So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient.
Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong,
just as Christ has forgiven you. "
Colossians 3:12—13 (CEV)
I entered adulthood with a great need for control. Feeling in control of life allowed me to feel safe. Of course, life isn't really in my control, but the longer we believe a lie, the harder it can be to get out from underneath it.
As I watch my oldest daughter interact with her siblings and seek to control everyone and everything, I've found it impossible to ignore the fact that I've passed on some of my own issues to her.
The roots of control, unfortunately, go deep for both of us.
I've been listening to a powerful seminar on parenting this past week and am learning so much. God has enabled me to see that my default parenting mode is control. (Ouch.)
Of course, it's impossible to control children, but oh, how I've tried. Today, however, I realized that in doing so, I'm actually wimping out—taking the easy way out.
Parenting is a tough job. Probably the most challenging job any of us will ever hold. It is also the most rewarding. To be able to shape another individuals life is incredible.
It's hard to recognize and admit that I'm making some very serious mistakes with my precious kiddos. I deeply desire to give them my very best, but I've made a lot of mistakes.
I still have so much to learn but my hope is to help them to grow into the children God created them to be—and to not get in God's way.
Over the past few days, God has allowed me to really hear the thoughts that have been going on inside my head. "If they would just do what I ask. If they would just listen. If they would just calm down. If they would just get along." Basically, if they would stop being the individuals God created them to be and fit in my safe little box, life would be good.
It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? And frustrating, because I truly do love and enjoy my children. My heart towards them is good, but I've got baggage, and, it's getting in the way.
I know it is going to take some time to break free from the need to control, but as with all things, I know God is bigger than my struggles. He has opened my eyes to this issue, at this time, because I'm ready to do the hard work.
Parenting through control, for me, has become the easy way. Unfortunately, while it may give me temporary peace of mind, it's not God's way to parent. He gave me a free will and allows me to make choices every day. Godly choices bring blessings and ungodly choices not only block those blessings, but reap painful consequences. For me and for my loved ones.
God didn't create me to be His puppet. Neither did He give me children for me to treat as puppets simply because it feels easier to control their actions and decisions.
Real parenting is messy and requires a lot of hard work. It requires me to press into the Lord for wisdom, patience, grace and unconditional love. I'm so thankful that He has everything I need to live the blessed life I've struggled so hard to have.
And wouldn't you know, His gifts are free and life giving. Sometimes it can take me awhile to figure these things out, but, thankfully God is patient and His timing is perfect.
Oh, my Friend, whatever area God is working in your life, I want to encourage you to keep doing the hard work. The blessings that you will reap are truly worth all that you are doing! I know life can feel incredibly overwhelming, especially when we feel like we have so many areas in our lives that we need to fix.
How I pray that God's grace will allow you to see yourself and your life through His eyes. And that we can both rest in God's perfect will and timing. There is a season for everything under Heaven.
Today as I surrender my control to my Creator I am ever-so-thankful to be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE through Him!
In God's grace and mercy,