Christian Living


Marriage 911 05/22/18

Marrieds, Learn the Art of Surrender

Husband with white flag of surrender

Giving up or giving in is not much valued in our culture, where "winning is everything." You rarely hear the words 'surrender' or 'just give in.' From an early age, we are taught to persist, fight on, stick to it. 'Holding your own' is valued while 'deferring to others' is rarely discussed.

I met with a group of courageous men recently who are trying to learn the art of surrender. Having come from a place of selfishness that has jeopardized their marriage they are practicing considering their mate and actually seeing her needs as just as important as their own, if not more so. Having nearly lost their mate because of their selfish behavior, they now are trying to do the opposite of what comes naturally--to place her needs ahead of their own.

To get help for your marriage from Dr. Hawkins and his qualified staff, please visit The Marriage Recovery Center website or call 206-219-0145.

"What about what I want?" one man said quickly snapped. "Do I have to give up me to be loved by her?"

Good question, though I could hear his selfish attitude in his question.

"Bear in mind that for years you've placed your needs fully ahead of hers," I said. "Remember also that she is now out of gas. She is tired of striving for your attention. She is tired of having to speak loudly to be heard. She is tried of having her voice squelched, silenced, and diminished. She is weary of asking you to consider her needs. Is this really the time to worry about losing yourself?"

"I'm with him," another man said, clearly feeling threatened. "I think it should be a 50/50 deal. Aren't marriages supposed to be mutual? Isn't she supposed to also think of my needs?"

Again, these are good points.

"Yes," I said. "In a healthy marriage you are both looking after each other's needs. You listen to one another and seek solutions that benefit and enhance one another. But again, bear in mind where you are in your marriage today. You've nearly lost her because of your domination. It is time for you to surrender."

Another man jumped in, supporting the idea of surrender.

"I think we need to show our loyalty to our wives. We need to show them that we want to be with them. We need to listen closely to every request they make and surrender to it. We need to protect our wives. We need to consult them on every decision and defer to them. We've got some ground to win back."

Well said.

Here are a few more ideas on the issue of loving surrender:

1. Consider the ways you have opposed your mate.

Perhaps your lack of surrender is less than total dominance, but still feels overwhelming. Consider how you may push your agenda, challenging your mate. Consider ways they may feel voiceless and powerless.  

2. Consider taking ownership and apologizing for your opposition.

After reflecting on this opposition, take ownership. Consider the impact of your oppositional attitude and the impact it has had on your mate. Take ownership, apologize and make a clear statement as to how you will change.

3. Consider ways you can empower your mate and encourage their voice.

Change requires seeing your previous actions, owning the destructive impact, repenting of it and allowing God to change you. Change often means doing the opposite of what we have been doing. Consider ways you can empower your mate to have a strong and impactful voice;

4. Consider ways you might submit to your mate on a daily basis.

Submission is a daily process, occurring in small and large actions. Consider the small, every day actions that will share with your mate that you are making changes.

5. Consider ways your heart needs to change.

Change begins in the heart. "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Pray that God would reveal what is truly in your heart and ask God to change your heart, your mind and your actions. Then notice the gradual change in your marriage.

Are you ready for submission? If you would like more information on cultivating a heart of submission, we are here to help. Share your feedback or send a confidential note to me at info@marriagerecoverycenter.com and read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on my website www.MarriageRecoveryCenter.com.You'll find videos and podcasts on saving a troubled marriage, our special Marriage Intensives, codependency and affair-proofing your marriage.

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