If you look up the definition of the word yield, you might find something like this: to surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another, hand over possession of , to surrender or submit (oneself) to another, to give up and cease resistance or contention, to give way to pressure or influence, submit to urging, persuasion, or entreaty.
If you consider these definitions, then yielding may never seem like an option you would want to choose. It sounds weak. It sounds cowardly. Why, it just sounds like something only sissies would do. But I would like to offer you another perspective on the word, yield.
Over 22 years ago, when Blake and I married, someone gave us a copy of Ann Landers' rules for a happy marriage. One of the rules was : Yield to the wishes of your partner as a matter in self-discipline if you can think of no better reason. Whoa! That could be a tough one. It could be something as simple as what to have for dinner. Blake wants steak. I want chicken. We have a dilemma. Whatever shall I do? Is it really worth an argument to push the chicken issue? Or, is it possible that maybe I could yield to his wishes and keep the peace? Yielding takes discipline. Yielding takes strength. Yielding is NOT for sissies.
This concept of yielding is not limited to husband/wife relationships. Sometimes it is to our benefit to yield to our children too. I can hear you now. YIELD, to a child's wishes!! Never! Before you rush to that decision, consider the sage advice of my grandmother, Marjorie Causey, "Choose your battles wisely. Don't make every little thing a battle because there are going to be lots of them. Sometimes you just have to let your child make a choice, even if it is not the choice you would have made, and let them live with the consequences. This is how they learn." Yielding not only takes discipline and strength, it also takes courage. It takes courage to yield, relinquish a little of that parental control, sit by and watch your child possibly make a mistake.
Another person we might want to consider yielding to is ourselves. How many times have I rushed headlong into something without yielding, slowing down to pray over the matter, meditate upon it it and wait for Divine direction. How many times was God looking down sadly wanting to scream STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! How much better off would I be now if I had? I venture to say MUCH better.
As I think about our world I think how much better off we would all be if everyone learned the value of YIELD. Politicians and world leaders in particular come to mind. The Republicans think their view is always right. The Democrats think the Republicans are always wrong. Neither side is willing to yield and what we usually end up with is a stand still, a lockout, a stall. Is this beneficial to any of us? I dare say not at all.
I think about religions. Every religion seems thinks they have all of the answers. Their way is the only way. The Baptist believe that total immersion baptism is the only way. The Methodists and Catholics feel that sprinkling with Holy water is good enough. Who is right? Who is wrong? Is it possible that they all could be right? Does it really matter in the long run?
As I am realigning my life and my priorities of late, I have been giving alot of thought to the concept of yielding. The older I get, the more I understand that Webster might just have been wrong about the word yield. I do not feel by yielding I am being weak or giving up. Often times I have found that it is in yielding that I prove my greatest strength.