Life Planning In Uncertain Times – Part 1

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Episode Summary

Your decisions make a massive difference in the well being and trajectory of your family. Uncertain times just makes it even more difficult to know what to do in situations. But there is a solution, and we discuss this and more in this episode. If there aren’t some people wondering why you are making your decisions, then you are probably a reactive decision-maker. Go beyond making decisions when they are required to making them early so you have time to shift things well.

It’s more important than ever to be making sound decisions during these uncertain times. However, if your plans are made in your own strength, they are more likely to fail in these times. Embrace the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you through the life decisions you need to make for the benefit of your family. In this part one of the series, you will get insights on how to do this well and practical insights into what the Tolpins have found helpful in making the best decisions out of many good options.

In This Episode We Cover:

  1. Draw closer to God.
  2. Vision matters now more than ever.
  3. Evaluate areas of your life.

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Scripture In This Episode:

Psalm 33:20 –Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.”

Acts 18:9-11 –Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

Proverbs 3:3 –Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,”

Habakkuk 2:2-3 – “Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

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Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show with parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man. We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically.

Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting.

Welcome back to the podcast, everyone. Hey, guys, so we’ve been in our new place for a few weeks now, huh? Yeah, three. So thanks for everybody’s prayers as we move to Idaho. If you have questions about that, hit the relocation podcast. But today we’re going to talk about life planning in uncertain times so we can cover a lot of topics, right?

Yeah, we did a podcast a while ago on on should we continue having babies during uncertain times? You remember that? Oh, yeah. And so I’m just drawing attention to it because. Well, a lot of you guys have been reaching out since our announcement that we’re expecting another baby and congratulating site. We thank you. Appreciate the support. But it just this this topic reminds me to just for those of you who have recently reached out to me about like, you know, oh, my gosh, you are pregnant, aren’t you scared because of what our world is going through? And I think a lot of those messages recently, especially yesterday, actually, and I I just want to encourage you guys to go listen to that podcast. It’s 45 minutes of encouragement on that particular topic.

Yeah, it’s really good. So this is a two part series and this will be part one. I’m going to go through the agenda really quick for both parts. So we have six points in. The first one is draw closer to God, but there’s a reason for that that you might not expect. We’ll talk about that in a second. Secondly, his vision is more important than ever. Thirdly, evaluate areas of your life, how to do that on a date night and really do that well and how to make decisions together. Sometimes making decisions together can be hard as a married couple can. Yeah, and not fearing, but acting in wisdom. But we’ve said that before, but we have a new little piece to that we want to talk about and the importance of being flexible in uncertain times and how that looks when you make life plans and flexibility and dealing with that in the marriage. And finally, probably the most important point that everybody wants is what to do now with your family. Yes, that would be in the second part to this two part series, the practice, those practical things on that, too. So but there will be practical stuff throughout.

That’s right. So before we dive in, we just wanted to thank you guys for all of your prayers, your support, the encouragement, the awesome reviews on the iTunes podcast. That really is an encouragement to us, you guys, and it helps us to get this podcast out to other people to encourage them. The last few podcasts which were on the basically on the election and on Christian passivity versus taking action, those two podcasts are doing really, really well. And we are so glad that they were an encouragement to you. You also know if you watched my insta stories that we have experienced a little bit of censorship. So just be Prain against that. We really appreciate your encouragement as we were just sharing the reality of what we do experience.

I think most conservatives are being censored right now that are rejecting anything about the elections, anything about things, our culture.

Yeah, and I think that for us, it’s not that we want pity at all regarding that. Like, we we know that it’s going to happen, but we just want to make it aware if we’re quiet about it, that doesn’t help anybody. But if more people who are experiencing that were to draw attention to the realities, to the truth and showing the proof it might happen less.

Yes. So 2020, how do you feel about it? So I see a lot of memes out there that are saying, like, you know, I can’t wait for it to be on the way to get over the worst year ever, you know, things like that. Right. And I think when I see those, I go, yeah, a lot of challenges this year for sure. What if next year is worse? What if the means, Meems, next year or what age?

