Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

5 Ways You May Actually be Controlling Others

5 Ways You May Actually be Controlling Others

5 Ways You May Actually Be Controlling Others (And You May Not Realize)

What if I was to tell you, you really don’t know how to love others? Would it shock you? Would you laugh in my face and say, "Of course I love."

Controlled Love.
I thought I loved well. I would laugh, text when you needed me and go the extra mile if you ran out of gas. All the boxes were checked next to the requirements for love. Yet, what I am realizing is that I am more of a controlled-lover than a recklessly abandoned-lover.

My controlled love usually means I give - and that you receive. I decide the terms - and things get done my way. I reach out - and you soak in. It's called safe love. Unhurt love. Protected love. 

Yet, receiving love - that is a different story. That kind of love - hurts. It's the kind known to leave an arrow in one's heart and a band-aid on emotions. Sure, I want love, but not dangerous love.

Recklessly Abandoned Love.
We love because he first loved us. 1 Jo. 4:19

Can one not letting love in, actually love? Can one demanding love, find love?

When, I get beneath the surface of this iceberg called love, which I have only yet nearly begun to understand, l can see I am deeply afraid of love's power to deeply hurt me. In an attempt to protect myself, I find a different way to get what I need. I demand, command and reprimand to get what I need - but I am not so sure I get what I most want.

Do you play tricks to get "fake" love?

5 Ways We Play "Love Tricks"

1. We do the passive-aggressive fake.
You slightly offend. We look at you and say, "I'm fine, don't worry about it," yet our squinty eyes tell a different story. They say, "you better love me now, I need love." So, you usually do, and we get thrown a little bone.

2. We throw a pity party. 
We make you feel really bad or perhaps we complain a whole bunch and you have to come rescue us from those horrible occurrences that  wreck our heart and destroying our lives. Come be our savior, would you?

3. We name call. 
Maybe if we make you feel bad enough about who you are, you will turn around and realize you are more messed up than us. Then, you will feel bad and love in return.

4. We bake up an argument. 
We shake things up. Our heart feels empty, needy and hungry, so we yell at you and stir the pot to make you tell us great things so we feel good, filled. 

5. We play the I-need-to-be-alone game. 
We tell you to go, but punish you if you don't stay.

In the end, we receive fake love, because at the end of the day, we know we manipulated. Love is not love if it is cajoled and siphoned and sucked out of obligation to make things all better.

So we never get what we need. We never really get loved. How can one who feels unloved - love? Is it all hopeless?

Relearning Love
It is not. I have an opportunity to relearn love. To go to the source of all love. To go to the source that removes all fear. This kind of love is always available to me. And it’s really the only way, because all I have in me is fear. Rampant fear. Unruly fear. Unharnessed fear. 

There is only one who can reign in that kind of wildness. It takes a perfect love to harness one as savage as me. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 Jo. 4:8

This isn’t a punishing type of love, as I may prone to inflict, but a gentle love, a gracious love, an always-available love. A type of love only Jesus can offer. And as I find his love for me, he pushes out true love for others.

We love because he first loved us. 1 Jo. 4:19 I can love.

Jesus doesn't love me with a conditional, dysfunctional, fictional love. He loves me entirely, wildly, completely, and eternally. These aren't just platitudes. They aren't just figments of hope we cling on to, but these are the facts. I am loved with all my weaknesses, issues, holes, bruises, and band-aids.

When this truth mixes in, what pours out is authentic love. People are changed. Lives are pinged with hope. Insides are coated with affection like never before.

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