The Significance of Surrender

Laine Lawson CraftBy Laine Lawson Craft6 Minutes

Excerpt taken from The Parent’s Battle Plan by Laine Lawson Craft.

Chapter 9
The Significance of Surrender


As parents, we tend to believe (either consciously, subconsciously or both) that we are able to control our family. And perhaps for large portions of time, we have good reason to think so. When our children are smaller, they typically obey our rules. Why would we not believe those behaviors would continue?

There is a saying that the smaller the child, the smaller the problems. This means that a scraped knee or small issues are easily healed. But the problems that can show up with bigger kids, like a citation for driving under the influence (DUI) or other life-altering problems, are not so easily resolved. As our adorable little tykes grow up to be disobedient teens and young adults, we experience the complex realization that we are no longer controlling many portions of their lives.

When we begin to recognize that our grip is loosening, we often feel forced to manipulate our children in ways that are meant to have them act or behave better. The more our children act up or disobey, the more we try to manage and control their actions and bad decisions. This merry-go-round parenting can spiral into an endless stream of push and be pushed. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out that we have become much like the kitten who perpetually chases its tail.

As all three of my children spiraled into the darkness of hell, the first thing I tried to do was regain control over them. I would punish wrong choices. I put boundaries on activities and social schedules. I tried everything I could think of to fashion their lives in such a way as to provide a better outcome for their behaviors. I only succeeded in failing my children and myself. I was not allowing God to control the situation or allowing Him to move through their wrong choices.

Instead of being a mom who was certain that God had things handled, I looked like a mean tyrant. As a result, my children’s disdain for me only got worse, which made them more defiant than ever. In turn, I felt as though I was responsible for their bad choices since I had been making wrong choices, too. We were all losing the battle!

The remedy for my miserable merry-go-round parenting cycle started when I realized that I had never been in control in the first place. My manipulation could never produce anything other than losing a battle. I had to give to God any perceived control that I thought I had over my children; I had to surrender them. In simple terms, surrender means “to give oneself up into the power of another.”1 This was yet another pivotal point in the war for my children against evil. If I truly believed that God had a plan for my children, then I would never be in control of their choices. I was only a parent to guide and protect them as best I could. As adults, we frequently reach out to God and call Him Father. It had not occurred to me that He was their actual parent in ways that I was not able to be.

When we hear the word surrender, we often think of it with a negative connotation. The word brings on feelings of loss, misery and even death. These are certainly things that we do not voluntarily sign up to participate in. The good news is that surrender to God can be easy. The type of surrender we are discussing is the act of handing everything over to Him.

When we look at this in the appropriate spiritual hierarchy format, God is the Father of all. We, as earthly parents, are symbolically handing our child back to God to affirm this truth. We are relinquishing control over our own lives and surrendering our children’s lives to acknowledge God’s supreme authority. In doing so, we open ourselves to His help in turning things around.

Our double surrender signifies that we have joined in partnership with Him and no longer consider ourselves the leader. We are willing soldiers in God’s army for the sake of our children. We open the door to allow other people and resources that He provides into the situation. Partnering with God means unlimited help is coming in ways we are not capable of imagining.

Unlike the prevailing mindset that when someone surrenders, they lose, when we surrender to God, we receive three of the greatest and most needed blessings: peace, confidence and hope.

Extracted from The Parent’s Battle Plan by Laine Lawson Craft, provided by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2023. Used by permission.

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