A perfectionistic, crtical, legalistic domineering parent creates a climate of overcontrol.
A parent who is self absorbed causes chaos; everything seems out of control because no one knows what to expect next.
A home teeters between chaos and rigidity because one parent is out of control and the other goes overboard in the opposite direction.
Many people can relate to one of these scenarios. If it didn’t happen in your family, maybe it is happening in your marriage or the place where you work with an over controlling boss or coworker. Maybe the “control freak” is you.
The need to control is one of the things that make the Christian walk very difficult for people. How do you trust a God who you can’t see when you can’t trust people who you can see? A need to control is caused by fear. Most of us know that. But, under the fear that is driving the need to control lies pain. Unhealed hurts in the form of emotional wounds send us messages about life.
“You can’t trust anyone!”
“Never let your guard down.”
“Men are untrustworthy.”
“Women are selfish.”
“People in authority can’t be trusted.”
“Everything eventually falls apart.”
These generalized beliefs about life make it difficult to trust pastors, leaders, and even God Himself. While people desire the benefits of a relationship with God, they simply can’t stand the “walk” because of trust issues. Despite having made a commitment to Christ, many continue to struggle in their personal lives due to the “messages” that are driven by unhealed hurt.
Some continue to use drugs and alcohol to control inner moods. Some are rageaholics in an effort to impose absolute control. A Christian husband beats his wife and kids to ensure obedience. A Christian wife coerces her husband by yielding to perverse sexual practices or by slamming the bedroom door in a fit of anger. An anorexic teen possesses no power to be herself but she can exercise control in the area of eating. A Christian young woman cuts to distract herself from the feeling of being out of control.
We get “saved” but we don’t get delivered. Like the children of Israel, we leave our old environment behind, but we carry its teachings with us. The effects of slavery still haunt us. We are more like runaway slaves than delivered children of God. Therefore, following God in a loving, trust filled relationship is like asking someone to walk on water. It is impossible, due to our trust issues caused by our past.
If you have given your life to Jesus and still suffer from one of these issues, don’t despair. God DOES heal.
He heals in two types of ways:
Instantaneous and miraculously
Gradually through renewal
Everyone wants to be healed instantaneously. But, sometimes God does not choose this avenue. If He does not, there is a very, very good reason for it. Just because we are instantaneously healed from hurts does not mean our mind is renewed and we will think differently about things. By being dramatically healed, you may be grateful to God and have faith in Him but that doesn’t mean you will trust people. Your heart can be healed but your mind still shouts, “Look out!”.
In Jesus, you will find healing for your pain and freedom from your fear. When that happens, the need to control will vanish and you will be able to trust again because you are making decisions from the framework of God’s word rather than from unhealed pain. Yes, you are finally trusting God!
Practically, what will this look like in real life?
In the workplace, the boss spreads the choice jobs around liberally without having to keep his finger in every single pie. Mom gives the kids the freedom to make a mess while they learn to cook. Dad lets a less than perfect carwash get by because his kids are eager to help and do the best they can. The husband, although physically stronger than his wife and kids uses his love to motivate and set the example in his home rather than using physical violence.
Yes, it can happen to you. If God has chosen gradual transformation for you rather than instantaneous healing, submit to the process. If you work on the renewal of your mind and the healing of your soul, it will get better.
Being a Christian is the answer, but you must stop trying to control the healing process and allow God to change you. Find a pastor, a godly counselor or a mature Christian friend to help you be healed and reestablish trust. God will use the same that that hurt you to heal you. Allow someone in, even if it scares you to death!
Letting go of control is very freeing. God said that He will perfect that which concerns you. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually experience the peace the Bible talks about? You can and you will, if you take the first step in giving up control – ask someone for help!
Take it from an old “control freak”, you’ll be glad you did!