Are you a Control Girl?
First of all, you should be commended on your willingness to engage the question. Many women avoid it.
For years, I saw myself as having the best of intentions. I took matters into my own hands because I cared so much! I was invested! The last word I would have chosen to describe myself was “controlling”. Besides, nobody else told me outright that I was controlling–not even my husband. Yet, there were signs….
- Do you struggle with anger? Do you erupt when something doesn’t go your way? Do you lose your cool over small, insignificant interruptions—either disruptions to your afternoon commute or your life trajectory? Do you inwardly (or outwardly) seethe at people who make your life difficult or who disagree with you—even over small things?
- Do you struggle with worry or anxiety? Are you gripped with fear over the future? Do you fret about your own safety or the safety of those you love? Do you obsess over small concerns because you’re worried about where they will lead? Do you tend to project into the future, consider all of the “what if’s”, and overreact?
- Are you irritated by other controlling people? Is there a controlling person in your life who deeply frustrates you? Are you more bothered by this person than others? Do you react in a passive aggressive manner when a controlling person gives you no choice or violates your “turf”?
- Do friends or family members send subtle hints? Do others give tactful clues that they’d like you to back off? Do they ever roll their eyes and say, “I got it, the first six times, Mom!” or “I can handle it,”? If we cornered the people who love you most, would they privately admit that you are pushy or overbearing?
- Do they call you the “Food Nazi”? Or the “Seatbelt Nazi”? Or the “(Fill-in-the-blank) Nazi?” Do other people resist your efforts to get them to do what is in their best interest? Are there people at work, home, or in your community who might say that you micromanage, overstep, or insist on your way?
- Does your husband feel disrespected by you? Does he get angry because you interrupt? Does he get frustrated when you give suggestions or tell him how to do it? Does he often become sullen, explosive, or withdrawn? Has he opted out of parenting because you’ve corrected him so much? Has he started spending more time out than in?
- Do your kids think you’re nagging them? Do your young children have closed hearts toward you? Do your grown children withhold information or try to avoid your questions? Do your kids bristle when you come in the room?
- Are you undisciplined? Do you regularly eat too much, spend too much, stay up too late, or spend too much time on social media? Are you constantly late? Do you struggle to live within any sort of boundary lines or limits?
- Are you rigidly perfectionistic? Do you obsess over every calorie, every cent, or every minute spent? Are you a perfectionist with your home, your car, your appearance, or your work? Do you feel peace, only when you have everything under control? Do others think of you as rigid and inflexible?
- Do you keep hidden agendas? Do you tend to conceal information or only tell part of the story, to give yourself leverage? Do you use information to manipulate people? Do you use relational equity to your advantage?
- Do you have a lifestyle of “image control”? Do guard yourself against hurt by trying to control of what people think of you? Do you throw yourself into your work, ministry, or appearance to ward off feelings of worthlessness? Do you put up walls in relationships or limit yourself to superficiality?
- Does God seem far away? Do you picture God as distant or uncaring? Are you suspicious of His motives? Do you think of Him as too indifferent, apathetic, or disinterested to concern Himself with the things that matter to you?
So, How’d You Do?
Did you answer yes to some of the questions? Most? Do you think you might be a Control Girl?
If so, don’t despair. I have good news for you. Ready? Here it is:
No woman has to be a Control Girl.
Yes, women tend to have a bent toward wanting control, but God offers us another option. Another path. He invites us to a life of surrender. To say, as Jesus did, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
Three Gifts for You
Since I’ve spent time on both paths, I’d love to lend a hand, and show you some new steps. I haven’t mastered this. In fact, just last night, my son called me a Control Girl because I was being pushy and rude. Thankfully, my husband told him that was uncalled for, but still. You need to know I haven’t arrived. But I am heading a new direction, and I’d love it if you wanted to join me.
So I’ve packaged up three gifts for you, my Jesus-Girl-in-the-Making friends. First, feel free to jump over to my twelve part series, responding to each of the quiz questions here:
The series is meant to help you consider what path you’re on–the Control Girl path or the Jesus Girl path.
Second, I have one more series I’d love for you to take a look at:
I didn’t want to do all the talking. I’m only one person, and my experience is limited. I wanted you to hear from other women who have bravely allowed me to share their Control Girl to Jesus Girl stories–about things like a failed marriage, a cancelled adoption, a husband addicted to portn, and a difficult mother-in-law. Each story represents pain and struggle, but each offers inspiration and hope. These women, like you and me, haven’t arrived. But they have turned their toes to the path of surrender, and they’re finding joy, peace, and security as they step out in faith.
The third gift isn’t a freebie like the first two. It will cost you about $12, some time, and an open heart. If you’re a woman who doesn’t want to spend life stressed out, anxious, angry and fretting as you try to control what ultimately only God can, my new book is written for you.
It’s a Bible study. Each lesson opens with a Bible passage to read, and ends with application questions. At it’s core the book is a study of seven Control Girls of the Bible who struggled with control in the same way we do—they pushed for their own agendas, tried to make everything turn out according to their plans, and made everybody miserable in the process.
From comparing their stories with ours, we learn–in hundreds of ways and examples–that God is in control and we aren’t. And He invites us to live accordingly
Aren’t you so glad? So let’s go! Let’s head in a new direction, shall we? Let’s be Jesus Girls!
Want to share the quiz with your group or friends? Here’s a Printable Control Girl Quiz.