Oh, I don’t know. I wish I could go back to 2012. I would imagine that. Right.

I mean, there is a possibility that next year it’s like, can we go back to 2020? Now, I know that sounds bizarre of how bad some of the things that happened this year in our country and in the world. But you know what? It might be better. I I think there’s a good probability that next year is better. And a lot of ways it’s not an election year. You could say that. Well, maybe covid will subside or people, you know, get used to it more or learn to deal with it.

Yeah. So, yeah. But what about the other things we don’t know about yet.

Right. So another thing people might be thinking right now and hearing that come from us, actually they might go, wow, you guys, that is such a downer.

What a pessimistic perspective. Doesn’t listen to your podcast because it’s encouraging. We do hear that encouraging you guys.

You’re setting me up to think that maybe two thousand twenty one is going to be worse. And that’s not our heart and no at all. But we just wanted to bring that perspective up because you might not have actually thought about that. And we want to. Challenge you guys, because is that going to affect your attitude, is that going to affect your perspective? Is that going to affect your family in a in a positive light or negative light?

And it’s all based upon who you are keeping your eyes on. And I said, who? Because we got to keep our eyes on Jesus.

So regardless of whether next year is better or worse, our joy remains the same. The joy is found in the Lord, our relationship with God and the truth that we know about. And that life here on Earth is temporary and we have eternity with God in a much better place than this Earth.

That’s right. And that and trusting the truth that God actually put you here in this generation during this time strategically like understanding that God has a plan for each person’s life, he has a purpose for each person’s life and really going, OK, so this isn’t exactly what I thought my 30s were going to be like or this isn’t exactly what I thought my forties were going to be like or what I was going to be like when I was having babies for the first time or I was planning on getting married this year or whatever your plans are looking at those and going, hey, God, I know you have a plan and a purpose.

What do you want me to do? What do you want me to execute? How do you want me to glorify you? I get that this life is bigger than just about me.

Yeah. So let’s dive in. And the first point is draw closer to God. You’re like, yeah, that’s a no brainer, Isaac. Draw closer to God. I know that. Right. And sometimes we listen to things and we go, OK, yeah, I know that. But what does that mean to you?

Well when I think about it, I think about first thing I think about is an evaluation process in my mind. Right. I think about, OK, well what is reflective of me actually drawing closer to him and not what I mean by that is you can tell when someone is drawing close to God, can’t you? You can tell. You can tell there’s a different countenance about them. Yeah. You can sense the Holy Spirit or not. You can sense a spirit of fear or power and wisdom in a sound mind. Like if you have the spirit of God activated in you and your exercising spiritual discernment, you can kind of tell, you know, when someone’s struggling or when someone’s not right. Especially if you know them super well. And I’m talking about people that you’re close to, obviously. And so if I was evaluating myself and going, OK, am I drawing close to God, it would be revealed through how I respond, how I react, what my attitudes like during the day, all of those kinds of things. And so while someone may know it, implementing that and having the fruit of having drawn closer to God are two very different things.

And I would challenge you that no matter how close you are to God right now, let’s draw even closer. Can’t we always draw closer? Can’t we focus more? Can’t we pray more without ceasing all day long? And I, I know that challenges me. I pray a lot, but I could pray more and that would probably be good. It would be good. And in uncertain times. Here’s a big point. In uncertain times, plans made in the flesh are less likely to work out. So just think about that plans made in the flesh, in our own wisdom and our own thought process, in our own marriage discussions without including the spirit of God or having a strong relationship with God to where he’s involved, then they’re even less likely to work out in uncertain times.

And I think that the the very drastic opposition of what you are talking about is how different it is when you’re not in uncertain times and how when you’re working hard and your flesh, for example, there’s this spiritual of sowing and reaping. Right? Yeah. And so someone could be seeking God’s will and have two pretty good paths in front of them and maybe some not so good paths. Right. And they might look at those four paths, evaluate the ones that are not good and choose maybe even the the the path that is not necessarily God’s will for them and start going down it. And it still might go well for them because of the law of sowing and reaping and because they’re working hard and so forth. And God is still with them. Right. However, when you’re in uncertain times, there’s this different element, right. Where like, let’s just first an idea is if someone is starting a business in a really hard economy versus a thriving economy, big business is going to be massively impacted.

