Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Confession of a Controlling Mother

Yesterday, Noah was sitting on a bench in our living room. He was petting Scooby and talking to John. I had one of those mom moments, staring at this beautiful gift God gave me and feeling my heart swell up two times its size like the Grinch. And then I sighed because I am both prideful and insecure and I want something for Noah that he will never, thankfully, have.

He will never be me.

I believe one of the worse mistakes a parent can make is to try to control their child. Care for, yes. Guide, yes. Discipline, you bet. Encourage, absolutely. But to try to control? No.

Control comes out in me through attempting to make Noah a little me. I’ve made much progress in this area. I have accepted that Noah is much different than me in most ways, including personality, socialization, hobbies, and the way his brain works. :0) But one area is extremely difficult for me to fully let go. It’s excruciating.

I want to control his spirituality. And I can’t.

As parents, John and I have guided Noah to know Jesus. Noah has made a decision to accept Jesus into his heart. If asked, he would tell you he loves Jesus.

But Noah doesn’t love Jesus the way I want him to.

I made a decision for Christ when I was eight years old and then I made him Lord of everything when I was fourteen. I basically grew up adoring Jesus. He was my best friend. I wrote to Him, I talked to Him. I was not perfect at all, but I really wanted to grow up to be a missionary and live for God.

Noah talks about Jesus/God when we initiate a discussion or if we are coming home from church. He’s into video games and Pokemon, soccer, drama, and all things Math-related.

Not Jesus.

I know I’m wrong to want to control him. Completely, totally, absolutely wrong. Noah is God’s boy. Noah is on loan to me and my biggest job is to love him and show him Jesus through my words and actions. Not through control freak techniques.

But it’s difficult, so I tell myself, “Robbie, just let go!” I say this a lot.

We went to the Saturday night service at our church before Easter. I enjoyed the service and got emotional simply because I love and I am in love with the Father. At one point, my eyes welled up with tears and I looked over at Noah to share the joy. He was slumped in his chair, eyes closed.

“Robbie, just let go!”

Afterward, he told me he enjoyed the speech. (The sermon) I said, “Really?” He said, “Yeah, well yeah-ish.”

“Robbie, let go.”

On Easter Sunday we met a former student, my brother, sis-in-law and nephew for lunch. My brother asked Noah to pray. Noah prayed three simple lines but absolutely wonderful. He thanked Jesus for sacrificing His life and rising from the dead for us. Profound.

When John and I went through our marital trouble years ago, I wanted desperately to change his spirituality. I knew that if he followed my advice, our marriage would be saved. During that time, God told me something I’ll never forget. He said, “Robbie, GET OUT OF MY WAY!”

Perhaps He’s saying it again to me. He knows the plans He has for Noah. He knows the mistakes Noah will make and He knows the successes. He will continue to draw Noah unto Him with relentless love. In fact, He loves Noah more than I ever could.

That last line is difficult for me to believe, but in faith, I do.

In faith, I’ll keep letting go. And in pain.


denise said...

Noah is in good hands, both with God and with you as his mother and John as his father. Thanks for sharing this wisdom.

Cheryl Barker said...

Prayer, prayer, and more prayer... One day, like me with my daughters, you'll have the joy of watching your son live out his faith.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4 NIV

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you Denise - what a kind thing to say to me. And this week, I need it. :0)

Robbie Iobst said...

Cheryl, I am going to copy down that verse. Thank you! And thank you for the encouragement. Seeing another mom's work paying off really gives me motivation to keep going...And keep praying! :0)