The Control Rebellion Rejection Stronghold

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast: Episode 99


Did you know that there is a stronghold whose sole focus is to divide people from each other and destroy relationships? Do you have reoccurring conflicts in some of your relationships and can’t figure out why?  I have good news for you. In today’s podcast we are going to talk about a stronghold that might be causing these struggles. It is a stronghold that can be dismantled and removed from your life.

I’m Lee Whitman with Restoring the Foundations and I welcome you to this Hope Healing and Freedom podcast. Have you ever had reoccurring conflict in a relationship with someone and you can’t figure out why it keeps happening? Do you find yourself avoiding talking with certain people because you know it probably will not go well? Are you tired of feeling powerless in certain relationships? Today we are going to look at a very common stronghold that is the enemy of relationships. Let me back up and mention that in last week’s podcast we talked about the Shame Fear Control stronghold. If you have not heard last week’s podcast, I encourage you to take some time and listen to it for the description of how Shame and Fear and Control work together to put you in bondage. Today we are going to talk about how Control teams up with Rejection and Rebellion to form another very powerful and common stronghold. This stronghold is very good at dividing people and hindering relationships.

Let’s begin looking at this stronghold by talking about the reason why people control. There seems to be two main reasons people control. There are people who control to have power. These would be the Hitler type of people who control to exert power over other people. Fortunately, these control freaks are fortunately rare.

The majority of people control to avoid pain. They try to control to cover their existing pain and to avoid further hurt and pain at all costs. They will do anything necessary to get their way so that maybe they can cover over the existing pain and feel secure and protected. Since this type of control is actually an illusion that does not last, they must keep controlling to feel safe. Control is an illusion because they can’t affect safety and security by their own actions, they can only give themselves the feeling of being safe and secure. Control is an exhausting lifestyle because you can never relax due to the fear of what might happen if you are out of control.

As part of this group who control to avoid pain are those who control to provide protection for others. Most often this will be a mother who has to take control due to the passivity of her husband to provide protection for her children. Or a wife who must take control due to the fact that her husband has abdicated his role as the spiritual head of the home. Some people who claim that they are controlling to protect others are protecting others to avoid pain in their own life. These would be people who claim to “know what it best for you”. Parents can fall into this category of trying to control their child’s decisions in the name of protecting the child when they are in reality protecting themselves from pain. They are trying to control a child’s decisions, so they do not experience hurt and pain over their children’s choices.

The Control Rebellion Rejection (The CRR) stronghold is a demonic stronghold that is used by the enemy to cause division and conflict in relationships. And to be blunt, it does its job of division and conflict and strife really well. I know this stronghold firsthand because Cindi and I did this for the first 35 years of our marriage. For many years I thought Cindi was the problem. If she would just stop trying to control me, I would not react through rebellion or rejection. Then when we were taught about the CRR stronghold we realized for the first time that she is not the problem, that I am not the problem, but that we are being held captive by a demonic stronghold. The demonic stronghold was the problem. When we got on the same page and worked together to confront this stronghold, we have found that the CRR hardly ever operates in our marriage any more.

Let me give an overview of how this CRR stronghold operates and then I will go back and give more specific examples. Picture two people in a relationship. It can be any two people not just a married couple. One person does something to control the other person keeping in mind that people control to protect themselves from pain. The second person reacts with either rebellion or rejection or both at the same time to also protect themselves from pain. The moment the second person operates in rebellion or rejection, they become the controller. Their rebellion or rejection keeps the first person from getting the response they desired, thus controlling them. Out of their desire to avoid pain, the first person reacts to that control by going into rebellion or rejection as a reaction to being controlled. This cycle continues as both people are trying to avoid pain. As you can see, when this is happening no good communication is taking place. In fact, this cycle causes division and strife between husbands and wives, between parents and children, between friends and coworkers and it promotes wars between all of them. It also causes people to build walls around their hearts to protect themselves. It can also cause people to give up, to become victims believing that they can never please others, or they are powerless. As I said earlier, this CRR cycle is very effective at bringing destruction into the lives of God’s children. 

There are many ways that people try to control others. There is very obvious direct control. Things like giving commands, making demands, being bossy, or directly telling somebody how to do things.  Sometimes this direct control includes the use of physical force or violence to get the desired response. Anger is an obvious way to control others. 

Then there is control that is not so obvious. Worry and concern is a type of control that is not as obvious. “You know, your father and I are concerned about how you are disciplining your children.” Reasoning or arguing is another type of control that is not as obvious. The person might be simply trying to explain to you why something should happen, but it often comes across as this is the only way we can do this. I worked with a guy who had a need to explain how he thought something should be done. It wasn’t that he was saying that it had to be done that way, it was just his need to feel like you took his idea into your decision-making process. The way it came across was that if you did it any other way than the way he described it, you would be doing it wrong. It was a subtle form of control. This subtle control also happens when someone tries to steer a conversation in a certain direction.

