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Three Tips for Healthy and Happy Decision-Making

Healthy decisions bring a healthy life, but getting to these healthy decisions can feel like an uphill climb, or as allusive as trying to capture a beautiful fluttering butterfly. According to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2012, poor communication was reported as the number one reason for marital dissatisfaction by 65% of surveyed couples.

The Common Obstacle

For years in our marriage, Bill would think we were making a decision, only to have me bring up the subject again but with more options and suggestions. On occasion, I would think a decision was made, yet, perhaps, Bill failed to act on that decision. Finally, one day, my wise husband said, “Can we end our discussions with “Okay, is this a decision or still a discussion?” by adding this simple ending question, a lot of misunderstanding was solved, and we both feel heard and valued.

Making healthy choices is a lot of what readers will find in our two companion books:

7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman and our new devotional His and Hers planner set: Marriage Meet Ups: A Planner for Couples who Want More Passion, Purpose, and Productivity. However, solid decision-making can be a bit rigorous and can take a little time to discuss and dialogue (but poor decision-making takes A LOT more time in overcoming errors and having to back track!) In our book, 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, Bill compares good decision-making to a wise carpenter. Bill built one of our homes and remodeled all the others (including the boat where we now live) and there is an important rule in carpentry:

“Measure twice- cut once”.

This is just a reminder that it is WORTH IT to take time to process a good, solid, healthy decision.

So Worth It!

Here are a few verses along with a little science that we hope motivate you to take the time to process your decision-making, and we have created a simple decision-making tool to aid you in your decision-making as a couple (and family).

As we explore the positive effects of decisiveness on both mental and physical well-being, let’s remember that decisiveness aligns with the biblical principles of trust and wisdom even if the word “decide” is not in the verse, the overall principle of the value of being a person and a couple who makes wise choices does honor and reflect God’s call on all our lives. When we make choices rooted in faith and seek God’s guidance, we can experience a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Healthy Decisions Aids in Physical Well Being

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Reduced stress levels research has shown that individuals who are decisive tend to experience lower levels of stress. A study published in the journal “Psychological Science” in 2013 found that people who struggled with making decisions had higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their bodies. Chronic stress can have a detrimental impact on physical health, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, weakened immune function, digestive problems—and weight gain! Being decisive can help reduce the chronic stress associated with decision-making uncertainty. In the midst of life’s uncertainties, trusting in the Lord and making decisions with confidence can help reduce the chronic stress associated with decision-making.

Healthy Decisions Strengthens Our Mental Wellness

 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV): “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

Enhanced mental health of being decisive is often associated with increased self-confidence and self-esteem. According to a study published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” in 2009, people who are decisive tend to experience greater life satisfaction and overall well-being. Improved mental health can positively affect us by reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. When we honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and make choices that reflect this honor, it contributes to overall well-being.

Healthy Decisions Helps with Greater Productivity

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV): “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

Improved time management when grounded in wisdom and faith, helps us make the most of every opportunity, thus granting us the ability to be swift in making healthier choices. In short,

decisive individuals tend to be better at managing their time. When you can make solid BIBLICALLY BASED decisions, you’re less likely to waste time deliberating and stewing over choices. Effective time management is associated with higher productivity and a better work-life balance. Effective time management, inspired by biblical wisdom, leads to reduced stress, increased productivity, and a better work-life balance.

God Wants to Help You with Decisions

James 1:5 (NIV): “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

In Pam’s recent book, Discovering Wisdom in Proverbs: A Creative Bible Study Experience, she explains this verse as “cupcake theology” that is God’s wisdom is always sweet, even when it tackles tough choices and circumstances, God will work out life “for our good” (

Romans 8:28) And His wisdom is also sweet like the thick yummy frosting on top of a cup cake because God gives His wisdom generously, lavishly, and without holding anything back .

We want to give you our template “Decide, Do, Delight!” for that last step in making healthy decisions, so here is a worksheet that will help you make the decision, know who is responsible for any next steps of that decision and even helps you celebrate those solid decisions together as a couple!(You may also want many of the other resources inside The Marriage Meet Ups and on that book page where many other marriage helps are housed.)

Embracing decisiveness through trust in the Lord and seeking His wisdom can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life. We love when science backs up the truths of Scripture. In this case, emphasizing the importance of making thoughtful decisions that honor our relationship with God, and then God honors us with well-being.

By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)



photo by Rebecca Friendlander

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, relationship coaches, and authors of 59 books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and their newest, the Marriage Meet Ups: A Devotional Planner for Couples Who Want More Passion, Purpose, and Productivity. They are the parents of three sons, three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren. They have more time for fun now that their decision-making process is stronger, so they enjoy beach walks, and paddle boarding and kayaking from their live aboard boat docked in Southern California. Together, the Farrels Co–Direct Love-Wise Ministries.








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