A Surrendered Heart: It’s a Choice

Welcome to A Surrendered Heart: A Wife’s Journey to Love the Jesus Way. Click on the “Leave a Comment” button on each post to add your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the discussion. If you are a newsletter subscriber, please click through to this post on my website to add your comments to the discussion to be read by everyone. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! God be praised for the gift of marriage and for allowing us to grow in Him.

Read Lesson 1:  Why I Married This Guy
Read Lesson 2: So, What Does Your Husband Do?
Read Lesson 3: How Selfish is Your Prayer?
Read Lesson 4: Serve Because I Want To

Surrendered Heart Lesson 5

My husband is not perfect. (Beginning first with the fact that he chose to marry an imperfect woman. That would be me.)

Every day I have to choose how I respond to each imperfection displayed in my husband. When he is forgetful, how will I respond? When he isn’t working within my time frame, how will I respond? When he doesn’t see things from my point of view, how will I respond?

It is way too easy to respond to imperfections with annoyance and frustration. If you’re like me, you’ve found that if you’re annoyed at one thing, it’s very easy to become annoyed with twelve other things too. I certainly don’t need to be a “shrug everything off” wife, offering a giggle and a kiss each time my husband’s human side shows. But nothing justifies my ugly and sinful response. Nothing.

You and I have some choices to make. We can choose to love the Jesus way – in complete surrender – letting the Holy Spirit be at work; or we can take a nice long soak in an ugly puddle of selfishness. Why we would ever choose the latter is beyond me. But because of our human tendency to look inward as we try to problem solve without the help of Jesus, I fear that you and I too often find ourselves plopped right down in that muddy pit.

Too often we can find ourselves in a state of fear, worry, and frustration as we refuse to give up the control that ironically – we don’t even have in the first place. As we make our choices, we need to recognize this truth: When we refuse to let go of control, we are very much out of control. When we let go, surrendering our hearts to Jesus’ control – everything suddenly becomes peaceful. Problems may not vanish, but the peace is there, even if it passes understanding.

So how do we do this? How do we choose the right way? How do we make the choice to love our husband the Jesus way?

Luke 92324

Download Follow Me Printable Here

Two key points come from this verse:

  1. We must deny self.
  2. We must take up our cross daily.

Today. Then again tomorrow. And also the day after that. We have to deny our selfish thoughts and actions daily. Jesus commanded this because He knew that Satan would see to it that our selfish side would constantly fight to win our mind and heart focus. We must make the choice daily to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.

The result? Peace. Joy. Love. The fruit of the Spirit at work in a surrendered heart.

Take some time now to put your godly choices in writing.

Today I Choose

Download Today I Choose Printable Here

If you and I choose to let the Spirit work in our hearts – loving our husbands (and others) the Jesus way will be a peaceful and joyful effort. It is a choice. Which choice will you make?

Up For Discussion…Share With Us!

  • Share some ways you find that it is easy to love your husband!
  • What does it look like to “deny yourself and take up your cross daily?”
  • What ways can you choose to love your husband in a more Christ-like way?

Comments

  1. mrs.p says

    I find it every easy to love my hubby but sometimes its hard to like. For me “to deny myself and take up the cross” for me is keeping a distance between me and some of my family. Especially difficult when one of them is my daughter but the only thing I can do is pray and set example. I can choose to honor him in anyway I can. We are going camping I will have everything ready and when he gets home. The only thing he has to do is hook up the camper.

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    Laura Reply:

    Choosing to honor him in anyway you can – I love that. :)

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  2. Hannah says

    I just want to say thank you for this Bible study. A friend and I have been doing it together, reading your posts each week and emailing our thoughts, and pouring out our hearts to each other. It has blessed us greatly! It has also come at just the right time for both of us (very providential) as God is doing mighty things in our families. Praise God for the ways He is using you to bless us and many others!

    As for the lesson this week:

    I choose to give the uncertainties of our finances to Him, knowing He is working in my husband just as much as me. I choose to care for my husband’s needs and serve him because that is what my Father has called me to do, regardless of life’s demands or my husband’s responses. I choose to be encouraging, not discouraging, because a gentle answer turns away wrath. I choose to trust that in His timing and way He will fulfill His promises to me.

    To God be the glory!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I love hearing that you are doing this study via email with your friend. That makes my day! Your husbands are so blessed by you taking time to focus on loving them better. Beautiful. :)

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  3. Margaret says

    I have been thinking about how to answer this. I have been following this study and really enjoy it, but the questions are hard to answer.
    You see three and half years ago my dear husband was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or as it is know in the U.S.; Lou Gehrig’s disease. Yes, that disease that everyone was dumping ice on their heads and/or donating money.
    A diagnosis of a disease like ALS is a real game changer. Your world is turned upside down. Roles change. Plans change. It makes you appreciate every day.
    For me I have to “take up my cross” daily and rely on God’s grace to carry through the day. My husband can still talk but at times it is difficult to understand him. He gets frustrated which in turns causes me to get frustrated. I have to take a deep breath, pray and focus on one word at time.
    He can still walk with the help of a cane or walker. It slows me down and I can’t be in hurry, but sometimes I need to move quicker. As much as I would like to leave him at home, he needs to get out and be useful. So I plan our trips out for one or two a day.
    He still has use of his hands and arms, but has lost a lot of upper body muscle. He now needs help dressing and anything where he has to lift his arms above his head.
    All this has cause me to really appreciate him. His body has changed but inside he is still the man I have always known and loved. We both have learned to overcome the frustrations with love and lots of prayer.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Dear Margaret,
    I understand all to well what you’re going through watching him suffer with ALS as that is the disease that took my Mom almost 11 years ago. I hurt with you over what you are going through.

    You said it best when you said, “His body has changed but inside he is still the man I have always known and loved.” YES. If there was a redeeming factor of that disease, this would be the one. The mind is left alone, they can still love and be loved by us.

    Wishing I could help in more ways than conversation and prayer, but I know prayer is the most powerful service I can offer – and so I pray for you. Thank you for taking up your cross daily to love your husband with a surrendered heart. God will continue to give you the strength you need to persevere through this.

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  4. Stacey says

    Each week as I have read the study, enjoying and looking forward to each week, I decided to print off the printable and fill it out. Each week I have given them to my husband. It makes me be very honest and is showing him my heart and desires, which I can sometimes hide very easily to keep it safe. My husband has not said much but I am thankful to have an opportunity to share my heart with him in a way that I hadn’t thought of. Then those days that my attitude is ugly, I hope that he is understanding my heart more to be able to not take my actions personally and know that I love him dearly.
    Thank you for doing the study!
    As for what I wrote to my husband this week…I choose to continue to walk with God allowing Him to change my heart and attitude, so that I can love him and show him love like Jesus. Not perfectly, but passionately!

    [Reply]

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