Surrender Is Best For Me


Our daughter, Rebecca, was in competitive gymnastics during her elementary school years. Agility and flexibility were part of her DNA, so, twisting, tumbling, the splits, and a host of other complex skills were relatively easy for her.

For me it was a true delight to watch her practice and perform in meets.  Imagining her quitting was difficult….that is what my husband wanted her to do.

So Dennis and I began a very long conversation about the cost, financially and as a time commitment for her, for us and our entire family,  as we considered her continuing to a higher level of competitive gymnastics.

For three long months, we went back and forth, back and forth on the pros and cons of the option in front of us.  (For the  full-length, dramatic version of  of our conversation, check out my book Letters to My Daughters.)

One day, after many mental gymnastics meets of my own, I came to a personal conclusion.  My thinking went something like this:

I know that I am a Christian.
That means my life is not my own, I belong to Jesus.
Years ago and many times since, I have surrendered my heart and my will to His.
He has never left me.
His will has always been what’s best for me.

I know what the Bible says to me about being a wife.
I also believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God.
Therefore, I must once again choose to believe God’s words to me are still true and relevant.
His Word tells me to follow—or submit, the word we women love to hate—l to my husband’s leadership.

I don’t want to follow him, Lord, but I do want to obey You.
So because I know YOU don’t makes mistakes, I choose today to surrender my desires for my daughter and my will to You.
And one last time, I pray you will change my husband’s mind.

The rest of this story is that God didn’t change my husband as I had hoped, but instead changed my perspective to see what the long-term costs would mean for all of us. God gave me peace that this was, in fact, His leading us through my husband. It happened because I surrendered to God and His will with a willingness to follow my husband.

This is but one of the thousands of times I have surrendered my heart, will, desires, dreams, hopes, fears, and my everything to my Savior, Jesus.

Surrender is the doorway to the life He came to give you and me. And it is a daily need.

Though my desire is to begin each day with renewed surrender sometimes my first waking thoughts are consumed with all the to dos before me, or with anxiety and what ifs. Eventually, I remember to give it all to Jesus and resume my day with a surrendered heart.

May the words and tune of this old hymn get stuck in your head, reminding you over and over that to surrender to Jesus your Savior is always in your best interest.


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30 thoughts on “Surrender Is Best For Me”

  1. Danielle Morrison

    This is awful. Your job is to provide for your kids. If things are expensive, it’s your job to work harder. I would NEVER take my children out of something they enjoy. Your daughter was probably heart broken. And I do not agree with submitting to my husband. He would find himself suddenly single if he ever intimated I “submit”.

    1. Barbara Rainey

      Danielle, thank you for your comment and for sharing your opinion. Our blog is focused on faith based living and decisions. This post is a small part of my story in choosing to surrender and walk by faith. I didn’t do it perfectly but the Lord helped me (and us) to make decisions that would honor Him and part of that is doing what was/is best for our family. It’s ok that we disagree but I hope that you will continue to read our blog and find encouragement along the way.

      PS–Rebecca wasn’t heartbroken about having to quit gymnastics.

    2. Years ago and many tears shed, I chose to put my children before my husband. I did not give him the chance to lead our famil. A decision I will always regret. It cost me my husband. We are still married, however separated for 9 years. Neither of us will file for divorce. I’m not sure of his reasons but I am sure of mine. I have grown a lot as a Christian during these past 9 years. I also know I will continue to grow. Perhaps it took my husband leaving for me to grow in my faith. All I know is I wish I could have a second chance to put God first, my husband next and then my children. I love my Lord Jesus with all my heart and submitting is not always easy but I have learned it is best. Who knows, God may bring him home some day. Until then I will continue to walk by faith and trust God with all things.

      1. barbara rainey

        If you are not divorced there is great hope for your marriage to be renewed. I know so many couples who have come to our Weekend To Remember Getaways ready to call it quits but instead renewed their vows. We’d love to have you attend as well. If you’d like our team will pray for you and your husband. Let us know.

