Definition of SURRENDER:
To yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand.
Wow. Read that again. To “in favor of another”. To “give over or resign to something [God], as to an emotion”. That’s just what I’ve had to learn…..
At the start of 2011, I was drawn to the fact that bloggers everywhere were choosing one word for 2011 and blogging about their one word. I had no idea at the time how much this word would evolve over the months, but for some reason I choose TRUST. With trust, came SURRENDER. I did a search in my email using the word “surrender” and over 25 emails popped up since January 1, 2011 with the word surrender in them. Some were emails I wrote, but most were emails from friends, blog readers or devotions I get via email that happen to have that word in them. Coincidence? No. God Speaking? Yes.
“But I began to sense God speaking to me: The answer for the trees and for me was warmth. The sun’s warmth eventually melted the ice and relieved the trees of their burden. Likewise, instead of continuing to wrestle with all my heavy questions, I began to surrender them to God and to dwell on the warmth of God’s love for me.”
What about the opposite of surrender? A few words that pop up in Google….. CONQUER, ATTACK….
I don’t even want to go on. So, if I’m not surrendering my husband, our relationship, our marriage to God, then what am I doing? I’m trying to conquer it, and maybe even attack it! But, the one word that comes to mind because it fits my personal case is CONTROL. When I feel I’m “helping” [control], God can not work in my husband, our marriage. It’s not until I surrender everything to the Lord that I will see changes. As long as I try to control every aspect of my marriage, I will never be free. But, when I TRUST Him with my marriage….now that’s encouraging.
When I think of the word “control”, I immediately think of the word “selfishness”. Do you? Let’s think about this. It’s actually pretty simple…..
One major way we can encourage our husbands is just to simply surrender our relationship. It may not even be with words at all. It may just be the fact that we are surrendering to Him. No control. no selfishness. Love. Love is what is left when you surrender. Love is what is there when selfishness is removed. We all want to love our husbands, right? How can we love our spouse if we aren’t surrendering? How can we encourage our spouse when we are conquering them and attacking them and trying to control them by trying to change them? AHHHHH! Stop the madness!
I recently heard Pastor Randy Bezet speak and he said something that made perfect sense that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to. We think success comes from strife…from trying harder. Maybe my marriage will be better if I just try harder…..Maybe my husband will be just like I want him to be if I tell [control] him how I want him to be…..But, he also said that doesn’t come from strife. When we are part of the Kingdom of God, success comes from SURRENDERING.
TRUST GOD. Period.
There is hope. It doesn’t take much to reverse the process. Just surrender. How? Well, in my case I always try to conquer, control, attack when I don’t know who I am….when I’m insecure. We must know ourselves and love ourselves first. If our spouse is to love us, trust us and our motives, then we must first trust Him. To trust Him, we must know Him. Right?
“I want to be an uncomplicated wife for my husband…I want to be the peaceful presence in his life…”
~ Holly Wagner, author of GodChicks and The Men They Love
I want to share with you a snippet of an email I got from a blog reader. She has walked the same road we’ve walked and she is such a dear friend and inspiration to me. She learned a lesson in surrendering her husband and relationship, too…..
“Up until that point, I had not cried, but sometime during the night I cried deep, gut-wrenching cries in desperate prayer for redemption from the disappointment, shame, pain, and fear …And, more importantly, I surrendered. I surrendered any control – perceived or otherwise – that I had over [my husband] … over our situation. I had desperately tried to hold it all together for so long. I let it all go. I gave it back to God, and I apologized begging him to take it. For the first time in my life, I held nothing.
So, it’s then that God can finally work. When you have a stance of surrender with zero to offer. It’s where God simultaneously had [my husband] and I both … me alone on our couch in our home and he in a hospital bed across town.”
Wow. What profound words.
Let’s just try this. Instead of living everyday of our life in battle trying to conquer, lets ask God to reveal what we need to change in ourselves. I’m pretty sure we’ll be in awe of what is revealed. The redemption that God brings out of our surrendering will send us on an amazing path.
“I’m reminded that we shouldn’t wait for God to break us, but rather, we must choose to be broken.
I wake every morning to face battles against the “beast” of self – I need a stack of white flags to wave at God! I do think our biggest battle we wage is against our own flesh and it’s desire to control and be god. The beast that is self wants to fight against God being God all the way, but when we surrender to Him – that is when the battle is won for our souls.”