Decisions: “Is that your final answer?” By: Lois Breit

On the TV game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” you hear this line repeated throughout the program.  Why? Because once a contestant had made their decision on the answer they were ‘sticking with’, they were unable to change their mind after they answered yes to this question.

When it comes to making decisions, women are often dubbed fickle, emotional, and sometimes irrational; is that you?  What frustrates me is the fact that men make a decision and then don’t think about it again.  It really is their ‘final answer’!   However, women often make a decision and then begin to mentally play with that decision.  Was it really ‘our final answer’?  Maybe there’s a better choice?  Maybe it was a wrong decision and it will have a bad outcome?  Maybe I was a pushover to my child and should have said no?  Maybe I shouldn’t have spent the money for that item? Maybe I should return it?  Maybe the sky is falling …. Argh!

I remember about a year into being a single mom, a friend wanted to give me a break from my kids (all five of them) and take me out for dinner.   I was so excited for this little escape, until I got in her car and she said ‘choose any place you’d like to go for dinner’.   That nice gesture should have been an added bonus, but instead almost ended our friendship.  All I heard was ‘make another decision’!  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to make this choice.  I don’t remember anymore where we went or who made the final decision, but our friendship did survive.  That night I came to realize just how weary I’d become in being the sole decision maker.   It wasn’t that I couldn’t make a decision; I was just so tired of making ALL the decisions.  The night my friend came to pick me up for dinner had been a decision overload day; I just wanted someone else to make this simple restaurant choice for me!

Few people understand the weight a single parent carries when it comes to decision making.  We make decisions all day, everyday.  Some are very small and insignificant, while others are life changing.  We make every decision regarding finances, activities, schedules, discipline, moves, contracts/leases, auto and house repairs, purchases, and that’s just the beginning.  Don’t forget deciding which counselor or drug rehab to send our teen to; which lawyer to hire when we’re taken to court for custody or child support adjustments; which child care is both safe and affordable, and the list goes on ….

So what can we do as single women in general and single moms in particular to avoid being overwhelmed by or second guess our decisions? I suggest following a few basic Biblical principles:

  • KNOW you’re not alone:  I Corinthians 2:16 …. For we have the mind of Christ
  • SEEK wise counsel:  Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
  • ASK God for wisdom:  James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all  …
  • TRUST GOD:  James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
  • BE confident:  James 1:7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

When you have the mind of Christ through prayer and fasting; listen to the wise counsel of trusted and reliable friends; ask God for His wisdom and learn to trust Him; you can make your decisions and say with confidence “that is my final answer”!  Then go to bed and don’t think about it anymore.