There is a power struggle going on in my house. Maybe you’ve got one too.
My teen children are on the cusp of adulthood, yet I am hanging on with white clenched knuckles.
It looks like this:
“Did you practice piano yet?” “No, I’ll do it later.”
“Your room needs picking up. Stop what you are doing and do it now.” “I planned to do it when I went to bed.”
“Did you meet with your college counselor and get your classes for summer?” “I will next week.”
Why do I feel the need to micromanage my kid’s lives?
Of all people, Pharoah taught me today.
In Exodus 1, he gives instructions, “Look, these people have become much too numerous for us…if war breaks out, they’ll join the enemy and fight against us…so put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor.”
Pharoah saw changes happening with the Israelites; they were growing. These changes created one strong feeling: fear. I saw in Pharoah:
Fear is the imputes of control.
Fear is the root growing my need to control. It’s not my desire to see my daughter improve in her musical abilities, nor am I wanting to be sure my other daughter learns to keep a clean house. It’s not that I want my son to get the best classes before they are taken. My desire is control and that control is rooted in fear.
So what am I afraid of?
I’m afraid my daughter will waste my money when she doesn’t practice piano.
I’m afraid my girl will waste her time and not pick up her room.
I’m afraid my son will waste years if he doesn’t plan his college course.
I saw the results when Pharoah controlled the Israelites. “They made their lives bitter…” (Exodus 1:14) and ultimately, Pharoah’s fear brought them death (Exodus 1:16).
I’ve got to open my eyes to what I am destroying with my control. I’ve got to get God’s perspective.
God has a lot to say about this root spreading through the garden of my life. “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 2:17 ESV
Power, love, self-control; these are his way, not fearful living.
So what if I gave Jesus all of these fears? He would:
1) keep me from building walls of communication between my children and I
2) lift my anger and anxiety
3) allow my children to learn from consequences
Just listing the possible benefits of living without controlling fear causes me to sigh; to breathe deep and know that is exactly what I want.
Could you possibly want that too? Maybe it’s not a child, but a husband, boyfriend, friendship or employee. If so, what area are you struggling to control and what could Jesus do if you let go of your fear?
Jesus, I’ve got to over come this. Each day I’m adding bricks of control to the wall in my relationships. If I need to teach something, give me Holy Spirit inspired ideas and if I need to just be quiet, empower me to do so! Amen