In Part I of our series, we explored the attitude of faith and its importance to recovering from infidelity. Our foundation for this series is Matt 11:28-30. Verse 29 focuses on the second two attitudes for recovery: humility and surrender. Today we will focus on surrender.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NLT
Jesus is using a metaphor for surrender when He speaks about a “yoke”. A yoke is traditionally a wooden beam that connects two oxen together for the purpose of pulling a heavy plough. The use of “my yoke” implies you can connect yourself spiritually with God and allow Him to do the heavy pulling. The alternative is to latch on to some other “thing” and try to let it carry you through this seemingly impossible task of healing your marriage.
The Great Battle
In a nutshell, you will constantly struggle in your recovery with the great battle between surrendering to your desires or the desires of the Spirit of God. The Bible references this battle as one between Spirit and flesh (flesh being my human desires). Gal 5:17 When I have those moments of wanting to forgive her, wanting to extend grace and wanting to give mercy, the flesh will whisper in my ear, “She is a horrible person, undeserving of grace, forgiveness and mercy. She inflicted so much pain and hurt, she needs to suffer.”
I will admit, it is very hard to surrender to God’s ways sometimes. In my mind, what my wife did to me was brutal. If you have been on the receiving end of betrayal, you feel like your suffering outweighs the offender’s by a million to one. I lay in bed at night, tossing and turning, close to tears if not already weeping while she lays peacefully asleep next to me. Yes, most scholars would agree that God allows for divorce in cases of adultery. Yet that does not mean God wants to see your marriage end. Which do I surrender to: divorce or remaining married? The answer is you connect deeply with God and surrender to the choice He leads you to.
The Lessons In It All
I read a lot of posts in online forums from people who have been ravaged by adultery in their marriage. Even years later, many are bitter and angry; they haven’t recovered.
In verse 30, Jesus says that His yoke is “easy to bear” and the burden is “light”. God has healed me in ways I never imagined possible simply because I desired to surrender to Him. Relative to the burdens that others carry as a result of adultery, mine are light. Not because it wasn’t devastating but because God has granted me His supernatural ability (grace) to bear it and receive His healing.
Have I learned a lot through this tragedy? Absolutely! First and foremost, I learned that my faith is genuine and God is real. I also learned what inexplicable suffering and pain are. I learned that those we love most can hurt us most deeply. I learned that there is no relational damage beyond God’s power to heal and restore. I learned that triggers can fade over time.
Jesus is clear that if you surrender to His ways, He will teach you things and you WILL find rest for your soul. Surrender is a heart of willingness and obedience to follow; you agree to stop fighting. Is your desire to surrender to God and follow Him wherever it leads?