Battle of the Wills

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Apparently the psychology community calls toddler hood the “1st adolescence.”  Toddlers see the world as theirs, push our boundaries and seek to get what they think they want, at all costs.  They will suffer time outs, spankings and various types of “consequences” to experience the satisfaction of controlling their own environment and desires.  They become control freaks.  And for any of us, especially type As, it’s a nightmare.  That’s why for a parent, it’s called the “terrible 2s or 3s.” Then we have a brief period of peace and balance that ends anywhere from 10 to 12. Then comes   ADOLESCENCE.  The 2nd one.  The BIG one.

Suddenly our seemingly compliant, joyful and rational children turn into beings that are emotional, sensitive, non-compliant and let’s just say “less than joyful.”  Hormones rage and create in them a rage they don’t even understand!  We tend to not like this behavior so much, but deep down they aren’t liking it much more than we are.  But, there it is, and there seems to be no stopping it. Our little control freaks are now heading into adulthood with minds of their own, many more influencers and a voice that wants to be heard at all costs.  Help us, Lord.

We already survived one child through this chaotic season, but she was a compliant child who exhibited very mild rebellion in these years.  Then came the other 2 – and our heads are spinning!  Both of us as parents are type A, and we managed to somehow raise 3 type As between us.  Now comes the clash of titans.  So how for Pete’s sake are we supposed to survive these years without losing every shred of patience we have been given?  Well, there’s the rub.  We cannot do it successfully on our own.  We are wired to fight for control with our kids and battle them.  It’s in our DNA.  It’s how we are wired.

Jesus knew about the type A, because as God himself, He designed us just so.  He also knew we would have trouble in our lives because of how we are humanly wired, which gets us into endless trouble.  The reason He came to live among us was to give us a way that would free us from the struggle for control, which is a battle that can entrap us and keep us from knowing freedom in our relational lives.  He came to free us from our natural selves.  He came to give us the secret of inner joy and peace.  But it comes at a price……

That price is Surrender……Now , to a type A, that is like a dirty word – surrender is not really in a type A’s vocabulary.  You want a type A on your side when the chips are down and you need that “hail Mary.”  A type A never quits, never gives in and never relinquishes the need to control.  Jesus turned all of this thinking on its head!

He taught us all the only in surrendering our lives and will to His will, can we truly be free! Seems counter-intuitive to the rational type A.  But Jesus’s truth and wisdom is so far beyond our own.  His word is truth, and truth does indeed set us free.  But it’s not always an easy truth to accept and receive.  It means putting down our own need to control and trusting our Father to show us another way.  Through surrender – we avoid the “control trap”, which spirals us further away from each other, and instead we choose patience, calm, love, honesty and self-control.

These are disciplines I must thank my adolescent children for growing in me – as this season has certainly provided a rich opportunity to grow these fruits in my life.  But I have found as I choose to surrender to Jesus, to not respond as I used to to irrational, highly emotional, sensitive or rash behaviors, I am gaining a sense of trust and confidence in the Father who is coaching me to love them differently.  I am seeing how I myself am like an adolescent in certain ways, exerting my own will over His, in spite of knowing the outcome and knowing better.

God’s unending and unfathomable love for me has brought me to my knees time and time again, asking forgiveness, repenting, seeking wisdom, and yes, surrendering my will to His.  Only then do I get relief and blessing and wisdom and grace to deal with myself and those closest to me who really need my leading and example of surrender in their own lives.

We are still type A.  We are still thick in the season of adolescence with no end in sight.  However, I for one am learning in the most chaotic and uncontrollable season of my life, that surrendering to God’s will through His word and leading in my life is the KEY to personal peace in the process and true love in the end.  I look forward to reflecting back on this blog and this time in a few years and seeing the fruits of my willingness to surrender.  I encourage us all to do the same – in whatever season surrounds us.  For when we surrender, the battle is already won!

-Carole Lyon

5 comments

  1. Jared Hubbard says:

    Thank you! What a great lesson! Are children are a reflection of who we truly are and when we surrender to God they see that and it makes all the difference! Amen! THanks Carole!

  2. Timothy Oidtman says:

    Very well put Carol will be praying for you!!

  3. Susie Geltner says:

    Thank you Carole for your insight. Surrendering sounds like it would be so easy and yet in so many situations it is the hardest thing to do.

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