Right. So I highly encourage you to be relying on the Holy Spirit in your decision making. You’re going to make decisions, but you’re going to be praying. You’re going to be listening. You’re going to be paying attention. You’re going to be in God’s word because you love him, because you want to communicate with him and he’s going to partner with you. He’s going to reveal things to you that sway your decisions, confirmed decisions you were making in the flesh so that, you know, maybe you did have a marriage meeting and you guys didn’t pray or were talking to God about it, but you made a decision. But then maybe afterwards you kind of vetted it with God and you were patient and spent some time waiting a little bit and heard from him in a different way and got confirmation. And so I think that’s really important. And how do you hear from God?

Yeah. Well, there’s so many different ways. I was actually just talking to a sister in Christ about this just yesterday. She was saying, you know, we were talking about this idea of hearing from God. And and I just want to remind you guys that we all have the same ability to be led by God. Like, I’m not any closer to God than you can be, is what I mean by that. Your pastor, for example, is not any more likely to hear from God than you are, OK? And so if you struggle with putting anyone on a pedestal and thinking that they had their prayers are more powerful or any of those kinds of things, I just want to exhort you because first of all, we’ve all struggled with those thoughts. Right. But at the same time, we have to remember that there are the enemy is trying to deceive us into becoming inactive. The enemy is trying to deceive us into thinking less of our relationship with God or his or God’s ability to work through us. The enemy doesn’t want us to believe the truth that God can can actually do something incredible through you. That’s actually the truth. The enemy doesn’t want you to believe that because it’s what God wants you to believe, which is the truth is that he does have a plan and a purpose for your life.

He can speak to you. And so we know from God’s word that which is alive and active, this is one of the main ways we hear from God is in reading his word in another way that we can hear from God is in prayers as we’re praying to God, as we’re meditating on his word, as we’re just being still in knowing that he is God and resting in him and waiting on him for confirmations and for things like that. Right. Because sometimes God answers our prayers and the answer is no. Sometimes it’s not right now and sometimes it’s yes, but later and sometimes it’s yes right now. And so we have to be aware and alert, willing to hear all of those answers, because when we’re praying, we want to pray and God’s will. Right? Yeah. Which the knowledge of being able to pray and God’s will comes from reading his word and knowing as well. Right. As much as you can. Yeah. And then I would say the third way that I rely on God is as far as speaking to me is through the body of Christ, which is actually here on Earth with us. Right. The body of Christ is in dwell among the church.

And I would just give you a caution with the body of Christ is you only want to be getting that advice from people that are already doing the things that you just talked about. So they are close to God. They’re drawing close because sometimes they’re fleshly agendas seep into the advice they give, it’s true or even their own personal experiences or justifying what they have done or not. And yes, you have to be really wise and aware who you seek counsel from for sure. And I’m also very hesitant to just believe something right away. Right. Like, so if someone was to come to me and exhort me, for example, I’m going to take that humbly. I’m going to sit on it. I’m going to pray about it. I’m going to seek God’s word on it and really let his spirit fully work the conviction. Right. Yeah. And so but you don’t just take what someone says and not do the second part.

I think another thing we talked about in the politics episode last last week, the importance of critical thinking. He can go back to that.

But when you are participating in critical thinking and close to God, you’re making connections naturally in our human strength and also that God is the Holy Spirit is impacting us to now make different and better connections spiritually because we’re actually thinking. So I think thinking is really important, critical thinking and including God in that and being close to God, because then you make connections and sometimes I can make really quick decisions. Yeah. And it’s amazing. Like they all already been thinking and critically thinking all along the way. And you’ve God’s word written on God’s mind word. And then all of a sudden it’s like I know what to do. And then people around me are like, well, you make really fast decisions.

Well, and it’s not always that you do. Yeah. There are some that you’re much more slow processing your about fasting over things like that. But then there are some where you are very fast and like get it done. Right.

