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Control

Scripture

2 Peter 1:5

Applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance

Prayer

Adult:

Dear God,

Control is my evil enemy. Not sure why, but I always want to control everything. From past history, this causes me to make the wrong choices or to think of the wrong things. God, I am aware of my free will and thank you for the gift of free will, but ask for your guidance. Ask for you to keep my gifts close, but allow you to do what you do well. Please God don’t allow me to get lost in uncertainty, pride, or the wrong path; which I can easily do. Please make your path ultra clear to me because I can’t always see it. Let me know even when you don’t seem present that you are present. Let me know only you can give me peace in the storm. I love you.

Child:

Dear God,

I don’t know how to let go and allow you to guide me. Can you make it easier for me to believe in you and to follow your ways. I love you.

Activities:

Control is a daily evil for me. Just like taking vitamins, I always have to take a daily dose of humility. I don’t like to give anyone control. Unfortunately, this attitude has not worked well for me over time. It causes me to be in some real sticky situations in my marriage, my career, and with my daughter. My husband has described my relationship with my daughter as oil and water since he said we both want control. One incident, in particular, I was yelling and trying to force Ryley to allow me to brush her teeth. I had her squirming on the floor pushing me away. This has never happened again because it was important for me to rethink the situation and realize I was out of control. Today when this is happening we have found techniques to calm the situation so there are no blow-ups, but it has not always been an easy task for me. It is not easy for me to sit back and breathe. I use to pray solely for what I want and in many cases found what I want wasn’t a great fit. Now I pray for God’s will and it’s amazing the change. When I pray for God’s will, it appears the right jobs occur, Ryley and I are in a good pattern, my marriage finds spice, my personal passions are realized, and there is a calm in my life. When I fight it is when there is anxiety and destruction. For awhile, I was losing jobs, didn’t know my purpose, couldn’t have children, seemed depressed all the time, had a husband who was never around, etc. Life never stops giving you ups and downs, but now it’s wonderful to talk through my passions, to have God listen, to hand over my anxieties to God, and to partner with God to take life by the horns. This week the goal is to realize where you have a need to control and where you could use guidance.

Adult

  1. Talk with someone who has been on the control journey themselves and what pointers they would give you
  2. Try praying for God’s will and peace. It will take more than one day of praying and most likely it will take time for you to be awoken to this idea, but give it time.
  3. Write your own list of pro’s and con’s of when you’ve had to control a situation. Does the negative consequences outweigh the positive?
  4. Concentrate on one area of your life of where you have to have control. Now practice giving up control in just this area. If it is with a partner, for a couple of weeks don’t ask them a lot of questions, don’t be demanding, don’t spy on them, etc. In the mean time, ask God to take over for you. Then see what happens.
  5. Be honest with yourself of why control is so important for you. If you don’t know, ask people close to you why they think you need to be in control. Then work on a plan to heal yourself. For example, if your parent’s relationship has impacted yours, then get the counselling you need, confront your parents on what’s troubling you, and don’t rush into anything you’re not ready to rush into. Control tends to be a defense mechanism or symptom so it’s important you fix the core of the issue.
  6. Continue to try to make friends with people who don’t need to control everything. They may have a positive influence on you.
  7. Allow yourself a simple thing to control like a plant. With a plant, you can control when they eat or when you trim their branches.
  8. Get a great mentor or join a small group. Either a mentor or small group could listen and provide you pointers.
  9. If you want certain things to happen at certain times, then create a calendar, in which, everyone can view and follow
  10. Get to the point where you can let it go. What this means is don’t think about it, talk about it, etc. If you begin to think or talk about it, snap yourself with a rubber band or have family or friends stop you.
  11. Create your own plan; which is know your own triggers. Ask yourself what you’ll do when a certain trigger occurs. For me, this is sometimes walking away.

Child

  1. Give the child choices to a situation so they feel like they have some control (Ex. you can decide whether the books go in this box, on the shelf, etc.)
  2. Show them there are consequences for their need to control and not behaving (ex. sending them to their room). Be consistent with the consequences.
  3. Provide them responsibilities and easy things they can control (ex. feeding an animal). If they are old enough, chores and allowances are a good idea.
  4. Talk through what is happening so a child knows what to expect. For example, I always tell my daughter an itinerary of events (ex. we are going to church, then lunch, then to your B-Day party). When children know what is happening, they tend to be more relaxed.
  5. Play a game of “What If”, so they are aware not everything in life can be controlled
  6. Role play with your child so they are aware of their behaviors and reactions. My daughter always laughs when I imitate her screaming.
  7. Make a chart of pluses and minuses so your child is aware of when they’ve been good or where they have areas for improvement. Talk through both the good and the bad.
  8. Teach relaxation techniques such as breathing, happy thoughts, and prayer.