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Life Decisions

The decision was made. I was only thirteen years old, but it turned out to be one of the biggest decisions of my life. At the time I didn’t know how important the decision was. I wasn’t aware I had made a “life decision,” but I did. I had made a decision that would set the course of my life. A “life decision” that would determine who I was and how I would live.

Life decisions

As I watch my mother lie in bed for two weeks overwhelmed with grief because her world had just fallen apart when my dad left, I knew right then when I married, my marriage would be for life. I knew I never wanted to hurt the way she was hurting and I knew I would never be the one to hurt someone else that way. Right then and there I made one of the most important decisions of my life, I made a “life decision.”

For the first nineteen years of marriage, I was challenged many times with that decision. There were times I wanted to quit, but I would always come back to the thought, “I want to be married for life.” There were times my marriage looked like it was finished regardless of what I wanted because my wife wanted out. Four times she said she had enough of the misery we were going through and she wanted a divorce. But I held on, even when it looked hopeless because my mind had already been made up. I wanted to be “married for life.”

The first time it happened three years into our marriage. That summer we separated three times. She wanted out, so she told me I had to leave. Reluctantly I did, only to talk her into giving us another chance a few days later. We repeated the same process a second time. Then finally, the third time she told me I had to leave, I gave up. After a few weeks I had no intention of trying to fix my marriage, I began to see my life moving in a whole new direction. But then, she came to me and she wanted us to get back together. I was faced with a dilemma. I could either move on with my life and not deal with what was wrong with my marriage, or I could take a chance and try to make it work. It didn’t take long for the decision to be made. The fact of the matter was, I had already made the decision way back when I was thirteen.

Throughout the following sixteen years of marriage, we still came close to ending it three more times, because neither one of us knew how to make a marriage work. And because Janet had also made a “life decision” when she was young. In her heart, she knew what marriage should look like and she knew what she should expect from someone who said he loved her. In her heart, she would never settle for a marriage that was less than what it could be. She had made up her mind she would not be stuck in a miserable marriage for the rest of her life. Even though she knew I wanted to be married for life, she also knew a lot of the time I acted as a husband who didn’t care about what she wanted.

Then, by God’s grace, he took my “life decision” “to be married for life” and used it to help me hang on through some impossible situations. And he took her “life decision” to “expect nothing short of what God designed marriage to be,” and he joined us together. So that now we have both made the same “life decisions.” We have decided to be “happily married for life.” We are committed to our marriage “until death do us part.” And we are committed to love, honor, cherish and nurture our marriage so that neither of us would ever feel neglected, used, and un-loved.

“Life decisions” like the ones we have made are extremely important. They have the power to shape your life in positive ways or negative. They have the power to set the course of your life in a healthy way or an unhealthy way. You can keep on living by the “life decisions” that are working for you. And you can let go of ones that are hurting you. So, choose today to make good “life decisions” about yourself, your marriage, and your family.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Michelle says:

    Wow. I have been married for 17 1/2 years now, and have 2 great kids, and my husband & I are experiencing a true marriage crisis for the first time ever. The years haven’t been easy ones, as there have been several “crisis” situations that have come up (health, job loss, home loss, financial desperation, etc…) I’ve cried many, many times over the marriage I hoped I had and desperately wanted but knew I didn’t have. As I read this message, I TOTALLY found myself agreeing with Janet’s “expecting nothing short of what God designed marriage to be.” The other thing that hit the nail right on the head was when Jack said, “even though she knew I wanted to be married for life, she also knew I acted like anything but a husband who loved her.” (Reading that and typing it just now is hurting my heart, because I feel that exact way about my husband right now!) My husband and I have our first marriage counseling session this Saturday, Dec. 15th – and I have no idea how it’s gonna go. I feel my love just fading and fading, and it makes me sick to my stomach. There’s so much more to my story, but I wanted to leave a message about YOUR story. I’ll have to bookmark your page, because I’d like to come back and read the rest of your blogs. Thank you for putting this out there. God help us.

    • jackandjanet says:

      Hi Michele,
      I want to let you know I have been where you are at. There have been many times I have cried because of the way our life had caused or marriage so much pain and heartache. And because of that it can make it seemed like the love I had for my husband had waned. I had expectation of how I thought our lives should be and how Jack was suppose to be as a husband to me and when he didn’t measure up, my feelings were hurt and my dreams seemed dashed. I took things out of the way I was raised and how my dad was and I was expecting Jack to some what be like that, but that was not who he was. We forget that our husbands have dreams, aspirations, feelings about what they would like out of life too. We were two different people who came from two different back grounds, we were taught differently and raised differently. WE had to learn to hear each other, to have the want to make our marriage work no matter what it took.
      You both are doing the right thing to get help and I just want to say be kind to each other during this time. It may seem like there is no hope but I tell you there is hope and your marriage can turn around and it can be the greatest thing ever. Give it your all, your best. What do you have to lose?…. Nothing. But you do have everything to gain. Your love for your husband is still there it is just covered up with pain, frustration. I hope everything works out for you both. WE will be praying for you. Let us know if we can be of any help.
      God Bless, Janet

  2. Rich says:

    I too made a life decision to stay married for life, to marry once. My wife has been back and forth for months telling me she never loved me, is not in love with me, made a mistake. I have been able to convince her a couple times to try. Yesterday we had an argument about finances, she telling me she is done, yet spending money with no regard and she has not worked in months. So i challenged her “are you going to say youre separated now on facebook?”. Sure enough she did, and took her wedding ring off.
    This has been and is unbelievably hard, but I am not giving up on my marriage. I am not going to throw the towel in and quit. There is more at work here than just the marriage, i believe you touched on that in another article. Bottom line is, im not budging, moving, etc. God told me He will be restoring our marriage and has confirmed it a number of times. I am standing in faith and trusting the Lord. Thank you for the work you do!

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