Life as a Firstborn, Type A, Control Freak

First Born ChildA story from my childhood will perfectly illustrate my firstborn, type A, control-freakish tendencies.

When I was in preschool, we attended an old Southern Baptist church that had all the normative signs of an old Southern Baptist church: hymns, potlucks, and sweet old ladies. One such sweet old lady had taken to calling me ‘Vicky’. For this story to make sense you need to know I hate being called ‘Vicky’. Apparently my resentment goes way back. One Sunday morning, I had enough. This sweet old lady inched towards me, my mother says, and I became stout in my resolution to set her straight.

“Well good morning, little Miss Vicky! God bless you today!” she chirped.

I pulled back my three-year-old shoulders, looked her square – well, diagonal – in the eye, and said, “Ma’am, my name is Victoria. If my parents wanted to call me Vicky, they would have named me Vicky.” 

And that probably explains why I never got candy from old Southern Baptist ladies ever again.

By all accounts, I’ve always been a bit feisty and opinionated.

My husband recently asked me if I truly had an opinion on everything. I thought for a split second and confidently answered, “Yes, absolutely.” (See what I mean!?) I am one opinionated ENFJ, J for Judging, woman.

You know, it’s difficult when people don’t appreciate your amazing insights into how things ought to be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a store and immediately thought of ten things I would suggest the owner should change. How much I resent my plans being interrupted. Or how often I read books with a pen in had, partially to take notes and partially to correct grammatical errors. (And if you noticed a grammatical error in this post, I’d disagree with you but don’t believe me.)

There’s a word that comes to mind: Pride. Yes, friends, I have a pride problem. It is remarkably easy to mask my pride under the guise of “firstborn”, “Type A”, or even “I just prefer to do it myself.” Listen carefully, you can hear pride not-so-subtlety bubbling up. I am continually learning that the world doesn’t operate on my time table, or with my opinions, or even with my preferences.

“My way or the highway” doesn’t leave much room for treating others how I would like to be treated, for putting others above myself, for being Jesus to people. No, my firstborn, type A, control freakish tendencies aren’t just personality quirks, they’re major sins that need to be routed out and redeemed by Christ. Pray for me, as I pray for you, to be more like Jesus and less like a firstborn, type A, control freak.

Can you relate? Do you have any advice for others who may be struggling with pride? 


  1. Bek on April 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hello from a fellow firstborn! 🙂

    Yes, yes, and yes. I had a similar story with being called Becky, but I got my dad to tell him what’s what…but in elementary school, I would ignore you if you called me Becky.

    There are definitely things I like about being a firstborn, and God has given us some awesome gifts {decisiveness, opinions, boldness, etc}, but there are things to watch for, too, and I think you hit the nail on the head- it’s pride.

    Thanks for sharing, dear! Love you!

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