Making decisions with other people you care about can sometimes be hard. Do you put yourself first? Do you put others first? Who gets the final say? Should you intervene in someone else’s decision-making process? The list of issues goes on and on.
“I was enlightened when I discovered the idea of simplifying a decision into two different components: principle vs. preference.”
Is the decision a matter of preference?
If something that needs to be decided on is a matter of simply doing what is preferred, then let that person decide on their own. Show them love and support in allowing them to do what they like and how they like it based on their preference. If it does not disrupt your family’s core principles, then give them the freedom to decide as an individual. What to wear, extracurricular activities, choosing a major in college, deciding on how to use your free time can all be a matter of preference.
Is the decision a matter of principle?
If the family needs to decide on a decision that is a matter of “doing what’s right,” then it would be considered an important decision that the involved parties would need to agree on. These are decisions that drawback on core values, beliefs, and morals. If one person is not in agreement with the decision that is based on principle, then do everything in your power to lead the other person to the truth. Major decisions such as attending church, deciding on a school for your kids, changing jobs, choosing friends, etc. are all things that could fall back on your family’s core principles.
This idea helped me tremendously in how involved I needed to be in my family’s decisions. First, I identify whether the decision being made is a matter of preference or principle, then I act accordingly. If it’s a preference, I put a smile on my face and show love and support to the person making their own decisions based on personal liking. If it’s a matter of principle, I try to lead them back to our core values and truth.