Making big decisions is something we dads have to do from time to time. Because of their importance and the process involved, today’s post is a bit longer than most.
A dad recently asked for my input on a very big decision he is considering — a career change from being employed to self-employment at home so he can give more time to his family.
Since this is something I have done — more than once — I shared with him from my experiences and thoughts on making big decisions. My response doesn’t cover everything on this topic, but here is what I said…
Regarding transitioning to working at home, I commend you highly on that decision. The benefit of having the flexibility with your time by working at home is extremely rewarding, much more-so than making more money working for someone else at the expense of time away from your family.
Having said that, I can also tell you it can be very challenging. Among other things, you must be very disciplined to focus on your work, and you do face risk of lapses in income.
First and foremost, you must be led by God’s spirit. Listen to His still, small voice and the impressions He speaks to your heart. Pay attention as you read the Bible and as you listen to other believers (not just Bible teachers but ALL believers who are walking with God.)
Second is unity with your wife. You must both be very confident and united in God’s direction. As the leader, you must take the action steps, but you should desire and esteem her input very highly.
God has confirmed His will for my wife and I on many occasions by speaking the same thing to us separately. It is amazing and very confirming when we come together and discover He has been telling us each the same thing. When this does not happen, I tend to not make a decision but continue to seek Him, listen to what He is saying to me, wait on His timing, and confirmation.
Third, God sometimes stirs in our hearts a longing/desire for the direction He wants us to go. For me, he put a heavy burden on my heart for dads to discover and embrace their influence and leadership as dads in their families.
In what way do you desire to help other people? What problem do you want to solve? What can you see yourself doing day in and day out? Once you have identified this, begin to discern God’s specific leading in relation to it.
A brochure I once picked up said this on the cover… “If you followed your heart, where would you go?” This question was so profound yet simple to me, I still keep that brochure in my laptop bag to this day as a reminder to continue to ask myself that question when facing important decisions.
Obviously, our hearts can deceive us if our desires are impure, but scripture tells us God shows Himself strong on behalf of those who are wholehearted toward Him. (Read the story surrounding 2 Chronicles 16:9.)
Fourth, be attentive to your circumstances and notice any repetition. When I was seeking God on moving, He identified a particular city and then one time after another brought up the name of that city through numerous random circumstances. Circumstances by themselves aren’t everything, but I have found them to be very important when seeking direction from God on a matter.
FInally, let me leave you with a quote that riveted me the first time I read it… “God responds to our faith, not our needs.” Jesus was frustrated, disappointed, and even limited in what He could do on numerous occasions when he encountered lack of faith.
Be a man of faith, which means simply “relying on God.” Don’t be presumptuous and foolish in your actions, but wait on God and step out in faith and obedience as He leads you. Do not merely make decisions based on logic and reason.
I recently had to make a very important decision that did not make sense from a financial standpoint, but I felt very strongly that God told me the time to make the decision was now and not wait for everything to fall into place financially first. My wife was in full support of this decision. So I took the step of faith and “stepped out into the water” BEFORE it parted, so to speak!
Here’s the bottomline…
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
I hope this helps you with decisions you may be facing in your life and on behalf of your family. You might want to bookmark this post for future reference, and also forward it to other dads you may know who need encouragement in making decisions.
Blessings to you and your family,
Caught Between A Dream and a Job offers very practical help for transitioning from a job you don’t enjoy to pursuing your dreams. This book helps you identify your ultimate purpose and helps you transition startegically from where you are to where you really want to be. Watch a video interview with the author and Learn More and Order.