This video segment is one of five presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Decision Making” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, communication, finances, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.

  • The process of decision making will affect your marriage as much, if not more, than what you decide.
  • Life and marriage are too complex for one approach to decision making.
  • Even the most biblical approach to decision making will not remove the presence of risk or the need for faith.
  • The gospel does not excuse bad decisions; it gives us the grace we need to learn and recover from them.

Memorize: I Thessalonians 4:1 and 3 (ESV), “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you may do so more and more… For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Ask and urge” – Paul’s point in this passage carries an urgency he believed merited more than a request.
  • “Ought to walk” – The Bible uses the work “walk” to refer to our way of life: day-to-day decision making.
  • “More and more” – God’s will is something that should be able to increase in our lives; not just a line we stay on.
  • “This is the will of God” – This is the clearest and most direct statement regarding God’s will for Christians.
  • “Your sanctification” – God’s primary concern in our decisions is our character more than the outcomes.

Teaching Notes

“Life is wide open and filled with endless possibilities, but with this sense of opportunity comes confusion, anxiety, and indecision. With everything I could do and everywhere I could go, how can I know what’s what? Enter a passion to discern ‘God’s will for my life.” That’s a key reason there is always a market for books about the will of God (p. 14-15)… ” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something

“‘What is God’s will for my life?’ is not the best question to ask. I think the right question is simply ‘What is God’s will?’ Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him and His purposes…. The focus needs to be on God and His purposes, not my life! (p. 18)” Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God

“If guidance comes from wisdom and wisdom is the application of values to life, then our culture – despite its great technological knowledge – cannot provide real guidance (p. 24).” James Petty in Step by Step

“I’m convinced that previous generations did not struggle like we do trying to discover God’s will because they didn’t have as many choices. In many ways, our preoccupation with the will of God is a Western, middle-class phenomenon of the last fifty years (p. 32-33).” Kevin DeYoung in Just Do Something

“Decide” comes from the Latin word decidere which means “to cut off”

“The focus of the Bible is God. The essence of sin is a shift from God-centered to a self-centered life. The essence of salvation is a denial of self… When this happens, God can accomplish through us the purposes He had before He created the world (p. 63).” Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God