Thursday, May 1, 2014

on being a control freak

So there’s this issue of control in my life. I hate to admit it, because I would really like to control what you think about me. I’d like you to think that I’m really fine- no issues here, everything is just peachy.

Expect for the ugly truth that it’s not.

We welcomed six little baby chicks into our lives this week. While they have us enamored as they scurry around in their giant plastic tote, we realize that someday soon they will need a more permanent home. It makes the most sense to build a coop ourselves, we can make it how we want and hopefully we’ll save money in the process. And that’s all really good and fine, until it comes down to the actual implementation of the building out. 

And this where I noticed that tricky tool the enemy uses to trap and snare me: control. Call it a weakness, but I really think it’s a stronghold that the enemy uses in my life. It keeps me from experiencing God’s best. It causes me to hurt the people I love. And I’m realizing that it is a stronghold that must be torn down. 

My husband Zac and I were discussing the building of the chicken coop last night. We completely agreed on the basics of what we wanted it to look like, this wasn’t an issue of not seeing eye to eye. The issue came in when I felt like I needed to be project manager, making sure it’s done according to my timeline and my specifications. This is where it might be appropriate to note that I have no building experience other than delivering snacks to Zac as he builds things. I have no room to dictate to him about the finer details of construction.

This was an issue of me wanting to take control of something my husband was willing to be in charge of. This was an issue of my need for control robbing Zac of the opportunity to take on a project and succeed at doing it. My need for him to operate according to my schedule, and to do it my way, caused him to feel attacked. What’s worse is that it erodes the trust that should occur between husband and wife. Because I questioned his timing he feels like I questioned his ability. And that might cause him to feel like I don’t trust his ability to get the job done.

Of course, I don't feel that way but you wouldn’t have known that if you would’ve been privy to our conversation. My lack of a gentle spirit was painful, and I realize now that it’s not appropriate for a grown woman to mutter repeatedly about how stupid something is, like she’s a four-year old little girl. 

It’s kind of a small thing, this building of a chicken coop, but it points to a bigger issue here: as a woman I really feel a very strong need to control things. It happens impulsively, without me even realizing it. It’s hurtful to the people I love, and ultimately hurtful to me. It’s something I hate, and something I am desperate to find freedom from.

And I think it’s something that many others face as well. We want to hold the reigns, we want to be bossy, we want to direct. Ultimately though, that’s not our job. Our job is to fall back on our heavenly father. Our job is to allow God to be in charge. Our job is to trust in God’s ways of doing things over our own ability to get it done. The good news is that we can find freedom.

Today I apologized. We move on, but I know that this issue is where the enemy likes to trap me. And so I am learning to stand firm and resist his schemes. Living my life on purpose means I keep my eyes open to the traps of the enemy and do everything I can to fight back. 

I don't think this is something unique to me. It is something most of us have seen or experienced firsthand in our lives. This need for control can crush a relationship, ruin a career, alienate a friend, and make us miserable in the process. And yet, I know that Christ wants us to experience freedom from the monster of control.

And how about you? Maybe this is your battle as well? Can we identify the enemy and then run from his schemes? Can we be purposeful in seeking to live our lives God's way, admitting weakness and running to him for rescue?


  1. Resident control freak here! I have tried for so long to control my children, my house, my husband, etc. I am slowly learning to let go. It really is a trust issue for me. I don't trust God like I should. I read a great book for women called Let it Go by Karen Ehman. I did a review of it here if anyone is interested in reading it. It really helped me.

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  3. Oh man, had I just read this when you posted it, instead of a week later, this past weekend may have gone better. Ugh, why do I feel like I need to manage my husband? Just because he does it differently than I would, doesn't mean it's wrong. Thank you for your transparency, you are helping me seek God and choose to be different. And although I apologized, I think I need to do it again.


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