I hate carpools. If I agree to share a ride to work, this means I give up control to some degree—especially if I’m not the driver.
After all, what if I want to grab a coffee at the drive-thru? What if I need to leave work early? There have been times when I decided to forgo the blessing of fellowship just so I could be the one in control.
At times I’m a control freak, or least I can be when I’m not moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. When I allow my Lord to take the wheel, things suddenly become much more organized and manageable.
Driving around town can be a lot like my life as a parent when the Lord is not in control. I encounter self-imposed stimuli like the radio, conversations with my six-year-old, the temperature in the car, the GPS chatting at me, my cup of coffee calling for my attention, and my smartphone ringing.
But there’s more. I also have outside complications. Aggressive drivers whip in and out of my lane. Traffic cones, school zones, and potholes mock me along with a million traffic signs, which I must immediately recognize by shape and color and then obey. Sometimes it’s even raining.
I have an ongoing battle with independence when parenting. Especially as a dad, I tend to work out my problems on my own, without asking Jesus for help.
My family of origin taught me independence was a desirable trait to strive for. My childhood circumstances and most of my young-adult years reinforced this.
I learned I could not rely on people to help me in certain situations. This has at times hindered my dependence on God. I need to be deliberate in chasing after and killing my independence.
Without Christ I can do nothing. I might try to fix circumstances on my own. It might even work out okay. However, this isn’t biblical and it doesn’t reflect a heart of trust or reliance on God as I lead my family.
Taking the wheel from God is a huge mistake. Each time I try to move in my own skills—my know-how—what I’m basically saying is, “God, I don’t really believe You can help me. I can do it better.”
I finally learned that a life directed by God was the only way to succeed as a dad. This was the only way to be the man of God—the father—He wanted me to be.
Still, from time to time I want to take the wheel, or at least attempt some back-seat driving, trying to help the journey with a shortcut.
So… what triggers control issues in you in your daily parenting? In what ways have you tried to fix your family’s on your own?