Have you discovered how many women in mid-life have "know-it-all" attitudes? Many of us (me included at times).
We have lots of life experience to back it up. Even Proverbs 31:26 NIV encourages us to use our know-it-all-ness, "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
We have become resourceful out of necessity. For most of us who are mothers, we became counted on for everything from how to clear up a pimple to how to create a festive holiday party. Over the years, we have researched everything so we can be experts. We don't want all our expertise to go to waste.
Then our children grew up and began to tell or reveal to us we don't know- it-all. Wow, that's humbling.
Our husbands grow tired of us telling them what to do when. Our friends and siblings often act like they know better than us. The world becomes a competitive place, each person vieing for top dog position.
It's hard to know when to offer wisdom and when to hold back. But it takes just as much wisdom to restrain oneself. Being a know-it-all can be very off-putting to others.
It takes a willingness and practice to put it aside. Yet it is best.
Proverbs 21:23 ESVWhoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
One of the reasons we become know-it-alls is because we like to be in control.
Yes, we often become in control out of necessity. I don't know about your household, but I do the bank balancing and paper filing, so if someone needs to look at a bill or for a certain paper they'll ask me. I'm often the one in charge of the family's schedule. If I wasn't on top of things, my son may not have gotten his university applications in on time. He may never have gotten to campuses to take tours on the dates tours were available.
Moms are often superheros (out of necessity).
But there is good control and there is bad control. Sometimes we try to control so that our world feels secure. Sometimes we try to control out of selfishness.
One gift we can give ourselves, our families, and our friends in midlife is to give up being so controlling. Once the children are adults, we can back off. What a relief that should be.
Since, in most cases, reinvigorating our marriage is a good idea, giving our husband space can be crucial. Most men like space, love and affirmation over being told what to do.
Another big reason we should give up control is our bodies are already fighting so many other stresses, when things don't go our way stress tends to implode.
In essence, our need to be a know-it-all or to be in control puts us in an unpleasant prison.
TIPS FOR CONQUERING CONTROL
Is it time to let yourself out of jail?
A good question to ask oneself when things don't go as we'd like is "In the long view of life, how much does this problem really matter?"
Another way to handle our sense of control is to trust God more. Ask him to guide your day. When bad things happen, trust he has a good reason for them.
This week, when you feel yourself tensing up, ask yourself if it's because your "perfect world" is being challenged. Make an intentional trade of the stress-inducing thoughts to peaceful ones.
Let things go a little. Learn to live in a less than perfect world.
Let me know if this challenges you.