How Surrender Unlocks the Door in Your Life and Marriage

God has been taking me on a journey that’s involved more unpacking than packing. That doesn’t mean I haven’t packed my actual bags and traveled on vacation this summer, because I have! 😉

Surrender to God - Find out what this looks like and how it can free you in marriage and life at MM. #surrender #Bible #free #freedom #desires #idol #trust #God #Christ #verses #marriage #relationships

In fact, I just got back from visiting my family and friends in parts of Tennessee and North Carolina. During those times, I physically relaxed and also challenged myself—hiking the hills of Tennessee. See photos below!

But the spiritual journey that God has taken me on has truly given me profound rest and is challenging me in ways like only He can.

It’s just that I’ve been unsettled in my blogging life and ministry endeavors for quite some time now. Although I love serving in both of these spheres, God has been gently nudging me to prune certain areas not only of my ministry but also of my life. 

That’s why I want to share just a slice of what God has been doing in my life through prayer, confession, and His word these past few months. 

I hope that my journey will encourage you to pursue God more. That you’ll unpack your “bags” like I’ve been doing so that you can join me in leaving your idols at His feet. 

Journey of Surrender

Back in February 2021, I began to study the book of Romans using my WORTHY method. This book has been more challenging, even frustrating, for me to understand than any Scripture that I’ve studied so far using my method.

That said, it has rewarded me and, more importantly, is freeing me in so many ways as well. 

One passage that stands out to me—regarding this freedom that I enjoy through Christ—is Romans 6:13-14 . . . 

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 

[bctt tweet=”Thank the Lord for His wonderful grace! It is the key that unlocks the chains and dominion of sin. Romans 6:13-14 #Freedom #grace” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

This passage essentially highlights how believers are tempted every day to use our members (body parts) as instruments (even weapons) for the purpose of unrighteousness and sin. 

During my study of this text, I came across a story that David Guzik of Enduringword.com shared. I believe it really helps to illustrate this problem for believers. 

In the fourteenth century two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in what is now Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus,” a Latin nickname meaning “fat,” for he was horribly obese. 

After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him and assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised a curious imprisonment. 

He had a room in the castle built around “Crassus,” a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald that he could regain his land and his title any time that he wanted to. 

All he would have to do is leave the room. 

The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near-normal size. 

All Raynald needed to do was diet down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had before his fall. 

However, his younger brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty foods, and Raynald’s desire to be free never won out over his desire to eat. 

Some would accuse Duke Edward of being cruel to his older brother, but he would simply reply, “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.” 

But Raynald stayed in that room for ten years, until Edward himself was killed in battle.

With that Scripture and this illustration in mind, are you . . .

  • In a contentious and restrictive marriage because you feast every day on bitter and/or distrustful thoughts about your spouse?
  • Serving up critical words to your spouse in hopes of keeping him or her defeated and a prisoner of your disdain? 
  • Not so much feasting on hateful thoughts as you are dining on porn or illicit fantasies, hoping these will help you escape your spouse and marriage?

Truth is, these will only fatten your lusts and, eventually, kill the love you and your spouse feel for one another. 

  • Or are you looking to some “idol” and/or “addiction” that isn’t directly related to your spouse and marriage but to some unfulfilled desire in your life?

As for me, God has convicted me about the many good things I want in life because I often desire them more than I want God Himself!

And believe me, I hold no illusion that this is any less dangerous than the idols of bitterness or lust, etc. 

[bctt tweet=”If we hold on to anything in our hearts more than we hold on to God, we are making ourselves prisoners in a dungeon with an open door! Find out why I say this at MM! ” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

In the weeks to come, I will be sharing what I’ve been doing to unpack and free myself from this and other idols so that I can walk in Christ’s freedom. Know that God is freeing me more and more with each item I unpack and surrender at His feet. 

Maybe it’s a journey and process you need to take as well so that you can walk in freedom through the door God opens for you!

Click the link to read other posts in this Surrender Series.

*Featured image above by Elaine Tu

Now to my trip . . .

