When to Keep Control and When to Lose It

When to Keep Control and When to Lose It - Visionary Womanhood

There are probably 4,398 songs, give or take a couple, that yodel on about control. Mostly about losing it. (Google is your friend here.)

How about a definition?


verb (used with object), con·trolled, con·trol·ling.
1. to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command.
2. to hold in check; curb: to control a horse; to control one’s emotions.
3. to test or verify (a scientific experiment) by a parallel experiment or other standard of comparison.
4. to eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread of: to control a forest fire.
5. Obsolete . to check or regulate (transactions), originally by means of a duplicate register.


6. the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command: Who’s in control here?
7. the situation of being under the regulation, domination, or command of another: The car is out of control.
8. check or restraint: Her anger is under control.
9. a legal or official means of regulation or restraint: to institute wage and price controls.

So here’s the lowdown:

What I Can, and Should, Control

  • My tongue
  • My choices
  • My actions
  • My time
  • My gifts
  • My money
  • My things
  • And anything else that starts with “My.”

What I WANT to Control

  • Your tongue
  • Your choices
  • Your actions
  • Your time
  • Your gifts
  • Your money
  • Your things
  • And anything else that starts with “You.”

What I Can’t, and Shouldn’t Control

  • Your tongue
  • Your choices
  • Your actions
  • Your time
  • Your gifts
  • Your money
  • Your things
  • And anything else that starts with “You.”

How This Plays Out in Real Life

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.)

Example/Scenario One:

Herald would like to get to church a little early in order to have time to find a seat and focus before the church service starts, but his wife, Penelope, is “a day late and a dollar short” kind of lady.

What Herald Can’t Control

His wife’s choice to wake up late and dawdle.

What Herald Can Control

His attitude toward his wife, the words he uses, and his choice to wait for her or to go without her.

If he wants to honor God and his wife, he will choose an honoring attitude, truthful words, and his option of waiting for her or driving separately. Either of those options would be loving if done in love.

“WAIT A MINUTE!” Some of you are thinking. “It’s NOT loving to leave without your spouse! Herald’s a big ol’ meanie if he does that! It’s not CHRISTIAN.”

Would Herald be a better “Christian” to pretend (called deception in the Bible) that all is well and enable his wife to continue to be slothful and steal time from others? That is often considered more loving and kind. I’d like to propose that it is the difference between Wemmick love and Godly love. Wemmicks will almost always cry “foul” when consequences (not revenge) are implemented for sinful behaviors.

Example/Scenario Two:

Myrtle’s son, Trygve, doesn’t steward his time very well. He procrastinates. When fun activities come up, he wants to participate, but he rarely has his other responsibilities completed. Myrtle is getting balder and balder from pulling out her hair.

What Myrtle Can’t Control

Trygve’s choice to waste time.

What Myrtle CAN Control

Her words, her attitude, her choice to either prohibit Trygve from participating in fun activities when his other responsibilities are incomplete – or not.

She can also control whether or not she reacts defensively to Trygve’s subsequent cries of “foul” – or responds to them.

Example/Scenario Three:

George and Herbert are friends. (Platonic friends, for the record. Twenty years ago that would have been assumed. Now it’s assumed to be a “bromance.” But I digress.)

Ahem. George and Herbert are friends. Whenever they get together over coffee or lunch, it’s sort of the unspoken “rule” that George will pick up the tab. George wants to be a good Christian. Generous. A cheerful giver. And since Herbert never offers, George feels obligated. Herbert is such a fun guy to hang out with. Popular. Great sense of humor. The life of the party. So, there’s that…

What George Can’t Control
  • Herbert’s lack of initiative in offering to pay the bill now and then.
  • Whether or not Herbert wants to be George’s friend regardless of extra perks like coffee and lunch.
What George CAN Control

His attitude toward George. His level of honesty and openness. His choice to pick up the tab for both of them or just for himself.

The Big Hairy Point to All of This

When we pretend, cover up, and harbor resentment deep inside all while showing a sweet, smiling face on the outside, we may appear to be nice little Christians. But we’re not. We’re nasty little liars. And we are trapped children.

When we live Truth, speak Truth and promote Truth, we live authentic Christian lives that bring honor to our Creator. And we are free adults.

Because the Truth always sets trapped children free.

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Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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