Control Girl

Control Girl

Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible (January 2017, Kregel)

Tension, anger, fear, anxiety—it all begins with a heart that craves control.

Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don’t match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God’s, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.

Thankfully, there is a better way.

Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and
about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


  • WORD Up! says:

    “Control Girl” by Shannon Popkin seemed like a thought-provoking self-help read that would enable me to counsel others who have issues with control. I never dreamed that I would be the one who needed to read this book and receive God’s help with my own control issues!

  • Are we not ALL Control Girls?I loved this book, I read it and reread it. There is so much valuable info in this little book. Wise wisdom. . . . I gave this book 5 stars and I HIGHLY recommend this book.

  • A great read that shows you your faults without condemning you. Author hit the nail on the head with this one!

  • Control Girl by Shannon Popkin is a fantastic book that will grab your attention right away and touch your heart. Honestly, how many of us struggle with control issues in our lives? (ME) .This book will not make you feel alone in what you think is a crazy life and know that other women have been dealing with feeling alone, and out of control with their issues as well.

  • A wonderful book that every women should definitely read. I love how she had scriptures from the Bible and how she showed us the women with the control issues they had. This was an easy read for me and the lessons were short and easy.

  • In the Pages says:

    Do you think of control as a burden? If you don’t or even if you’d just like to know more, Shannon Popkin’s book will challenge you on the topic. By studying the lives of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam, you can see how much of a burden the need for control can be. As women, we weren’t meant to carry the need for control and Popkin shows how it’s selfish and self-protective and it can ruin lives and steal the joy you were meant to have.

  • In Control Girl, Shannon Popkin shows us, through personal anecdotes and Bible passages, that cycles of controlling actions destroy healthy relationships. But the opposite could be said too: Destroying cycles of controlling actions creates healthy relationships.

  • Control Girl is an encouraging book that explores the stories of seven women from the Bible who struggled with the burden of control. Although an easy and enjoyable read, this book has a powerful message. I especially appreciated the reflection questions at the end of each chapter as a way of pulling together all of the ideas presented.

  • Control Girl is an awesome book! It explores why we, as women, have a hard time when it comes to surrendering control of many areas in our lives. Shannon (author) writes about seven women in the Bible who also had control issues. She tells us how we can apply those lesson to our own lives! All women should read this book! I am so happy that I did.

  • The author gives great insights for any woman, a way to truly reflect on their lives, families, and friends in all situations that may arise. The Control Girl book gives hope to any woman at any age, a reason to believe in themselves through God and using the Holy Bible as a guide.

  • Control Girl is an eye-opening book. Deep at the root of many of our feelings of anger, irritation, and frustration is a desire to control. We have bought into the saying, “Mother knows best.”, and we want to make everything right. Unfortunately, our idea of everything right isn’t always God’s idea of everything right. Even if it is, He has His own ways of bringing it about.

  • Kcreatives says:

    I really loved this author’s style of writing. I love how she incorporated much of the Gospel and her own story into these pages. Where I think this book misses the mark is in the Bible study portion of it. I was disappointed in the parts that pertained to the Scripture. I wanted more study on the actual passages of Scriptures.

  • Amanda says:

    This is an excellent book! I thought that Shannon did a beautiful job of tying it all together, and I really appreciated her opening her heart to the reader.

  • Control Girl by Shannon Popkin is a great book that immediately grabbed my attention and heart. How many of us struggle with control issues? Immediately raises hand! This book will not make you feel alone, and yes, it makes you feel so human. Know that other women have been dealing with the same issues since the beginning of time, but you don’t have to keep living this way either. There is victory, and you can find it in the freedom of Christ!

  • Control Girl is a great study guide and resource, offering practical advice and instruction for learning to lean on God. I enjoyed the biblical aspects of each lesson, as well as the thought-provoking reflections and applications that were included.