Me “Bebe” with our youngest grandson, Ezra.
Papa G and our youngest grandson Ezzie (Ezra)!
Our son Jordan and our oldest grandson Samson with his “money” truck we gave him.
What I saw on my morning walks in Tennessee!
Gary preaching a “fire and brimstone” sermon at historic Cades Cove church.
Our good friends Nickie and Kelly and I are being “preached at” in Cades Cove!

What is one idol and desire that you need to unpack and surrender to the Lord? 

How can you relate to Raynald from the story either currently or in the past? 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Remember Me Monday, Legacy Linkup, Inspire Me MondayPurposeful Faith, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge WednesdayWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth, and Faith on Fire Friday.

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7 responses to “How Surrender Unlocks the Door in Your Life and Marriage”

  1. Interesting times here…around July 4 I ran a sustained fever of 107, and for an adult with two cancer’s that’s not survivable.

    But here I am, a genuine miracle. The cancers were not healed though, and I have been made to understand by the Almighty that cancer is my Calvary.

    I surrender to, and embrace His will.

    I thought I was a dead man,
    goose well and truly cooked,
    but I was made to understand
    that however bad it looked,
    I was not yet marked to die,
    that work here was not done,
    that there were routes I’d yet to ply
    and races yet to run,
    and though some days ahead be dark,
    and all be fraught with pain,
    in Matthew, John, and Luke, and Mark,
    forever and again,
    I’d find the Friend to walk with me
    through my cancer’s Calvary.

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    1. I just studied Rom. 8:17-19 today, Andrew. And, though it seems strange to the world, as Christ-followers, we are called to suffer with Christ. The context of this passage is about being persecuted for our faith. But you are suffering because you (and I) live in a fallen world, full of pain and loss. Yet you suffer through that day after day, knowing and proclaiming your trust in our Savior, which in my opinion qualifies! 😉 I’m praying for you every day even if I grow quiet here at MM. Btw, I’m going to be disabling comments for a few months, I believe. I’m conflicted about it because I really love seeing you and others pop up here. I just want to “sort of” pull back and that seems like a way to do it better.

      Keep hanging in there, making prose and encouraging us to follow hard after Jesus!

      Like

  2. Love the pictures and very glad you had a good vacation! Your post is full of wisdom and challenging insight.

    That passage from Romans is shockingly intimate – as if I am taking and lending my body to the Wrong One.

    The story about Raynald is perfect: even putting my idols aside, and however much I dislike my prison, my lack of self-control means I can’t fit through the door to freedom.

    Your first three questions basically describe a day out I had with my wife yesterday! (It didn’t go too well) and help me interpret what happened and what I should do.

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    1. Thanks, David! Yes, it was a really good vacation. A very restful and fun time. Thanks also for the kind words about this post. Always helps to know it’s making a positive impact. You are being an encourager in my online Christian community! 😉

      Yes, it is very intimate. So much of where I’m studying Romans is very intimate (chapter 8). I am praying for you that you are able to resist any tempting indulgences simply because they feel good in the moment. Praying that you are able to learn how to love Sara in the hard and painful places of marriage. That’s where God makes love grow deepest of all, when it’s about giving sacrificially like Jesus did for us.

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  3. Oh Beth, it’s so wonderful to see you and your family in action! Thank you for sharing these sweet pics and for giving us a bit of an update on life. Your grandsons are beautiful!

    ;-}

    And yes, too, to the reminder of the damage our careless, critical words can do.

    Well taken.

    Hugs.

    Like

    1. I’m so glad you stopped by, my faithful friend! It encourages me to know it encourages you and gives you a glimpse into my life right now. Just wish my grandsons lived closer or that we lived closer to them! 😉 Maybe one day!

      Yes, a great reminder to us all. No need to imprison others with our words or stay imprisoned by what we think about them. Wasted moments when, through Christ, we can easily escape! Love you, girlfriend!

      Like

  4. […] How Surrender Unlocks the Door in Your Life and Marriage, Messy Marriage […]

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