You can’t fix it all

It starts before our children are born. The desire to protect them from harm. We “childproof” our homes to soften the rough edges of life. We try to move all the dangers out of their reach. It feels like our responsibility to create a “safe” place for them to grow.

Once our children become independently mobile, new challenges introduce themselves and they continue as long as we parent.

The scenario is the same no matter if your child is a toddler, teen, or adult.

You can see it coming…your child is headed for a crash. No matter how fast you run, you won’t get there in time to prevent it. Nevertheless, you strain with everything you have to change the outcome. You grieve over their wounds and offer to “make it better”.

We have a choice in how we respond to what we perceive as threats to our children. We need to examine our souls and seek God to find guardrails between healthy and unhealthy responses. We can turn to God, or we can become focused on our efforts to control. It may seem harsh to phrase it that way. It certainly doesn’t “feel good” to be confronted by our desire to control. But it is vital to our health (mental, physical, and spiritual) to identify our unhealthy efforts at control.

We can hide our attempts at control behind all kinds of phrases:

• “I’m a planner. I like it when things are organized.”
• “I want what is best for my children. Therefore, I demand the best coach, teacher, or school.”
• “It’s my job. I’m their parent. I will take care of it.”

Our efforts at control often exhaust us. We are stressed and anxious because we are trying and failing to control what we were never designed to be in charge of. Our failed attempts “to make it better”, can cause problems in our relationships with our children and spouses. They may also affect our reputation within our community and our witness as followers of Jesus.

Making a better choice

Thankfully, God loves our children more than we do and He offers us an alternative to control – surrender.

Surrendering ourselves and our children begins with humility. We need to come before the Lord and acknowledge that we are not all powerful and we don’t have the capacity to “fix it” for our families. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Ps 146:5-7), not us.

Next, we need to confess (agree with God about what He already knows) that we really want to have it our own way. We confess that we have treated God like Amazon (select what you want and expect it will be delivered) instead of thanking Him for being our loving, heavenly Father who has the power and desire to do what is best.

Then, we are ready to worship. We praise God that He is the only one in control. We thank Him that He is the creator and sustainer of all things. We tell Him how grateful we are that He loves our children more than we do. We acknowledge that His plans and timing are perfect (even when they are different from our preferences). We thank Him that He is the only one who can “fix it”.

Worry is common for parents. Thankfully, God give us the option to worship instead.

If you are still struggling with “control issues”, or grieving over the things you can’t fix, here are some resources for you.

Matt Rhodes

✍️ Credit :: Lillian Dehn
Biblical Counselor

Matt Rhodes

🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
Digital Marketing Manager