Controlling is Not Loving

*Note: All scripture passages from The Scriptures 1998+ unless otherwise noted.

A controlling nature first of all comes from deep insecurities. I know first hand because I’ve been there and it is definitely not the love of our Father in Heaven. Even our Father in Heaven does not control us. We have our freedom and the choice to do his will is up to us. A truly loving God gives people that freedom to choose to worship him rather than being controlled to do so.

Back when I tried to control people all I managed to do is irritate them and run them off. It was the love of the Father that brought healing to me. I learned that the real beauty in people is appreciating them for who they are and not looking at everything they do that I would not do as though they are in the wrong. A controlling person also has a critical spirit, hence the need to control. They usually are very short sighted and don’t understand other points of view. They are highly unstable and view life in an abstract manner, not with reality. They often cast false allegations all the while believing they are perfectly right, this is a very dangerous mindset.

“But know this, that in the last days hard times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, thankless, wrong-doers, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, haters of good,”
2 Timothy 3:1-3

The anger of a controlling person will flair when you don’t see things their way. I know, I’ve been there. Only perfect love casts out all fear. Fear has torment.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear holds punishment, and he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

A controlling person cannot love you with the Father’s love because they have not taken their hands off the wheel. They need control to feel secure because they do not have the Father’s love. They are harboring bitterness and resentment and they cannot forgive. The pains from the past still remain in them because they have not given it to Messiah. I know the release I had when I was able to give it all to him. If people hurt me now it doesn’t change my view of life because of the love the Father has given to me. The wounds of the past are healed and I can continue to love time and time again though people continue to hurt me. It’s the greatest freedom a person can experience because I am no longer a victim, I have been set free.

Those who try and control others are still slaves, captives who don’t have freedom. And they have not found the love of the Father. They cannot truly love others even though they may say the words at time. Remember, words are easy, but actions speak very loud.

Relationship problems can seem to be quite tangled and hopeless when the intent is to control another’s behavior or feelings while resisting being controlled. Yet the moment loving oneself and one’s partner becomes more important than controlling and resisting control, the relationship problems magically dissolve. But this can only be accomplished first by finding the Father’s love.

I had to come to accept the fact that I can’t control others’ feelings or behavior which has freed me to take loving care of myself. You cannot truly love yourself when you are trying to control others, it’s just not love and you rob and cheat yourself of the greatest blessings life holds.

People who control are bullies. Which also makes them cowards because they can’t stand on their own, they have to try and push people into behaviors they see fit. Never allowing the other person to simply be themselves. They will try and control the silliest of things, even the way they eat their food. People who find themselves in a relationship with a controlling person are victims of abuse. As time progresses the abuse increases.

Coercive control is a strategy some people use to dominate their intimate partners and get their way. It usually includes some combination of isolation, degradation, micromanagement, manipulation, stalking, physical abuse, sexual coercion, threats, and punishment. Not all of these tactics are always present.

As a society, we should consider following the lead of several countries including France, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Canada, and Tasmania that have legislation that makes coercive control or emotional abuse a crime. (Similar legislation is being considered in the United Kingdom). Coercive control is not simply bossiness, it’s domination. It sure isn’t love.

Chronic criticism, like isolation, is also something that can start small. In fact, someone may try to convince themselves that their partner’s criticism of them is warranted, or that their partner is just trying to help them be a better person. Or they may try to rationalize it that it’s not such a big deal that he or she doesn’t like the way they dress or speak or eat or decorate their house and that they shouldn’t take it personally. But ultimately, no matter how individually small a criticism seems, if it’s part of a constant dynamic within your relationship, it would be very tough to feel accepted, loved, or validated. If every little thing you do could use improvement in your partner’s eyes, then how are you being valued as a true equal, let alone loved unconditionally?

Bear in mind, control and chronic criticism are behaviors of the adversary, these are not fruits of the Spirit. Ha satan is busy pointing the finger and criticizing. When we engage in these behaviors it is not Elohim we are serving, nor is it love we have in us.

Some people think that threats have to be physical in nature to be problematic. But threats of leaving, cutting off “privileges,” or even threats by the controlling person to harm herself or himself can be every bit as emotionally manipulative as the threat of physical violence.

Behind every message the controlling person sends, it is a message that says, “You are not good enough, you don’t measure up, etc.” It’s the common-denominator theme of many a controlling relationship.

A controlling partner typically feels that they have the right to know more than they actually do. Whether they keep their snooping secret or openly demand that you must share everything with them, it is a violation of boundaries right away. Perhaps he or she checks your phone, logs into your email or constantly tracks your Internet history, and then justifies this by saying they’ve been burned before, have trust issues, or the old standard: “If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn’t mind showing me.” It’s a violation of your privacy, hand-in-hand with the unsettling message that they have no interest in trusting you and instead want to take on a police-like presence within your relationship.

Love is not supposed to feel restrictive. When it comes to love, our society romanticizes intense, controlling relationships so much that it can be hard to recognize them for what they are. Manipulation always starts with guilt. If he can convince you to feel guilty for your actions (even when you’ve done nothing wrong), then he knows you’ll be more willing to do what he says.

A controlling partner’s criticism may not even sound like criticism — it might be couched in “supportive” language that implies that your partner is just trying to assist you. Abusers can convince you that they are treating you this way to ‘help’ you.

Think twice if your partner’s ideas of support involves “protecting” you from making your own decisions and living your own life. A partner who “protects” you by taking control of your messy finances, chasing away a friend you’ve been fighting with, or keeping close tabs on where you are and what you’re doing at all times isn’t looking out for you — they’re trying to make you dependent on them.

A controlling person is often very skilled at making you feel that you’ve done something wrong even before you realize what you did. You may walk in the door to find them already angry about something that they found, thought about, or decided in your absence. And they may keep “evidence” of your wrongdoing to a point that you may feel they’ve got a whole case against you even if you don’t quite understand it.