Control Freaks

Grant Montgomery: Are we control freaks?

Have you ever thought how much we attempt to control our spouses, or our children?

What makes someone a control freak? Basically, fear and insecurity. The more fear runs our lives, the more controlling we are. When we are insecure, we make others around us the issue.

Think for a moment how we tend to react when other people try to control us. Don’t we resist being controlled, either covertly or overtly? Don’t we often become passive-aggressive, sarcastic or rebellious?

Take the case of the husband who is pushing to leave on a trip, already sitting in the car, and soon impatiently honking the horn a few times, believing this will make his wife hurry. Instead, in reaction to his impatience, she finds other reasons to delay, checking the kitchen for the third time and so forth. The more he tries to make her hurry, the slower she goes. And so they begin their trip angry at each other.

When we try to control our loved ones, we can actually push them do what we fear the most. If our children don’t go to church, and we try to make them feel guilty for not doing so, they will usually want to go even less. If one of our children has a girlfriend or boyfriend we don’t like, and we show our displeasure, he or she will usually gravitate to their partner even more.

Again, fear is the motivator in our attempts to control our loved ones. In the examples given, fear we will be late, fear our kids won’t develop a healthy moral compass, or fear that they will get involved with the wrong person.

When there is an event like a school shooting massacre, people understandably become afraid for their children. Oftentimes though this fear is transformed into overprotective, controlling behavior, which doesn’t prepare our children to live in the real world. In times of fear, it is important for parents to honestly acknowledge these fears and replace them with faith.

Bring your fears and emotions to God in prayer. Faith can provide the freedom to accept life on life’s terms, to go with the flow.

Read Embracing our shadows