How to Make Big Family Decisions When You’re Unsure What God Wants


Making big decisions when you have a family can be daunting. It’s not easy to change a family’s life trajectory, especially when you are unsure of what God wants. So how can we approach big decisions?

I’ve made big decisions when I felt God’s approval, and other times, His warning. When making decisions, I turn to the bible, pray and seek advice from trusted friends to help me hear God’s voice. But what happens when you’re still unsure, or you begin to fear choosing “the wrong path?”

I think the bible speaks clearly on being pragmatic; be careful not to over-spiritualize decisions when one of your options is obviously foolish.

It was so much easier to make career, location or any type of “big change” decisions when I was only responsible for myself. Now that my husband and I have a few dependents, the idea of changing careers, moving cities or even deciding to move to a new neighborhood can feel daunting. And then try topping it off with any doubts I may have about God’s will! Sometimes decisions are no-brainers, but most of the time, making big decisions can lead to a few months of self-doubt, restlessness, anxiety and guilt.

Are you in the middle of making a decision that will affect your family? Are you unsure of what God is telling you? 

My husband and I consistently review short or long-term career opportunities that can change the course of the life we offer our children. Some opportunities are financially advantageous, others offer a change of location, some are positions of leadership. Please know I do not speak out of ingratitude. It is an absolute privilege to be in a place where we can weigh options. But it can leave us in a confused, restless place. The land of “what ifs” can be draining when its coupled with the indecision of two somewhat decisive people. And when you try to first seek God’s opinion but don’t hear a specific answer, what the heck are you supposed to do?

How to Make Big Family Decisions When You Don’t Know What God Wants

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Here’s what I have to tell myself.

First off, relax.

Children are resilient. I’ve got to believe that given two parents that offer stability, siblings that offer friendship and with clear communication, my kids can handle change, whether it’s a new city or different hours or even a flux in finances. If I’ve heard anything from God during times of decision making, it’s been a simple, “relax, and trust me with your children.”

Secondly, examine fear through prayer, reading the Bible and talking to trusted friends.

Next, rule out any sin (pride, fear, greed, escapism) that might sway your decision. Finally, if you are then left with simply different opportunities, then choose wisdom. Assess risk, both financially and relationally. I think the Bible speaks clearly on being pragmatic; be careful not to over-spiritualize decisions when one of your options is obviously foolish. I think if you’re in the clear after all that, follow your heart and talents. Amen?

Be grateful for choice and the opportunity to make big decisions.

You are part of the world’s minority that gets to choose a life path, so keep things in perspective. I know it is hard, and I don’t want to minimize the difficulty of your decision, but just being able to choose something; career, location, people, puts you in the realm of the highly privileged. It’s good to not forget this, and to be thankful.

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So this is the beauty of our lives in following God. We get to partner with Him in creating our life path, and are given the responsibility of doing so wisely. He gives us grace to make mistakes, the freedom to choose and friendship with Him. Offer up your big decision for His good. It’s easier said than done, but lean into your relationship with God and enjoy the decision process, my friends!