NEW! Intimate Connections

Take Our Current Survey

Three Things Survey

Answer a quick question about what you would like to have more of in your marriage

Popular Series

Click the arrow to show/hide series

Search Journey to Surrender

Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Lori Lowe, who has one of the best marriage blogs of the many that I follow, has a fabulous current post about the importance of pouring love on your spouse. Here’s part of what she wrote:
When you act in a loving—even sacrificial—manner, you experience “The Paradox of Giving.” This is the secret your grandparents knew about: It is in giving that we receive. The joy and love you give returns to you. Yes, it is risky to invest yourself fully. If you have chosen your partner well, the return is often much higher than expected. A couple who focuses on the other’s needs experiences joy and deep satisfaction that makes fleeting happiness look like leftover casserole—fine, but nothing to write home about.
Her post goes right to the heart of something that I’ve been writing over the past few days. It has to do with expounding on a statement I wrote toward the end of my Brief Summary of Surrendered Marriage:
The beauty of the bridal paradigm lies in what it calls you to give rather than what it permits you to demand.
Stop and read that again. Let it sink in. It's really important.

When you read what The Bible says about marriage, as in Ephesians 5, what are you looking for? Do you focus on what it says about your spouse’s role, about what you can ask/demand/coerce/expect from him or her? Do you mainly look for what you get? Are you seeking after your rights? Or do you instead look for what you are encouraged to give?

The bridal paradigm, the mindset that marriage should be modeled on the love relationship between Jesus and the church, calls you to focus on what you give rather than what you might receive. It’s an invitation to self-examination and self-sacrifice, what Lori calls sacrificial loving. I’m not talking about the kind of giving that one might do reluctantly or out of some sense of obligation. No, I’m talking about the kind of giving that Lori describes so well. It’s the kind of giving that overflows from a heart full of love; the kind that finds joy in “seeking not its own way” and finds delight in bringing happiness and fulfillment to another.

This is really the only way the bridal paradigm works.

The truth is, a husband who demands submission from his wife actually has no chance at all to obtain it from her, because true biblical submission can only be given, not taken. When he demands or coerces submission from her, it might result in her reluctant acquiescence or resentful compliance, perhaps even her fearful obedience, but certainly not her loving surrender and trust. Unless a wife makes it her choice to give her husband the gift of her surrender, unbidden, it will be fruitless and unsustainable. A husband can certainly play a part in this, enticing her toward surrender by his expression of unconditional love, showing her that she is cherished and adored, and by showing her that he is trustworthy. Surrender is invited by being Christ-like toward your wife. When a wife chooses to take the path of surrender for herself, amid this kind of atmosphere, her freely given gift of submission grows over time into a thing of lasting beauty.

Likewise, a wife must not coerce or attempt to manipulate her husband into a taking up his position of loving leadership. Her very act of trying to force him to step forward and lead puts her in charge. No, a husband must offer his leadership to her by willingly taking up the authority that God has placed on his shoulders, as a call to lovingly and sacrificially lead his wife and family. He must choose to be engaged with, involved in and concerned for his wife in an active and visible manner, not because she has manipulated him into it, and not because he has a thirst for power and control, but because he sees it as a God-given privilege to model the love of Christ to his bride and to lay down his life for her. How can a wife foster leadership in her husband without pushing or coercion? If a wife will show her husband genuine respect (at all times), express her confidence in him, and tell him she is thankful for his abilities and strengths, it will create an atmosphere where his leadership can naturally thrive.

The journey to surrender is a step-by-step journey toward the surrender of self, but more to the point, it’s a journey into discovering the joy of giving. When you both give yourself wholly to each other without precondition and without the expectation of a getting something in return, you begin to realize the beauty of the bridal paradigm.

I’ll close with a last quote from Lori’s insightful post. Just imagine a marriage where both husband and wife are living a lifestyle of giving in this way:
Give your respect, vulnerability, time, undivided attention, intimacy, patience, fidelity, commitment and devotion. Do it without keeping score. Do it without stopping. Do it with love.
(You can read the rest of Lori’s post on her Life Gems blog here.  I posted a while back about the ebook “Love Everyday,” Lori’s post was also her contribution to that project. You can download your own copy here. Almost 38,000 others have to date. Get it. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.)

But before you do that, answer this question: In what ways can you focus more on giving to and less on getting from your spouse?


Lori Lowe said...

Thanks so much for bringing my post to your readers' attention and for adding your own eloquent explanation. We are definitely on the same page. Best,
Lori Lowe

Scott said...

Lori, thanks for stopping by. From what I read in your blog we are indeed coming from the same place.

Kathleen Quiring | Project M said...

This is a lovely post, and so full of truth. As you know, I grew up around marriages that were constantly demanding things (love, servitude) from one another rather than offering them. This is a beautiful alternative. I love the way you summarize it in your statement ("The beauty of the bridal paradigm..."). Thanks for explaining it so well!

Scott said...

Thanks Kathleen. If only this was the common understanding of all couples! Lets continue to champion the cause...

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

We Have Moved!

Journey to Surrender
is now

Stay here if you want to search old content.

Click on over if you want to see the latest and greatest!

Connect With Us

Subscribe by email and never miss a post!

New subscribers will receive a free copy of my ebook :

How to Have a Succ-Sex-Full Marriage

My new Heaven Made Marriage Facebook page has lots of extra marriage-related stuff not found on my blog.

Follow Journey to Surrender on Twitter: @marriagejourney.

Subscribe via

Member of:
Christian Marriage Bloggers Association Members Badge

Contributing Writer: