How This Control Freak Learned to Raise the White Flag

by | Sep 19, 2017 | Woman

Lean in close, I have a secret to tellI am a recovering control freak.

Seriously.

Life is good when things go according to plan, when nothing too crazy happens and when people behave themselves. But if things start to veer too far off course, I get anxious.

God has grown me a lot in this area over the last few years, though. I’m learning to raise the white flag, to trust Him and listen to His voice when things seem out of control.

I had an opportunity to practice this recently.

My child was very loudly and quite passionately objecting to the word no.” I knew I couldn’t give in to the tantrum. Such behavior was unacceptable. I needed to make the child stop. But all my efforts were in vain. Every discipline or redirection seemed to make things worse.

I tried desperately to reestablish order, even picking up the phone to call my husband for advice. As I tapped his number, that’s when I heard it —the still, small voice of God deep within my soul.

“You haven’t asked Me for advice.”

I slumped to a seat, raising my heart’s white flag, and prayed, “What should I do, Lord?”

His inaudible voice was louder than words. “Parenting is not about controlling your children’s behavior. It’s about training their hearts.”

God reminded me of His patience when I vent my emotions to Him. He’s usually quiet until I get it all out. Once my heart calms down, He gently guides me in understanding things from His perspective.

In those moments during my child’s tantrum, I experienced a great paradigm shift. The Perfect Parent began retraining my heart on how to approach training my kids.

Here’s what I’m learning:

  • Invite God into the situation.

God is our child’s Creator. He understands the intricacies of their hearts far better than we ever will. He sees their needs in the moment and will guide us in training their hearts if we ask for His help.

  • Give understanding.

Our children need to feel heard. Once they’ve calmed down (which may take some time and space), asking open-ended questions can help us understand what caused them to react the way they did. Questions like these:

  • What were you feeling?

This teaches them to recognize their own emotions.

  • What made you feel that way?

This helps them process the situation. It may also alert us to another person contributing to the problem.

  • Did you handle your feelings in a way that pleases Jesus?

This acknowledges personal responsibility for actions and reactions, regardless of the behavior of others.

  • How could Jesus help you handle things differently next time?

This offers hope for change. 

  • Let them know we’re on their team.

It’s important our kids know we are for them. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen my child’s rigid heart melt when I hold her and remind her I’m here to help her in her struggles. We are not enemies. We can fight sin together.

  • Speak the truth.

The Bible is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16b). As we discuss God’s truth with our kids, even memorizing related verses together, we are planting life-changing seeds in their hearts. (BlueLetterBible.com is a great resource for finding verses topically.)

Our children need frequent reminders that we all need Jesus—every moment of every day. He is ever ready to forgive and provide the strength and desire to do what’s right.

  • Trust God with their hearts.

As parents, we have the unspeakable privilege of guiding our kids on this path of life. We are called to teach them right from wrong, giving rewards and/or consequences as necessary.

Ultimately, however, it’s up to God to captivate their hearts’ affection and allegiance. We can bring those character flaws, those relationship struggles, those confusing situations to Jesus. He is, after all, the Wonderful Counselor. He’s the One who changes hearts—both theirs and ours.

How about you? Are there any white flags you need to raise today?

Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three high-energy, full-of-life kids. She loves seeing God’s grace in daily life and is passionate about helping her kids experience that grace, too. Visit her blog at DazzledByTheSon.wordpress.com.

This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Chris Reed's Prophetic Word Over China: Unprecedented mass protests are unfolding right now across China. The country is seeing the largest pushback in decades, following their "zero COVID strategy" still in place today. China's Communist Party has continued to...

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Read Time: 1 Minute 23 Seconds It’s a shocking statistic! More than 80 and up to 90% of children who grow up in church are leaving the church once they reach 18. Sadly, only 40% return, according to Focus on the Family. I believe, with prayer, we can defy those...

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10 And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the...

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Read Time: 2 Minutes 2 Seconds Have you ever broken a bone? If so, you know what it’s like to go through a painful healing process. Consider what that might feel like in the spiritual realm. Sometimes we can get broken in various ways in life, but God wants to “set”...

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

RECENT ARTICLES

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What...
Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

Raise Your Praise!

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and principalities that come against you, in addition to the challenges...

Pin It on Pinterest