And I think that having both having a reflection of both of those things plus like a medium, if there was a spectrum to have all those different is actually a good reflection of being drawn close to God and hearing from him, because not everything is going to be quick. But I just want to encourage you guys with a passage of scripture in some three, because as we’re drawing close to the Lord, we need to remember where hope is found. Right. So let’s just say what Isaac has kind of challenged us all in our thinking. Let’s just say the next few months are even the hardest of 2020. OK, now that’s kind of crazy to think about. It’s possible. Let’s just say that twenty twenty one is not better than twenty twenty. Right. Where is our hope found? Where are we going to find satisfaction and contentment? Is it in all what happens to us or is it in the Lord?

And so Psalm thirty three verse twenty says our soul waits for the Lord. He is our hope and our shield for our heart shall rejoice in him because we have trusted in his holy name. Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us just as we hope in you and I, I, I want to just encourage you guys to read on into some thirty for the first few verses are simply I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. And I, you know, it goes on these two passages, psalm thirty three and some thirty four are such an encouragement. If you’re someone who is really struggling with fear, with worry and anxiety, even depression regarding what has transpired. And and we don’t know all of your situations. I know that for Isaac and I, we were even reminiscing about twenty twenty. And while there have been very it’s been very hard in many regards, there’s also blessing to be seen.

So, for example, as you guys know, in February, we lost a baby, we lost mercy, but now I’m pregnant. Mm hmm. Right. So within one year, we have both loss and Rainbow Baby on the way. And so I see both. And I just want to challenge you guys, because right now it’s so easy to focus on all the hard stuff. It’s so easy to name and list off all the bad things that potentially have happened. Right. I know. You know, I know my grandma is in heaven, but my grandma died in March and I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to go see her. You know, she was in a nursing home. My mom had a hard time being able to see her because it Covid in what was going on. And and so I think, like a lot of us have those stories. A lot of us could say this bad thing, this bad thing, this bad thing. Right. But what are we choosing to focus on? And I know it would be easy to say, hey, what what about the good things? Right.

But I don’t even want to say that we shouldn’t be focusing on anything. We should be focusing on Jesus. Yeah. We should be praising his name at all times, we should bless him, we need a trust in his holy name and our hearts should be rejoicing in him, always so focused on the Lord as we’re navigating circumstances, as we’re navigating life.

And it is a good exercise, though. What are the challenges that happened this year that forced out of you and your family good things? That would be a fun discussion with your family. So there’s a practical thing you could do right away. That’s a great thing you can initiate the moms could do.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CouragousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a CouragousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at CouragousParenting.com.

Dotcom, Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children. But Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.

This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just a really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.

It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents are trying to raise our kids, basically like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of heart.

We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

And it’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.

One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.

We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.

So we’re doing acts 18 nine through eleven. Now, the Lord spoke to Paul in the in the night by a vision. Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent. Hang on before we move forward. If God said that to Paul, what does that mean? That means he was afraid. It’s a good point. So he would not have to say that to them unless he was afraid of speaking. Are you afraid of speaking sometimes, are you afraid of speaking your conservative voice, standing for truth, political opinions, sharing the gospel, let’s just read that again. Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent, for I am with you and no one will attack you to hurt you. For I have many people in this city.

But see, Paul was drawing close to God.

There’s protection when we’re drawing close to God, and it’s not like he didn’t ever experience hardships, he was thrown in jail, ended up being killed and then, yeah, I mean there. But look at all the good that happened. But he praised God through it all.

You guys and God did some amazing things through him. And so we just have to keep we have to keep the faith. We have to endure. We have to keep perspective.

It’s so important. And that perspective thing is is key. So what is your perspective right now? What is what are you thinking about? What are you dwelling on? A lot of times that we’re dwelleth means is negative. Oh, your stop dwelling on the negative. Right. That’s often used. Well, you can dwell on the Lord, saturate your mind with scripture. And you know what? You can have such a big impact no matter what’s going on. In fact, these are some of the most exciting times I still believe is the greatest time to be alive because people are more aware of spiritual things. Yeah, it’s amazing. I get list off a whole bunch of other reasons, too.

