I wanted to follow up yesterdays post with the more positive side of gaining wisdom through counsel. Yesterdays post was how to get through struggles wisely by getting help. Today’s post is how to make sure you are making wise decisions by getting independent counsel.

When we purchased a house a couple of years ago one of the pieces advise on the contract or paperwork was to get an independent valuation of the house. Thankfully the bank did that for us. When we have to make hard decisions it is sometimes wise to also receive independent advice, that is receive counsel. I was reading in Job this morning how his opinion of his counsellors and there own opinion seemed to differ. Wisdom is needed in choosing good counsellors but also to decide to go to one.

When my wonderful wife and I were thinking of getting married all our friends and family were delighted. No one could see anything wrong. Our respective pastors were supportive. So we wanted advice that said whether this was a good idea. Everybody just thought it was wonderful we had “found” each other and no one seemed to care what happened next as long as wedding bells were part of it. Well maybe not quite that far.

We decided we needed to know from God and others that getting married was a good thing for us. We ended up getting counsel many ways. First we asked people we trusted for ideas on how to see if this was a good decision. This involved us talking to people. I was told to practice the Ignatian process of discernment. My wife was told to reflect on a series of questions, the one I know of most is the idea “Does he trespass over any of your boundaries because if he does now he will also in marriage?” Thankfully I did not do this. In the end, what felt like the longest month plus of my life, we decided it would be OK to get married.
Second we went for pre-marital counselling to people recommended by my then-girlfriend’s church, as the church’s in the area had covenantd to ensure marriages had the best start possible. This helped us see our similarities (lots) and differences (few but they feel huge). We also went on Engaged Encounter and then had someone mentor us in one or two areas of difference that needed simple but profound wisdom.

In the end all the counsel we got helped us know that we were making the right decision but they also helped prepare us for any rough patches and gave us the tools to deal with them.

So where has counsel helped you know something you were doing was from God?

For those interested here are two articles about love and romance at different parts of the spectrum.

Simple questions are key to wedded bliss

Will you be my PC Valentine?