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Thursday, March 8, 2012

This past weekend I attended the LIFT worship leader conference, held here in Atlanta and sponsored by Passion City Church, which is headed by Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin of Passion fame. During the weekend I had my first chance to hear the Chris Tomlin song called “White Flag.” I immediately thought to myself, there’s definitely a post in this song!

The chorus of the song goes like this:
We raise our white flags
We surrender all to you
All for you
We raise our white flag
The war is over Love has come
Your love has won
What Battle?

“But I’m not at war with my wife!” you say. “My husband and I aren’t doing battle!” Well, I’m glad for that, but that’s not really the kind of battle I mean.

The battle I’m referring to is a much more subtle one. In fact, the subtlety is the biggest problem with this particular conflict. It is a war we often wage without even being aware of it.

I’m talking about the battle for your self.

In marriage, as in other areas, we all have a natural tendency to push for what we see as our rights. Without thinking about it overtly, we promote our personal agendas, question whether or not things are “fair” to us, and push to have our expectations met.

It’s as natural and easy as breathing. It happens by default.

Raise the White Flag of Surrender

When I talk about a couple to living a Surrendered Marriage, I’m mainly talking about the surrender in this battle for self.

Here’s a strange truth: if you win this battle you actually lose, but if you give up this battle you win.

Yeah, that sounds a little crazy. It sounds backwards. But the truth is that a lot of Kingdom principles work completely in reverse: the last shall be first, lose your life to find it, the greatest will be the servant of all, etc.

If you are mostly fighting for your “self” (your rights, agenda, fair share and expectations), then you are hurting your marriage and doing damage to your spouse. And because you are one flesh, even if you win, you really lose. You lose intimacy in your relationship.  You lose the joy of giving freely to another.  You lose the delight found in delighting your spouse.  You lose the atmosphere of respect and honor in your marriage.

So maybe it’s time to raise the white flag on this battle for self. I’m not saying you should lose the battle; I’m saying you should give it up. I'm asking you to surrender. Chose instead to wage an altogether different battle; one for your spouse and your marriage. That means laying aside your rights and expectations and choosing instead to focus on what you might give to your spouse in order to bless him or her.

Surrender your self, and let your marriage win!

Let Love Win

As the chorus above concludes, choose to let love win.

Love wins when you surrender into one another. Love wins when you let go of expectations and rights. Love wins when you give love to one another unconditionally and abundantly. Love wins when grace and mercy abound.

Love can really only win when you raise the white flag on the battle for self.

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