When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – I Corinthians 13:11, NIV
An important lesson I learned through surviving my divorce was to make my own choices and decisions. It was a costly lesson to learn. The pain came for me when I trust authorities who turned out to be either blind or far from benign.
I needed to take charge of my major life decisions. The big lesson I learned–when people make decisions for you, you still have to live with the consequences of those decisions. You made a decision to give them that power over your life.
Do you really want to give up your own God-given agency and personal authority like a little child deferring to a parent?
This is your life.
You do not get another.
And you will answer to God for it. (e.g. Romans 14:12)
I feel strongly about owning one’s major life decisions. This includes decisions about end of life, beginning of life, career decisions, and marriage/divorce.
Now, it is good to have wise counselors in these matters as Scripture teaches (see Proverbs 15:22). However, these folks are only counselors and become tyrants when they demand to make these decisions for you (see post here). They may even claim good intentions or say they just want to “care” for you, but that does not give them the right to violate your personal agency. A truly caring pastor or advisor recognizes the decision must ultimately be yours and empowers you to make the decision freely without coercion.
These days I am a fierce defender of my agency. I have come out of the shadows thanks to some major spiritual healing and have moved forward into my role as a decision-maker. After getting seriously burnt by treacherous advisors or just wrong advisors, I realize even the best outside authorities–apart from God alone–make mistakes, and I rather only suffer in my own life over my own mistakes when I can choose.
I am my own man.
So, I encourage you to make your own ultimate decisions in these matters. Men fail. People manipulate. Some even seek out power to abuse others. And even good people get things wrong.
Do not take my word for it any more than you take Pastor X’s word for it. Test what we say with Scripture. Pray on the matter. Seek God’s peace when making a major decision. Then step forward like a grown man or woman.
And when it comes to counsel, I will leave you with some sound advice from the Bible. The Apostle Paul taught the following on prophesy (i.e. teachings/words claiming to come from God):
Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
– I Thessalonians 5:21-22, NKJV