I really like the TV show, “Parenthood.”
Sometimes it’s hard to get my husband to watch it with me, because it hits a little too close to home. Many of the scenes displaying what it’s like to raise a young boy with Asperger’s could have been filmed in our house.* But it’s not just that. It’s also that one of the couples is a lot like my husband and me.
A recent episode addressed the wife’s control issues. It was painful to watch.
Hi, I’m Stephanie. And I am a control freak.
Being controlling is one of those socially acceptable addictions that doesn’t get called out as often as it should. But make no mistake: Being controlling damages the addict and everyone around them as well.
I’m really trying to grow in this area. For anyone else who has control issues, I thought you might appreciate these thoughts from Erwin McManus’ book, Uprising: Revolution of the Soul:
“The more self-oriented we are, the more controlling we are.”
Oh, how true this is in my own life. I have found that the extent of my control issues is inversely proportional to the amount of time with and trust in the Lord I am experiencing.
“We are willing to settle for the feeling of being in control rather than making the choices that will give us genuine freedom.”
I am learning to pause a bit when I feel that familiar urge rise up from within: The one that compels me to clamp down on everyone and everything around me. I’m learning to stop and ask myself “What is it I really want right now?” I catch myself believing that creating “order” (visualize the air quotes) will bring me the peace and security I long for. But only the Lord can provide those things.
I still have such a long way to go with this struggle. I fail more than I succeed. But with God’s grace I’m bringing it into the light and working toward change.
Fellow controllers: What resources have you found helpful as you wrestle with this issue?
*One of the producers of “Parenthood” has a grown son with Asperger’s. I am often amazed at—and always grateful for—how well he captures the experience of parenting an Asperger’s child. Not only in the big, overarching issues, but in the little details as well.