Yeah, that’s not what this is about. Proverbs three. I just want to encourage you guys. Isaac wrote down, you picked out one verse, but can I share more than one because it’s. Well, yeah, because that’s what you do.

And so verse three says, let not mercy and truth, forsake, you bind them around your neck. We have to bind mercy and truth around our necks, write them on the tablet of your heart, how can you write Mercy and truth on the tablet of your heart? The truth is the word God. Yeah. And so that’s how it gets written on your heart. And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and all your ways.

Acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. We’re talking about drawing closer to God and life planning in uncertain times. This is how he shall direct your paths if you don’t think you know at all. If you have a teachable heart and you lean on God, do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from ever evil. And it will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.

Something just a word just popped up in my head, as you’re reading. That is, what do you need to give God credit for right now? What are you taking credit for? And you have not given God credit for? What have you taken credit for in front of your kids? What have your kids taking credit for that really was God working through them? See, God wants to be glorified. He’s the only person that isn’t prideful because God.

That isn’t prideful, but demands glory. See, what if I demanded glory, I demand that you glorify me and everything that would be prideful, right?

But God is God and he wants glory. Why does he want glory? Some more people know how awesome he is so they can have eternal life and be reconciled to him, the more they know of him, the more people that know of him, the more people will come to him and be reconciled to him and have eternal life. It’s actually not. It’s it’s for other people.

Don’t you think that trust grows in your relationship with God, God trusting you when he knows you’re going to glorify him in the small things and the big things?

One of the questions that I know that when we were walking through hard times and we still ask this every now and again is that question, can God trust us? Yeah, it’s a really big question.

I believe we can, but we got to keep asking it because can’t we easily just move into pride? It’s so easy. All right. We got to keep moving here. So now you go ahead.

Vision is more important than ever. OK, Isaac, you take this one.

Oh, well, start it for sure. During uncertain times, you have to win. There’s challenges happening, especially leading a family. You have to see beyond the current circumstances because that gives hope. You have to help your family see beyond current circumstances because that gives hope. And I was reflecting as I was driving the other day and I wanted to share this with everybody, which is, I think, a key to success.

However, you would define success, but a key to doing well in this world into navigating the world well, especially in uncertain times, is the ability to have your current circumstances and and shift your thinking from current circumstances to what’s ahead and then back to current circumstances.

Some people just to stay on what’s ahead and they don’t get stuff done in the present and they don’t deal with things. And then some people only deal with things in the present and they don’t see ahead. So they make inferior decisions today and they get bogged down and burdened and challenged and all they can see is what’s right in front of them. And they’re just kind of constantly doing the things and it kind of in a rut of a rhythm. So what I think is key and more important than ever is I’m not just talking like a ten year goal or something like that. I’m talking about what’s ahead next week, what’s ahead next month, what what’s ahead for Christmas, what’s ahead next year? You know, and you can think longer if you can. That’s good. But it’s a constant shift of, OK, these this bad thing happened here.

Are this bad things happened here, this neutral thing that I don’t like doing, but I have to manage what’s happening over here. There’s good things happening over here, which oftentimes we don’t think about that one or those ten good things, actually. And but you have to now go, OK, but what’s ahead?

And I think about what’s ahead.

And that brings meaning to the present, a shift back to the present. And I do it. So it’s a I find myself if you want to get in my head for a second, I find myself constantly being in the present and shifting ahead and then shifting back to the present simultaneously all the time. And I don’t know that everybody can easily do that, but I know everybody can easily. Start doing that like you could work that muscle, so what’s ahead that you need to be thinking about the gives energy to the mundane of the present, super important to do that.

Mm hmm. What do you think? Well, I want to read from Habakkuk, chapter two, verse two and three, which says, Then the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and make it clean on tablets that he may run. Who reads it for the vision is yet for an appointed time. But at the end it will speak and it will not lie, though it tarries. Wait for it because it will surely come. It will not tarry.

