Zoe Marks was a decisive woman, one who made up her mind on the spot. She always said that if she married it would be to an equally decisive man.
She saw in Douglas Hill just such a man. They had time for only two dates before the close of the Bible conference where they met. Zoe went back to her job and Doug back to graduate studies in mine engineering. Each promised to write often.
Zoe liked the letters that came from Doug, letters that came oftener as fall led into winter and winter into spring. One day Doug’s letter asked pointedly, “Are you willing to be the wife of a mining engineer? If so, will you marry me?”
This is what she liked in Doug. How could he have put it more directly? By return mail she told him yes.
After they were married, Zoe began to wonder about those decisive letters. To her surprise she was finding Doug to be slow and methodical. Once he made a decision he was positive, but reaching the decision seemed a ponderous and painful process.
One day Doug recalled that in writing his marriage proposal he had torn up six letters before finally mailing the seventh. Appalled at the revelation, Zoe accused him of deceiving her. Doug denied any such thing.
After that Doug did all of his preliminary thinking in private.
Zoe would ask, “What are you thinking about, Doug?”
“Nothing,” he would say.
“Oh, yes, you are; you’re always thinking. Can’t you ever make up your mind about anything?”
“It beats deciding by that roulette method of yours,” he retorted.
By the time they went for a counseling session with Henry Brandt, each had hardened their minds against the other’s life-long habit of making decisions. Henry asked them to turn the light of 1 Corinthians 1:10 on themselves, “Now I beseech you … that you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
“You want to speak the same thing,” Henry said, “but you’re divided in your approach. There is no like-mindedness, only annoyance and impatience. Zoe, you are wrong in resenting Doug’s nature.”
Zoe was open to Henry’s assessment and repented of her critical spirit. As the two of them continued to study God’s Word and apply it to their lives, they were able to work out a mutual solution. Zoe now helps Doug sort out more quickly the alternatives involved in making a decision, and he helps her to consider more carefully the consequences of a decision.
When faced with divisive situations, it is important to ask God for insight as to what is really causing your conflict. Be open to the Spirit’s leading and direction as to how to restore harmony to your relationships.
The names and certain details in this story have been changed to protect each person’s identity and privacy.