Another common type of control is manipulation. There are many ways that people manipulate. It might be through statements like “after all I have done for you”, or “I guess I will be alone this year for Christmas.”  

 People can also manipulate by being overly flattering or using excessive praise to get what they want. Others manipulate by withdrawing or pouting or by throwing a pity party. Other people use sex or money as a means of manipulating others.

The second person reacts to the first person’s control through either rebellion or rejection, or both. Let’s talk about what rebellion might look like. Rebellion might be done actively, or it may be done passively. For example, one way that people can be rebellious is by being stubborn or uncooperative. I’m not doing what you want me to do! This could be done actively through telling the other person that you are not going to do it, or it could be done passively by not saying anything but shutting down inwardly. The rebellion that is done actively can cause much wounding for the other person. Things are often said during this active rebellion that are very hurtful and damaging to the other person. There is a full range of things that fit in this category of rebellion from simple resistance all the way to murder.

The person may also react out of rejection. The same person that is rebelling is also experiencing rejection. The message from the controller is that you are not adequate, so I’ve got to take charge. This causes the rejected person much hurt and pain which leads them to feel badly about themselves. Out of those feelings of hurt and pain, they withdraw to protect themselves from more hurt and pain. They also might isolate to protect themselves. They might do this actively by withdrawing and isolating themselves physically, or they may do it passively by staying in the same room but withdrawing inwardly. I am still here, but you do not have access to me. Which makes them the controller. Their method of control is to withdraw and isolate themselves blocking the other person from getting the response they desire. The cycle goes on and on with no good communication happening because both people are trying to protect themselves from pain.

As I mentioned earlier, Cindi and I did this for 35 years and we were really good at it. We had our black belt in CRR. Cindi would be the one to typically initiate a topic for conversation. She is someone who likes to think about things before bringing them up, so she had been thinking about this topic for a while. She would come to me with the five scariest words a husband can hear, “Honey, we need to talk!” I knew it was something she had been thinking about for a while and I had probably never thought about in my life, so I instantly felt like she was trying to control the conversation. I would react to this control by becoming very resistant about having this conversation (rebellion) and I would withdraw to the barn to work on the motorcycles (rejection). My control through rebellion and rejection would cause her to feel hurt and then angry that I would not talk about it. Due to her hurt and anger I would get even more convinced that I did not want this conversation (resistance and stubbornness) so I would withdraw even more and play the victim. This demonic stronghold went on for years.

When we discovered that I was not her enemy and she was not my enemy, but that this demonic stronghold was actually the problem, we got on the same page and quit allowing this cycle to control us. We would come together and say something like, “I feel like we are about to go into that CRR cycle, and I don’t want to. Let’s pray!” Sometimes our prayer was “Jesus HELP” but that was all it took for us to come together and fight this enemy from a place of unity instead of allowing it to divide us. It has been amazing. We don’t do that CRR cycle any longer, in fact I can’t even remember the last time we had a CRR. Our communication is so much better because we are able to sit down and talk through issues without it becoming divisive.

There are two things you can do that will help break this cycle in your life. The first is to get healing for the wounds of your heart. The only reason that this cycle works, is because it is touching wounds that you already have. As your heart gets healed through RTF ministry, you no longer have a need to control others, and other peoples control no longer causes you to want to go into rebellion or rejection.

The second thing you can do is to recognize when you are heading into this cycle and make the choice not to participate. You can say no to other people’s attempts to control you. Control is like throwing a fishing hook into the water. The fishing hook only works when the fish bite on it. Control only works on you when you let it hook you. If you don’t bite on the hook of control, it has no power over you. The best thing you can do to fight this CRR stronghold is to get your heart healed. While you are getting your heart healed, you can choose to not participate in this destructive cycle.   


Father God, would you help us see any ways we are cooperating with this Control Rebellion Rejection Stronghold cycle so we can begin to say no to its control over us. Would you then give us the courage to contact an RTF minister and get our hearts healed so this cycle no longer operates in our lives.  Amen

If you recognize this stronghold at work in your life, please don’t put up with it. It is trying to destroy your relationships. Go on our website and click on the Get Ministry tab at the top and contact an RTF minister in your area.

RTF Featured on The Shawn Bolz Show

On the second half of this week’s episode (May 20th 2024) of “The Shawn Bolz Show”  RTF directors, Lee and Cindi Whitman, were the guests. Watch for powerful insight and two special listener offers on products to help bring hope, healing, and freedom.