So I love that scripture and I read the whole Book of Habakkuk before this. And don’t be proud of me because it’s three chapters so all you can all read it to. I encourage you to read it. It’s very fascinating and I’m going to go back and study and it was just really interesting. But I like that because it’s it’s about writing something down, writing plans on the tablet of your heart. Right. And, you know, how do you get things into your heart? For me, it’s actually writing physically with a pencil or a pen.

Yeah, we kind of do journaling old school, don’t we. Yeah, we both love to journal and write. And I think that that’s actually pretty indicative of why we’ve gotten better at being what we’ve grown a lot in Visioneering. I mean, we’ve always both been journalers, but I would just encourage you guys that especially in these times, like for for me, I love the thought of being able to pass down journals to my kids. Right. Because they can learn from the lessons that we’ve learned and the things that God has taught us. And that’s part of living a legacy. Yeah.

And so I think that right now, more than ever, having things written down. And what we’re all walking through, the personal testimonies we shared from Revelations 12 in one of the previous podcasts about the three ways that that revelation says that we can overcome the devil. And one is by the word of your testimony. And one way you can share the word of your testimony is by journaling.

Yeah, absolutely. And number three is evaluate areas of your life. This is so important to do. What are the areas of your life that matter? You can just make your own list. You could Google it. You know, the things will come up. But are finances important in your life? Well, yes, the love of money is bad, but money isn’t bad. It’s an important resource. Hey, man, it’s a really important resource that we need a steward well.

So it takes planning.

So you should be talking about that and you should be talking about spiritual things for for you and your marriage and your kids. And you should be talking about where each kids are and maybe writing some notes down together, you know, what their individual unique needs are. I think that kids want to be known. And when parents pause and think about one kid for a little while together or separately, even your your kids are more likely to feel known by you as they’re growing older. And that’s really important. So what are other things that are important? There’s there’s probably eight or nine categories you could think about, right. Your marriage and you put that down. So I’m not going to come up with more. You should come up with what they are. I have a date night and kind of start talking about those things. You might not even get to them all, but what will come out of that is fruitful discussion and the ability to make decisions together. Now, one of the greatest areas of growth for your marriage are those moments where you disagree.

Why do you think that is?

Well, because you need to have teachable heart and listen to one another’s convictions and evaluations of it and and it can I mean, God can use your marriage to sharpen you in ways like no other relationship, right? Yeah. And so there are times where, like, I’ll just give an example. There are times where one of us will have a vision or dream towards doing something. And we have to be like submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and listening and taking that on and really being objective as much as possible and considering it, even if our flesh wants to go “no” right away and really consider it. And then we need to prayerfully make a decision together that sometimes is compromise, sometimes as one person. Yeah. Submitting their flesh to the other person’s idea, which might be more God’s will. Right? Yeah, there’s so many different indicators. But I would say that for sure, when you’re evaluating areas of life, this is where men like one of the things that I have loved so much in our marriage. We’ve been married twenty one years. And one of the things that Isaac has always practiced right from the beginning is always bringing me in on all of the big decisions. Like, you know, now that we have eight, almost nine kids, there are a lot of little decisions that we just don’t have the time to talk about everything all the time.

And so I have to make decisions without talking to him. Sometimes he has to make decisions without talking to me sometimes. But we’ve also grown in that to where we both know each other so well that we’re pretty, pretty equipped to be able to make those small decisions without having to hash everything out. Right. And that comes with time. I just want to encourage the younger couples that that does come with time going. What would Isaac think? And I know that you do that well and you think about that when you consider it before you just do something right. And we’ve gotten really good at that with the little decisions when it comes to having to actually move forward and take action on things. But when it comes to the big things, we’ve always evaluated them together respectfully. And this is a crazy part. You guys, like a lot of men, probably don’t do this. I don’t know. Isaac doesn’t know I was going to share this, but I remember years ago when he was running a business, he went on a date night and he said, hey, babe, I have this. Like, I have to share something exciting with you. There’s this opportunity that our company could reach this goal, OK, but it’s going to require extra work, extra hard, like I’m going to have to work a little bit harder. This will look like what do you think? And he was like, because if you’re not in, I’m not going to do it.

