Recently I asked a room full of college-aged women how many of them would describe themselves as indecisive, and a good majority of them raised their hands. Whether it is choosing an item from a menu, picking what to wear, or choosing a film to watch, many women have trouble making a decision. And if a woman has trouble with the little questions, imagine the quagmire she can get into when it comes to big questions, like whether to move, which college to attend, which job to take, or whether to say yes to the nice young man who is interested in her.
Indecision is simply a manifestation of insecurity, and women like to feel secure. Women want approval and affirmation, and they worry that their decision may be wrong, like getting the incorrect answer on a test. Woman was created to be covered and protected, and when she is the all alone, bearing the responsibility of all her own decisions, she can feel very vulnerable and unsure of herself. This means faith is necessary, faith that God will guide, direct, protect, and oversee everything. That is one reason why good doctrine is a sweet comfort.Â
Now some women handle this without difficulty. They may be the decisive types who don’t second-guess themselves because they were either born that way or trained by their parents to be confident and secure. Or they may have a strong father and mother who will help guide and direct them, giving wise counsel and continuing to take responsibility, even if they are living apart. But even with great parents, a girl has to learn to make many decisions by herself, even at a very young age. Being indecisive can be a set up to be led astray (by following someone who is decisive); it can be a hindrance to growth and maturity (by refusing to take responsibility);Â and it can be a nuisance to others (Why can’t you make up your mind?).
(And as an aside here, parents need to teach their children to be able to make decisions. If your daughter at age six cannot choose between the pink backpack or the orange one, it may be a wake-up call that it is time to start training her in this area. The goal is to equip our daughters to make wise decisions and not fret over them once they are made.)
At the bottom of indecision is worry: What if I choose the wrong thing? So dealing with worry may be the best place to start.Â “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5). So pray about a decision first. Are there any biblical principles involved? If so, what are they? Consider your opportunities and your desires. Get more details if necessary. Don’t give way to pressure to make a hasty decision (“We are leaving in five minutes to go to the North Pole. Do you want to come?”) When in doubt, throw it out. But after you have made a decision prayerfully, then trust the Lord, be quiet and let your heart rest. Don’t fuss and fret over whether it was the right decision or not. An indecisive person can do that no matter which way they take: Maybe I should’ve…. maybe I shouldn’t have…..
Identify your own temptations. If you are indecisive, begin to look for opportunities to make a decision wisely and promptly. Pray before you go to the restaurant or before you go shopping (your friends will be grateful). Then make a decision. If you don’t like the fish and chips, then next time you can order the fajita. It’s not earth shattering. If you buy the purple luggage and later regret it, then take heart that it will eventually wear out. Take responsibility for your decisions and learn to stop worrying over them. Wrap up each decision with gratitude and press on.
These little insecurities hold us back and keep us from becoming the women God has designed us to be. So let go of these troubling thoughts about decision making and step out in faith. God will bless you in it.