What do you think of when you think of surrendering?
I think of waving the white flag. Giving up. Giving my freedom, choices, and care to another. Historically speaking surrender is not a good thing. It doesn’t benefit the one surrendering. The world’s view of surrender wreaks of a clear winner and loser.
Is this how you see surrender? If you surrender to someone do you think you are losing? Giving up freedom? Handing your choices to someone who hasn’t lived your life?
But I want to challenge your thinking. Take the popular opinion of surrender and turn it upside down. What does surrendering our families to Jesus look like? What does it mean for us and our kids? Are we losing? Have we just fought a bloody and inhumane battle and are now waving the white flag?
No. Not at all. That isn’t what surrendering to Jesus means.
In fact, when we surrender to Jesus our battles are not even fought by us. And the war has already been won. By the very grace of God, what we get with our surrender is sweet freedom. A light yoke. Freedom from burden, sin, and death. We get relief and hope in what can be a very hard life.
I don’t know about you but that is a surrender I don’t want to avoid. To be honest, I want to run towards that surrender. I want to run to what Jesus has to offer.
As I’m sure you have noticed, parenting is hard. Being married is hard. Both together feel impossible some days. This is where surrender comes in.
When Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light, he meant it. He meant it for every single part of your life. He didn’t say “my yoke is easy and my burden is light except for when it comes to family. In that case, you are on your own.”
He wants us to surrender our kids and our marriages to him. He wants us to say “I can’t do this on my own. I need your help. I surrender my ideas, plans, kids, spouse, and myself to your will. Do it your way.” He wants to see you waving the white flag as you give up your selfish desires and wrong ways of thinking.
Once you surrender and give your family over to Jesus, he can do all of the heavy lifting. He can produce the heart change, perform the miracles, and transform your family into the family he made it to be.
I don’t know about you but that is exciting to me. Unlike the surrender we talked about in the beginning, this surrender doesn’t mean surrendering our identity. It is counterintuitive. Our surrender to Christ means fully realizing our identity and becoming who we were created to be.
The same goes for our family. If we want our kids to surrender their lives to Christ and become who they were created to be then we need to set the example in our lives. We can do that by daily surrendering our own selfish will for our families to God.
When a country surrenders they can’t always trust that the new ruling party has their best interest in mind. But with Jesus, we never have to worry about that. He takes our frail shadow of good things and he exchanges them for his perfect will for our lives.
His best is something that we can’t fathom. We think we know best but it is Easy Mac compared to the eight-course feast God has for us.
When we fail to surrender we are clutching at less than. We are holding dear something far from the best. It reminds me of the times when I want to give good gifts to my children but they want to hold on to bad attitudes and old toys. I have so much better for them if they would only trust that I have their very best in mind.
And if I want to give good gifts to my children and have their best in mind then how much more so with God? How much better does God have for us? His word says he won’t give us a snake instead of a fish or a stone instead of bread. We can trust him. Which means we can surrender our families fully to him.
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Pontius: email@example.com
Debra Kirby: firstname.lastname@example.org