I find it amazing how every good gift that God gives can be taken and ruined—when given time and wrong motives—by us as humans. After all, a careful and wise use of control is what every good leader needs to wield!
Now this post is not about submission in marriage per se, though that is essentially what giving up the need to control involves. This post is about how God created an inroad into my hard and bossy heart through my failure to stop controlling my husband and family. (See other posts in this series here.)
Here’s how the need to control damaged my marriage . . .
As I said in my last post, my husband and I would often try to prove each other wrong in a competitive way, and that was also a huge failure in our marriage.
But with control, it wasn’t just about being right or better than my spouse, though that was certainly part of the territory.
Control was more about doing things my way!
That’s because I arrogantly believed my way was the right and only way to do things. <gulp>
I came into marriage and motherhood thinking that I would take over and control the matters that were “home-based” while my hubby controlled the matters that related to his work and ministry outside of our home.
I was fine with giving my hubby the freedom to do whatever he felt was right in his “domain” but certainly not in mine! Sadly, it never occurred to me to talk to him about this decision! Argue? Yes! Talk? No!
I tried to control such matters as the disciplining of our children, their spiritual discipleship, their sleep habits, their bedtime routines, even down to the amount of time they got to watch television or play on their game systems. If my husband wanted to weigh in on these matters, it almost always erupted into a fight for control!
I also tried to control matters regarding our home like the color of our walls, the way laundry was to be folded or put away, the types of meals we would have and, most important of all, the loading of the dishwasher! Because you know how sacred the loading of a dishwasher is! 😉
All of this “control” led to two painful realities that damaged my marriage and children . . .
- I ended up over-functioning and thereby keeping my sons immature and dependent upon their mama to do way more for them than I should have done.
- I also ended up alienating my husband and dividing our family into rigid roles that were often fodder for our arguments on more occasions than I’d like to admit.
As I grew more and more tired of the heavy labor I was putting on myself, as well as the challenge of fighting over “dumb stuff” with my hubby, God began to get my attention.
It was in that releasing that I learned more about faith and resting in God’s control, instead of my own illusion of control.
So I began to work with, instead of being independent of, my husband. We also began to discuss and collaborate on issues before making up our own minds about how it was to be done. #novelconcept
I look back now and wonder what was I thinking? Control is not all it’s cracked up to be!
Can you relate?
What areas have you struggled to give up control to your mate (husband or wife)?
What are some ways you’ve learned to collaborate and function as a team with your spouse?
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