Have you seen one of these new(er) drink machines at a fast-food spot?

Who knew choosing what to drink would be so difficult!

How do you make a decision?

Robert and I stopped for a bite to eat last week – and saw this new(er) style of drink dispenser.  I think we stood for 15 minutes just playing with all the buttons.  (Don’t worry. We did let other diners go ahead and get their drink… no lunch was held up because of our fascination.) Here was our dilemma…

  • 24 drink options
  • under each option – from 3 to 7 versions
  • mix of more than one version
  • ice – no ice

We did make a choice. Fanta Orange.  ( I know.  Not healthy and sooooo not cool! But there was a reason…)

This new machine is called the Coca-Cola Freestyle ,and according to all the hype, it gives 100+ choices of what to drink.  (Do we really need more than 100 choices of what to drink?)  It’s even got an app for your smart phone so you can find the locations where these machines are placed…  Yes, there’s an App for that!

What does this have to do with encouragement?

You were waiting to find out, weren’t you…

Choices and opportunities are plentiful – what’s your method to decide?

This drink machine is just an analogy for all the choices we need to make as adults.

Perhaps we’re only responsible for ourselves – but it’s also likely that our decisions affect others around us: children, parents and of course… our spouse. Most decisions will not be life or death choices. And many times our choices can’t be determined good or bad until after (or long after) the outcome is part of history.

You can encourage your spouse when making a choice if you’ve explored these two areas:

1.  Will this decision make God smile?

That’s a really simplistic, childlike question – “Will this decision make God smile?”  But in the end, aren’t we all trying to please our Heavenly Father? Like a child, we take our cares and concerns to Him. We ask Him to provide – provide direction, provide protection, provide forgiveness.  And He does.  If we ask.

If a choice goes against what we know is Godly, then it’s not a decision to encourage. That’s pretty simple. If there’s any doubt on whether a choice is Godly, then go directly to prayer, and the Word. Seek counsel from a trusted resource, and pray with that person. God will make Himself known – in His time.

But what about decisions that aren’t a challenge for a Christ follower?

(I don’t think God cared whether we chose Fanta Orange or Cherry Coke to drink.) There are decisions we make in life that are minor, yet necessary. And then there are decisions to be made that are ALL on a Godly, scripture-based path…

How do you make decisions?

2. Does this decision support our values?

Yes.  There are values – fundamental values – which we all subscribe to: honesty, faithfulness, integrity, etc.  But there are more values than our fundamental values. Which values do you and your spouse share that differentiate you?

Robert has been studying and writing about values for years – in the areas of marketing, marriage and leadership. We work with couples in business together, and one of the tools we use is helping them define their differentiating values. These top 3 values help when making a decision.

So why did Robert and I choose to drink Fanta Orange?

Because one of our top-3 differentiating values is Discovery! We hadn’t drank that kid-associated soda in years, and we wanted to experience (discover) what it tasted like, again…  This is a small illustration of how we weigh decisions, and it’s almost unconscious now.  Larger decisions, like whether we’ll support a certain cause, or whether we accept certain clients, or whether Robert accepts a speaking engagement are all weighed first against our Christ-centered view. If it passes that marker, then we use our 3 differentiating values (Loyalty, Optimism & Discovery) to make the final choice.

How about you?

Could you point to specific values you and your spouse use to make decisions?  Do you use other methods when making a decision?


PS – If you’re interested in exploring your values as a couple, let’s talk!  We’ll take the first 3 couples who respond to this offer through the process of defining your differentiating values – for free! (a $250 value)

Just fill in the  form at the bottom of this page – http://leadershipcouples.com/couples-values-assessment/  In the “Details” section let me know you’ve read this post…    We love to meet new couples and talk about values!

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