Let’s face it: many women are wired to control. We make sure that the house is clean, the meals are prepared on time, the beds are made, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to work, school, and other activities on time. And trying to control it all is not only exhausting, but can also cause us to lose friends and sometimes, the affection of our families. It can earn wives and mothers the label of control freak and send those within our sphere of influence packing.
In this humorous, yet thought-provoking small group Bible study you’ll find the freedom and reward of living “out of control” – putting God in the rightful place he deserves in your life. Armed with relevant biblical and current examples (both to emulate and to avoid), doable ideas, new thought patterns, and practical tools to implement, this study will gently lead you out of the land of over-control and into a place of quiet trust.
- God Called and He’d Like His Job Back
- Combating the “Me First” Mentality
- Pursuing the Appearance of Perfection
- Practicing the Art of Soul Control
- When Comparisons Lead to Over-Control
- Fixing Your Eyes on the Attitude Indicator
Designed for use with the Let. It. Go. Video Study (sold separately).
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Let. It. Go. Study Guide
By Karen Ehman
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2012 Karen Ehman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSESSION 1
God Called and He'd Like His Job Back
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say ...?" (Genesis 3:1 ESV)
Video: God Called and He'd Like His Job Back (16 minutes)
Play the video teaching segment for session one. As you watch, record any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you in the notes section below.
Women have been wired from birth to control. It seems we all inherited the "bossy gene."
At the root of why we over-control is that we don't trust God. We think we know better than he does just what is best for us.
How Eve over-controlled in Genesis 3:1–13:
She was told she could eat of any of the trees in the beautiful Garden of Eden. Well, except for one.
She listened to Satan's deceptive and crafty words, "Did God actually say ...?"
She took matters into her own hands.
As a result, Eve was tempted with wrong theology.
A dog says to its master: "You love me. You feed me. You scratch my neck and rub my belly. You provide for my every need. WOW! You must be God."
A cat says to its master: "You love me. You feed me. You scratch my neck and rub my belly. You provide for my every need. WOW! I must be God."
This study will feel unfamiliar. Its goes against how we are wired as women to stop running the show and start walking in faith. Although it is not comfortable, it is possible.
Group Discussion (10 minutes)
Take a few minutes to discuss what you just watched.
1. What part of the video teaching had the most impact on you?
2. Can you think of an example when a little girl or teenaged young lady exhibited the "bossy gene"? Describe the situation.
3. Brainstorm as a group common areas of life where women love to call the shots. Rattle them off "popcorn" style. Ready? Go!
Cluster Group Discussion (12 minutes)
If your group is comprised of more than twelve members, consider completing this activity in smaller groups of three to six people each.
Turn to Genesis 2:15–3:13 and have someone read it aloud. Collaborate to find answers to the following questions as you think about the person of Eve:
List all of the things that God had provided for Eve in the garden.
List the worries, if any, Eve would have had living in Paradise.
Using the version of the Bible you have with you, write out any key words from the description of the serpent in this passage.
Next, jot down any key words that the serpent said to Eve in their encounter.
What do you learn from recording these particular words and phrases?
Group Discussion (12 minutes)
Gather back together as one large group and answer the following questions.
4. What is one insight you gained from the small group activity about Eve's life and her encounter with Satan?
5. In many respects, we are modern-day Eves. God has already provided what we need in life, yet Satan still tempts us with wrong thinking. In what areas of life do you most find women questioning God's Word?
6. In the video segment, Karen described the definitions of Cat-and-Dog Theology she learned from the Unveiling Glory ministry. What do you think of these two opposite ways of thinking about God?
7. What makes it so difficult in today's culture to have the proper doglike theology in life where we allow God to be God and stop trying to do his job for him?
Group Activity (5 minutes)
Time to get the blood circulating!
Near the end of the video segment, Karen asked you to fold your arms the way it felt natural and then to try to fold them in the opposite direction. What did you think of this experiment? Did it feel foreign to you to fold your arms the opposite way?
As a group, do the experiment together again. First, fold your arms the natural-feeling way again. Then, fold them the opposite way once more. Repeat that action quickly five more times. Does it get any easier or do you still have to concentrate as you do it each time?
Leave your arms folded in the opposite, unnatural-feeling position while you answer this next question:
Why does it feel so foreign at times to not be in control? To keep our thoughts to ourselves or hold our opinion? To let someone else in our family or at work make a decision without our input?
(Okay. You can put your arms any way you'd like to now!)
Individual Activity: What Is God Saying to Me? (3 minutes)
Complete this activity on your own.
