My Need for Control

Control. Something I definitely struggle with. I’m sure CJ, my friends, family, coworkers and anyone who meets me could attest to that fact.

Craig recently did a sermon on the Altar Ego covering 4 great topics, but the one that hit me the most was “My Need For Control”.

There are two main things we try to control; people and circumstances. We feel as though we can control people. We try to micro manage, give silent treatment, manipulate, bribe, or even offer or withhold rewards. It could be with our spouse, our children, coworkers and even strangers. We also try to control circumstances. We want to look just right. We want to have the best house and yard.  We want to control our schedules and our future, our kids and their future.

Just like we try to control our circumstances, Abraham and Sarah tried to control theirs. God had promised them a baby, but when He didn’t answer His promise immediately, Abraham and Sarah took control. They stepped over God’s promise, and made the decision that Abraham would sleep with Hagar, the maidservant, so they could have a baby.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Genesis 16:1-4

But, isn’t this a perfect example of what we do as well? How many times do we get weary of waiting on God, and instead of turning to Him, we make our own decisions? So what are you trying to control?

Craig mentioned three great questions to ask when we are trying to control something.

1- Is it worth my concern?
So many of us are trying to control things that don’t matter that much. Ask yourself, Does it really matter? Will it matter a day or a month or even a year from now? Does it matter if the kitchen is left a mess? Or what about if the dishes aren’t clean? Or what about if your son goes to school without brushing his teeth? When you begin to recognize what doesn’t matter, you can focus on what does matter.

2 – Is it mine to control
Sometimes it seems hard to find the balance between surrendering control vs. taking responsiblilty. It’s hard when we have a tough decision to make and struggle with understanding what God’s will is. So, if we know we can’t control all circumstances, especially the future, the only thing we are left to do is be responsible and make good decisions in the present situations. Examples:

We can’t change our spouse, but can pray for them, love them, support them.
We can’t heal a loved one, but can pray for them, encourage them, offer medical advice and trust them to God.
We can’t control the future, but can pray about it, seek wise counsel and make good decisions.

This verse is always a good reminder during times of stress or control of the future.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. James 4:13-14

3 – Is it for God alone?

What are you trying to control today that is not yours to control? Instead of being filled with anxiety, turn to the one who already knows! When we lay down what we think we want, God will give us what we ultimately need. When you try to control something you can’t, you are anxious. When you give it to God, you are overwhelmed with peace.

We know we can’t control everything in our situation, but we can make the most of it. We can make wise decisions about how we treat out bodies, so they would be made fertile. We can do our best to prepare for when we become parents. We can pray. But, in the midst of being responsible during our trial, ultimately we are leaving the control up to the One who already knows the plan!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your 
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

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  • Becky
    Posted at 00:48h, 18 March Reply

    Great post! I’ve been slowly learning about surrendering my control to God over the years. I’ve actually found it easier to release control, it makes life more of an adventure to not know what’s ahead. 🙂

  • dspence
    Posted at 14:41h, 18 March Reply

    This is wonderful. We’ve (I’ve) been leaning hard on these verses, especially the past six months. My prayer since starting the blog has been “I want a baby but, more than that, I want YOUR will, Lord.” Trusting His timing, His plan, and His outcome is so freeing! I know that, however this cycle turns out, the outcome is His and will be best for our family.

  • Melanie Schultz
    Posted at 12:49h, 18 March Reply

    GREAT post! I am a huge control freak. Luckily, my husband has taught me to only worry about what really matters and what REALLY concerns me. Its still a work in progress (lets face it, my house will NEVER be dirty as long as I am breathing! LOL) but I try the best I can both days.

    Have a safe and blessed week!

  • Maria Rothenburger
    Posted at 13:49h, 21 March Reply

    Oh man do I love this; It reminds me of those wonderful little books: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: And It’s All Small Stuff.”


  • Rebecca
    Posted at 18:09h, 21 March Reply

    Hi from ICLW. I agree that there are some things that we can and should control and some that we should just let go of. As for manipulating, if the other person’s needs are being met with the manipulation then it really isn’t all that bad for the manipulation to be done. Sometimes one must make a promise in order to get something one needs.

  • Sarah at Midwest PIllowtalk
    Posted at 21:28h, 21 March Reply

    hi from iclw!
    this is something my husband reminded me a lot of during our ttc stages. you are so inspiring!
    ill be praying for you!

  • Amber
    Posted at 18:45h, 22 March Reply

    Such a great post. I think everyone struggles to some degree of needing to be in control. Thank you for sharing.

  • Stephanie K
    Posted at 18:01h, 22 March Reply

    I love this post. I am the perfect picture of a type A personality and its really hard for me to relinquish control. If there’s one thing you learn while going through IF its that we have no control. You have inspired me and I will be following you from now on.

  • Elana
    Posted at 22:20h, 24 March Reply

    In Judaism we believe that sometimes God wants us to help him. It’s called doing your “hishtadlus”. So if you aren’t able to conceive, you go to see a doctor who can help, because we believe that that is what God wants us to do. God has His plans, but sometimes he wants us to go and do something to help it out.

    Happy ICLW!

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