And he fully basically put it on my plate, like, are we going to is is our bit is our team going to go for this or not? And I remember just being like, wow, he respects me that much that he’s like putting this in front of me and I’m able to ask as many questions as I want. But he realized how work impacts marriage and how much how much, how powerful it is to have your wife on your team when you’re trying to pursue something big. Right. And so when it’s when it’s come to big decisions, we always evaluate and make those decisions. One hundred percent together. And I just want to encourage you guys, this is why we’re saying it’s so important that you have date night so that you have the opportunity to talk together so that you’re making decisions in alignment. And I would say that this whole podcast is on life planning and uncertain times, life planning in uncertain times. And that means that you may have made plans. That seemed wise. For the economy, for the way the world is operating back a year or two ago, but if you were to re-evaluate, those might not be the wisest for right now. And there may need to be like a pull the brakes. Right.

The world changed this year in 2020.

So a lot of things are just different now. And so we’re challenging you guys because we care about your marriages. We don’t want to see marriages falling apart left and right. And we get that when marriage is under stress, when hard things happen, when circumstances are not in your favor, that your relationships in your marriage are challenged to a place like no other. And so we just want to encourage you. You have to draw close to God. You have to have vision and perspective and remember the long game. You have to evaluate these areas of your life together, making decisions together. But you but part of that all of those things is that you’re actually taking priority to to make time for your marriage.

One of the things I’ve noticed where we have conflict and making decisions is just misunderstanding each other. Yeah, I see things from a more visionary standpoint. And Angie thinks of things from a more practical standpoint in that conversation. And then there’s conflict. And so I’ve had to learn of how to change, how I talk about it so that she doesn’t misunderstand what I’m talking about. Yeah. And so forth. And so we should we should think about each other in our personalities and how we’re different. And if you can, your differences actually become the greatest strength if you learn how to work together.

Yeah. And if you learn how to communicate in a way that is honoring the other person. And so what I’m talking about is, especially in our first years of marriage, I think that I’ve really grown in being a visionary. I’ve just been influenced, I think, for sure.

But I remember distinctly, especially the first like five to ten years that we were married when Isaac would have an idea to do something like, hey, babe, what do you think about buying this property or what do you think about flipping this or what do you think about that? Or I just remember going, what, right now? Like, because he was the type of person that would just go do like you would make up his mind to go do something. And I would get I would be like, hold on a second. We need to evaluate all the little areas and see if this is smart and like. And so I was the very low risk taking person in our marriage.

And Isaac was more of the risk taking, I would say. And I would say you can’t you have become a little more risk taking. I wouldn’t say a lot, but a little more. Yeah. And I’ve become less risk taking. That’s right. So weve both grown.

And I think that that’s actually been growth. Right, because we you’ve learned over the last 21 years, you you pause more and you wait and you think, yeah. And then you communicat.

I do I do more of what we’re talking about now, which is relying on God. Like I can’t do anything without God. Very well. I used to think I could do things well without God now I actually don’t.

And I just have seen my plans get evaporated. Good plans, wise plans, people investing in things that think it’s wise and everybody around me being written in a newspaper because the business looks like a wise idea and, you know, over and over again and, you know, it’s fast upcoming company and all these things, accolades and in reasons why it can be good when really it wasn’t good.

Right. I mean, that’s the thing is that sometimes things can look good to the world and there can be even worldly success. But is it spiritually God’s will? Yeah, it was good in God’s eyes. It was the worst decision I ever made. Yeah. So but you guys, this comes from hindsight. Yeah. Like we’re on the flip side of that and realizing and wanting to share those things with you so that hopefully you can learn from what we’ve walked through.

Well hey, thanks for joining us. And Part two will be out next week.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode.

For more resources, go to CourageousParenting.com And CourageousMom.com For free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, Live Webcast and the courageous parenting text message line. Where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next on line parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com.

That’s CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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