Jack’s article was on Start Small to Build Internal Locus of Control was a bit interesting to me.
In general, an internal locus of control does correlate well to most successful behaviors, but I think this may be a bit short sighted in terms of being a Christian.
In particular, consider evangelism. Our mission as Christians is the Great Commission — “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations” — which is a goal oriented one that greatly benefits from an internal locus of control. Paul was a good example of this as a tireless worker for the gospel. However, Paul also understood that despite the fact that God is responsible for the outcomes of making it grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
This is why in relationships, including those between men and women including marriage, the big thing to focus on is to do what is pleasing to God at all times. You can control your behavior and your behavior can certainly influence the other person, but God is going to be the one responsible for working in their heart over time.
Going back to the main topic like this, I think it’s important to focus on being process oriented versus results oriented which I have discussed before.
In particular, being process oriented is an internal locus of control where you are most concerned about how you acted and you are not concerned about her reactions. Results should generally be an external locus of control that God is responsible with, though also understanding that how our obedience to Him can be have the effect of influence them toward the gospel, respect, submission, or any other Biblical quality.
This is why I say things like in Attitudes and marriage that I don’t fear my wife and I’ve counted the cost of getting married. Even if she leaves me I would feel hurt, but it wouldn’t impede me from doing what is right and serving God. If we fear any external circumstances and allow them to impede righteous behavior, we already enter a state where it’s most likely the case that the process has gone bad and the result follows. Yeah, sometimes the process is right and the result doesn’t come, but God calls us to be good and faithful servants even when we don’t understand why the results aren’t there.