Take a mental inventory of your life. In what areas do you most struggle with wanting your own way or desiring to be in control? Check any that apply:
* Work situations
* Husband's behavior
* Kids' behavior
* The appearance of the house
* Extended family situations
* Others' opinions of me
* What happens in politics
* The way others drive
* How my family members look or dress
* My appearance
* Financial matters
* Other ________________
Now, go back and put a star before the one or two areas where you most feel God may be prompting you to let it go and trust him.
Closing Prayer (2 minutes)
Have one person close in prayer. Then, get ready to learn more in your between-sessions personal study before meeting for session two!
Between-Sessions Personal Study
Read and Learn
Read chapters 1–2 of the Let. It. Go. book. Use the space below to record any insights you discovered or questions you may want to bring to the next group session.
Study and Reflect
1. Has there ever been a time in your life when, due to sickness or other circumstances, you were not able to be in control of normal day-to-day activities? If so, describe how that felt.
2. Women wear many hats. We may be a wife, mother, employee, daughter, volunteer, church member, and friend.
Think for a moment about your week, keeping in mind those many hats. List them in column one on the chart on the following page.
Next, go back and very briefly summarize the primary tasks/ responsibilities associated with each hat. Record these in column two.
Finally, on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being "never" and 10 being "always"), how do you rate in each area when it comes to praying to God before launching out to get your tasks accomplished? Record your rating in column three.
I am a: So, this week I need to: Rating
Ex.: Mother Help with homework, pack lunches, carpool
Ex.: Part-time employee Work 20 hours
What do you learn from the above exercise?
While our personalities and methods may vary, our goal is often the same. And I'd wager at the root of our problem are exactly the same two issues I unearthed while confined to my sofa of sickness.
1. We want to feel indispensable.
2. We want to get our own way.
Although these are two common threads, an even stronger similar strand is often woven deep into our "I'll do it my way" souls.
We don't really trust God.
Let. It. Go., page 22
3. Circle the statement which most reflects why you most often try to control.
I want to feel indispensable. I want to get my own way.
Reread the statement you circled. Now, explain why you desire for that statement to be true in your life.
4. Which of the following types of controller (described in more detail on pages 20–22 of the Let. It. Go. book) do you find most difficult to deal with?
* The overtly controlling, loud, and outspoken woman
* The sweet, soft-spoken, but manipulative saint
* The enabler who constantly covers for others so her family looks good
* The victim who controls by making you feel sorry for her
* The people-pleaser who controls because you owe her favors
Why do you feel it is hard to deal with this type of controller?
Now (be honest), which one (or more) of these roles do you sometimes assume? Write it below.
Why do you attempt to control in this way? (Example: my personality type is geared toward this type of control, it has worked for me in the past, etc.)
So, when it comes to a purchase, an activity, an event, a friendship, a hobby, or a pastime, I ask myself, "Is this a tool, a toy, or a tangent?"
Let. It. Go., page 39
5. In Let. It. Go., Karen encourages us to ask ourselves with each purchase, activity, event, friendship, hobby, or pastime, "Is this a tool, a toy, or a tangent?" A tool helps us effectively live life. A toy helps us relax and enjoy life. A tangent knocks us off course and causes us to waste time, energy, and/or money on a trivial activity that does nothing for our life. List any areas of your life that, if left unchecked, can easily morph into a tangent. (Example: social media, television, scrapbooking, etc.)
6. Look up the following Bible passages. After each, write how it speaks to the concept of time-wasting tangents.
Now, based on what you just read in Scripture, what are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you to avoid time-wasting tangents in your life?
Scripture Memory Verse of the Week
Each week of our study will feature a verse to ponder and even memorize if you desire. For your convenience, all verses are printed out in the back of this study guide. You may photocopy that page on cardstock or colored paper. Then, cut out the verses and place them in a prominent place — purse, dashboard, desk, kitchen sink — where you can read and study them regularly. (You may want to laminate them if posting them at your kitchen sink. Been there. Splashed that.) Here is our verse for this week:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say ...?"
Genesis 3:1 (ESV)
Excerpted from Let. It. Go. Study Guide by Karen Ehman Copyright © 2012 by Karen Ehman. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsHow to Use This Guide....................7
Session 1 God Called and He'd Like His Job Back....................11
Session 2 Combating the "Me First" Mentality....................25
Session 3 Pursuing the Appearance of Perfection....................37
Session 4 Practicing the Art of Soul Control....................51
Session 5 When Comparisons Lead to Over-Control....................63
Session 6 Fixing Your Eyes on the Attitude Indicator....................75
Scripture Memory Verses....................87