      2. Pray for marriage restoration. Nothing is impossible for God. Rejoice ministries has been a God send to me as I pray for my marriage.

    3. I hope you didn’t misunderstand that there was any biblical instructions for a husband to submit their wives. Instead wives are commanded to submit. We (wives) were created to be helpers which is the same as the Holy Spirit being our Helper. Certainly no one considers the Holy Spirit as lowly or under humans but still our Helper. Praise God.

  2. Kathleen MacEllis

    Daphne, I do not believe that we are called to submit to husband’s who are not mentally or spiritually sound. I’ve done that. It doesn’t work. You must lean on God … and your own common sense. We must trust completely in God. Others will let us down.

  3. Surrender, the same weapon Jesus used all the way to the cross. John 6:38 tells me Jesus knows the way and He gave me an example. But in my surrender I find my precious Savior and His peace

    1. For months I have agonized over how to handle my husbands decline as he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He still has many lucid moments, even days at a time. My agony revolves around when to honor his ideas and when to override him for his own good. Your discussion has revealed to me that I should honor his “head of household” opinions on his lucid days as much as possible; and ask the Lord to reveal those times to me.

      1. barbara rainey

        bless you Pam.
        God will honor your desire to follow your husband as much as you can.
        Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Daphne, I believe that surrender to your husband is just one of many things God has said to us so that we would know his will. I don’t believe that it is without some sanity check against other parts of the bible. I think we are to take the spirit of what He intended with that verse, search our hearts to be sure that they are in the right place and if we find that it is, realize that we are in obedience with that verse and move on to other verses. It would not be biblical to take a single verse and focus solely on that one verse (tree) and miss the Bible in its entirety (forest) because then we would surely miss His desire for our lives. We wives are also called to be helpers to our husbands. A husbands needs are more than what a wife can provide him by simply submitting to his authority. Of course I don’t know what your husband needs from you besides consistent prayer, but I will pray for you that God will help you with this very difficult situation, to give you wisdom to know what to do and for strength and for him to bring people into your life and his who can help you both with this challenge. God has allowed it to be part of your life for some reason only He knows. I will pray that He use this experience for good as he promised in Romans 8:28. May God bless you and your family.

  5. Women and men often forget,the bible says we should submit to one another. Not just the woman submit. We should try to keep the peace. If you can’t afford the classes then don’t go into debt,that’s plain wisdom.

    1. barbara rainey

      Yes Emi you are correct. We are told to submit to one another. We do that in our marriage often. But in the specific instructions regarding marriage in the bible wives are told to submit to their husbands not husbands to wives.
      Today on a facebook live post like I shared that submission is easy when we both agree. It’s when I think he is wrong that following is hard. That’s when after lots of conversation if we still don’t agree, as I shared in my post, I choose to follow or submit. In our marriage it has been rare that we don’t come to a mutual agreement.
      And the debate about gymnastics was not because of the cost financially, but the cost relationally. She was spending hours at the gym and less and less time at home. We wanted more time with her.

  6. It is SO hard to surrender. often, I flat out, don’t want to. But I do want a relationship with my Heavenly Father….
    Thank you for an honest recount of your struggle to obey your husband

  7. Pamela Robinson

    Thank you for sharing this. I am touched because I have to surrender my will to My Lord, for he knows what is best for me. I truly can testify to this a zillion times over. This word is for me, and I was just praying quietly in my spirit when I ran across this.
    My your family continue to walk upright in the Lord and remain reliant on Him… Good Night.

  8. Thank you for the reminder to surrender daily to Gods will and to surrender to my husband. How much longer can I surrender to a husband who chose to go back to an old habit of drugs. I prayed, I cried but I do not know what to do when I cannot pay the bill by myself

  9. I really needed to read this. Seems like surrendering is a very hard thing for me and in some ways I think it might be tied to lack of faith and trust. Thank you for sharing.

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