Surrender to Christ seriously means surrender.
If you’re a Christian, that means you surrendered your life to Christ. Surrender means you literally die to yourself – your nature, your wants, your will, and you begin to live for Christ. Your surrender to Christ was day one of your new vocation, your first day on the job, if you will. And since you don’t retire until you expire, you must continue to surrender to Christ daily, sometimes hourly or minute by minute. So, if you haven’t caught this yet, part of being a Christian is being Jesus in the flesh to others. People need to see God at work in our lives, and that includes our marriages. So, if you’re married, then your marriage is one of the things God will use to make you more like Jesus.
The goal is God’s Image and Mission.
Being a Christian is about God’s image in us and God’s mission through us. From the four times I have read the Bible and the countless trainings I have attended at The Well Training and Discipleship Ministry, I know that everything encompassed from Genesis to Revelation is all about the Imago Dei and the Missio Dei. The Image of God is about becoming a good representation of Jesus and the Mission of God is about our contribution to making disciples, a.k.a. helping others to know God, become like Jesus, and participate in the work of the Holy Spirit.
A marriage under God’s authority is key to transformation.
So, if marriage is part of your discipleship, the first thing you must surrender to is God’s authority over your marriage. A marriage under God’s authority is characterized by things like joy, kindness, mercy, purity, good deeds, sincerity and so much more.
God aims to transform us, and marriage exposes in us what still needs to be transformed. You must choose to cooperate with God and trust that He is using all things, seen and unseen, to make you more and more like Jesus. As that happens, your spouse, family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else you meet each day, sees Jesus in you.
Marriage is one of the ways God accomplishes His good work in you (Philippians 1:6). Unfortunately, we tend to marry people who are unlike ourselves, and maybe even extremely different. The good news is that God uses the spouse you chose (hopefully no one held a gun to your head on your wedding day!) to show you the parts of you that still need saving.
Back to surrender…
Following Jesus means ongoing surrender. Ongoing surrender is about allowing Jesus to rule and reign in EVERY area of your life. As a Christian wife you must surrender to what you feel like you are entitled to sometimes. You might need to surrender what you think your spouse should do or how you think they should change. You might need to surrender what you think your marriage was supposed to look like. Regardless, a constant prayer might be to ask God to reveal anything you are saying or doing that prohibits your husband from seeing God through you. 1 Peter 3:1 tells us very clearly that if “your husband does not believe The Word, they will be persuaded to believe without anyone saying a word to them. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live.”
Other-centered vs. me-centered
God’s purposes for marriage extend far beyond any personal quest for happiness. You must fight to keep God’s design of an other-centered union in this me-centered world. You must choose to focus on your husbands’ strengths rather than his weaknesses. Encourage rather than criticize. Pray for your husband instead of gossiping about his failures. Learn and live what Christ teaches about relating to and loving others. Gary Thomas, the author of the book Sacred Marriage, suggests praying this helpful prayer each day: “Lord, how can I love my husband today like he has never been loved and never will be loved?” Surrender to God in life and marriage equals growth as a child of God and disciple of Jesus. So, surrender much and grow well!