Decisiveness is one of the key fundamental attributes of masculinity, and it is also one of the components of leadership.
Since it is one of the parts of masculinity, it also one of the traits that attracts women. Women like men who are decisive because it takes the pressure of responsibility off of them and they can just enjoy the ride that you’re taking them on without having to worry.
Aside from the fact that decisiveness is attractive to women, men are called to be decisive irrespective of that fact. For example, how many times in Scripture was Jesus portrayed as wishy-washy in his beliefs and actions? Obviously, the answer is zero.
The underlying concept behind decisiveness is that it starts to eliminate your fear. Even though you may care what other people think, you still take action because you know that God has called you to a certain purpose or action.
If someone were to ask me what I believe in terms of God and religion if I am a Christian I should be able to tell them right away what I believe. Likewise, this extends into all facets of life. You must know what you believe. And when you firmly can stand behind your convinctions that is when you become decisive in your actions.
Section 1 — Example(s) of decisiveness with commentary
Let’s look at some specific examples for how this can play out.
- Say you’re a husband and you’re wife (and boyfriend or girlfriend if you prefer) is getting emotional over a topic. You, as a husband, know that your wife will get angry or jealous and perhaps is prone to sinning by saying certain things rashly. What should you do?
Obviously, if you go to placate her with your words and actions you are not being decisive. You know from previous experience that attempting to placate an emotional woman is going to make her more angry. So why do you do it? There’s no logic or rationale behind attempting to placate a woman on an emotional tear. You know it won’t work. Yet, because it is the “easiest” course of action you go with it because you are afraid of being decisive and asserting leadership in this situation.
The correct course of action is to be decisive and tell her that you won’t discuss the topic with her while she is emotional. But you know that a course of action such as this is prone to having her outburst more at you even though you know this is what she needs.
Obviously, I could tell a woman that “hey, I’m not going to discuss this when you’re emotional” but that won’t go over as well as phrasing it in a more considerate manner — “Hey, I understand you’re feeling _X_ because of _Y_, and we will to discuss that in a bit.” You can even add “Come here and let me hold you.”
When women get emotional it is key to set boundaries for how she acts and for the subsequent discussion and enforce them. This is how you need to be decisive when conflict breaks out. There are two key components here.
- Know how you want to handle the situation. This is mostly gained from experience in a man, so that is why it is imperative to seek knowledge of how to handle situations and talk to a lot of people.
- Stick to your guns or principles. If you cave you are going to be touted as indecisive and she will lose respect for you. No matter how much a woman cries, whines, name calls, or the like you need to stick to your decisions. This does not preclude a apology if you did indeed wrong her or someone else, but the boundaries must be maintained even if you were in the wrong.
Obviously, there are a lot of other examples you can use to be decision. Any time someone asks a question there is the opportunity there. Many of which relate to women. For instance,
- What restaurant do you want to go out to?
“I would prefer going to X restaurant” or “Let’s go to this restaurant.” etc.
- Do you like this skirt or this skirt?
- Do you like my short haircut compared to my previous one?
- What time are you getting there?
- What is your testimony?
- Why do you believe in God?
Answering any type of question is a good time to practice decisiveness.
Today, any time you are asked a question give it a pause and a thought to think about it then give a decisive answer.
This will help you start to practice it.
Section 2 — Eliminating indecisive vocabulary
There’s a lot of words that we use in English that are filler and denote uncertainty when we speak. Here is a decent sized list of them:
- If you like..
- Sort of
- Kind of
- I was [just] wondering
- I was thinking
- I don’t know but,
- I mean
- You know
- Like I said
- Ok, so..
Take this week to listen to conversations closely for filler words. You’ll notice that women in particular like to use a lot of filler words like “maybe”, “kind of”, “sort of” when talking about their feelings and decision making. The same with a lot of men who many of us would define as “effeminate” or “nice guys.”
While most men do not pick up this, I believe that most women will subconsciously pick up on use of vocabulary from this and can tell almost immediately from how you speak if you’re a nice guy or a masculine man by your word choice.
When you notice them in your own speech attempt to start to eliminate them from your vocabulary.
The second thing I want you as Christian masculine men to practice this week is what I said above — to listen to conversation closely today and listen for filler words and start to eliminate them from your own vocabulary.
This is why it is important to slow down your talking so you’re more aware of what you are saying. Here’s a bit about chunking which is another technique you can use if it’s difficult to eliminate the words from your vocabulary even after being aware of them.
Section 2 — Training Decisiveness
It is a matter of training to raise up a man to be decisive.
You see this with children. When children know exactly what they want they are decisive — do you want to do this or that” I want to THIS! Please please please please! However, if you give them a lot of choices such as do want to play this game, that game, or this other game, or how about this game, or perhaps this game they will get flustered and unless they have a clear favorite they will be indecisive.
This is one of the problems that we face in our culture today, and the Economist had an article on it called The Tyranny of Choice.
The most important thing you need to know is what you believe. Like I said in improving public and conversational speaking and improving public and conversational speaking 2, one of the best ways is to use the things that will build your Christian faith as tools to improve your public and conversational speaking. The same is true of decisiveness.
I talked a bit about praying out loud, but let’s examine the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6 (NASB) in terms of decisiveness of wording,
7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day [e]our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [f]evil. [g][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
If you notice the wording in how we are to pray Jesus is not asking any questions of God. He basically instructs us to use declarative and imperative sentences and statements as opposed to interrogative.
For example, one of the wrong ways to answer a question from a woman such as “what restaurant do you want to go to?” is to answer it back with “well, I want to go here, but where do you want to go?” Obviously, this is not a decisive statement.
So then too even if we have questions of God or for Him in regard to decisions we make we should not pray by asking questions of God. For example,
- Wrong — God do you want me to do X or Y?
- Better — God you know my needs before I ask. Show me by relevation in my heart or through others the decision You want me to make, so that I can continue to walk in Your will.
Jesus states clearly in the next chapter, Matthew 7 (NASB),
7 “[c]Ask, and it will be given to you; [d]seek, and you will find; [e]knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
There are no questions here. Only decisive words and actions. This is why I will reiterate the points here for prayer, Bible reading, and speaking on how to do it.
- Stand up straight or sit up straight with chest out and shoulders back.
- Take a deep breath before you speak each sentence or set of words.
- Speak in a measured tone — not too fast, not too slow.
- Speak it with authority.
So these are my challenges to you this week in summarized format.
- Any time you are asked a question give it a pause and a thought to think about it then give a decisive answer.
- Listen to conversation closely today and listen for filler words and start to eliminate them from your own vocabulary.
- Pray, read your Bible, and learn about the faith and your own preferences and learn to do them decisively with authority in your voice and actions.
Eliminate the wishy-washy and become a more decisive man of God.
As you become more decisive and your words and actions both men and women will come to respect you more, and you will be able to have more influence as an ambassador for God.