about ourselves. How will this change affect me? If she goes back to work, I’ll have to help more with the kids. If he takes that job, I’ll have to move away from my friends and our church.
But in a family relationship, our Lord asks us to consider others first:
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4 ESV).
We are to ask not only how we will benefit or be harmed but also how our spouse or children will be affected. If she goes back to work, your life will change but so will hers—maybe for the better. If the children switch schools, you may have to drive farther, but is it better for their emotional or academic well-being? If you move, you will have to make new friends, but will the new job afford your family more opportunities?
When facing a challenging decision, do it together and do it prayerfully, considering others before you consider yourself. Talk to each other—how do you feel about this? Why? Pray earnestly for God’s guidance. No matter what you decide, decide it together and trust God to see you through.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is from one of CTA’s new devotion books, Real-Life Encouragement for Families.
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