  • Popkin’s latest provides an in-depth look at some of the famous “Control Girls” of the Bible. While it is not uncommon to do everything possible to get a desired outcome, more often than not, this pursuit leads to increased anxiety. The outcome? Instead of feeling in control, it generally results in anger or fear. The book contains Bible studies, as well as questions for personal reflection and meditation. The tips and ideas are practical. Numerous Scripture passages are included, which makes it easy to apply the lessons to daily life.

  • Control Girl is a biblical look at the issue of control and trusting God for outcomes. Popkin is a patient teacher guiding readers through the Word of God and not just her opinions. This resource would be perfect for small group or personal study.

  • This is one of those books I’m pretty sure was written just for me! I was hooked from the first devotional by these words – “Do I truly believe that God is in control? Or do I secretly think I am?” Ummmm… yeah. Well, I need to mull over that one for a while. Like, maybe write it out and tape it to my laptop… the bathroom mirror… the sun visor in the car. Anyone else?

  • Control Girl by Shannon Popkin – A Painfully Good Book – It’s a Keeper
    Not that I would like to admit that I’m controlling, but when I saw Shannon Popkin’s new book Control Girl – Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, I knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps the Lord had something He wanted to me learn about being controlling.

  • God is Love says:

    Popkin shares stories from her personal life as a wife and mother throughout this book. She’s real, honest, raw and her message will touch your heart. She touches on the lives of women who lived in the era that is written about in The Holy Bible. Her insights about these women of faith who lived back then are powerful! The way that she ties in their real-life situations with present day realities for women is very inspiring.

  • If you struggle with a need to be in charge of your own “happy ending” or controlling desires then I highly recommend reading this book. I can’t wait to become more of a Jesus Girl instead of the Control Girl I can let emerge

  • This book is all about learning of how you control situations, your need to control and how you respond to get control.  Shannon tells her stories that you can relate to in your everyday life and some situations that have happened to you and how you reacted to get control…….

  • After reading “Control Girl” by Shannon Popkin & learning about the control issues Eve, Sarah, & Rebekah faced, I am learning to surrender the control I crave!

  • This is one of the best reads I have had this year! The title intrigued me but I loved the book even more than I was expecting. Taking 7 different women from the scriptures the author does a great job at showing how when that women tried to control her own life that things got ugly but how God can take our brokenness and make something beautiful. I loved how honest and down to earth the author was, she didn’t hold anything back, drawing from her own life and how often she tries to take control and the end result of that, this book was just amazing. I highly recommend it!
    I received a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • “Fear is often what keeps us from relinquishing control.”

    I would say that is most definitely true for myself. I have always had a personality that struggled with fear and yet prior to reading Control Girl, I never really considered that my control issues are in direct relation to my fears.

  • `Control Girl` is a Christian living, women’s issues book written by author Shannon Popkin. Shannon Popkin looks at the life of seven women from the Bible and also including her own story to see how each learned to deal with the age-old sin of control. Shannon has had a blog for several years, is a contributing blogger at She is also a wife, mother, and speaker.

  • Angela Eeles says:

    Thank you for your example of loving Jesus, Shannon! From knowing you back in college to now, you are an amazing godly friend! Can’t wait to read the new book!

  • I found this book to be a gem. First, I found that I was able to relate to the author herself. She was brutally honest and included descriptions of what she calls “ugly scenes” of controlling behaviour, which she admitted were very hard for her to write. But these anecdotes drove the point home in many instances. As a reader we want to know that the author understands well the topic she is writing about. So I appreciated her honesty.

  • My Thoughts On The Book:   I began reading this book in the hospital.  I did not really want to read it because I felt bad…..and it really did not apply to me.  Boy was I wrong and the Lord used my illness to point out some things I had been overlooking….like being controlling.  It is so much easier to see controlling behavior in others, isn’t it?  While I lay there in my hospital bed at rock bottom I looked up and realized I had some major lessons to learn.  Popkin does a wonder job unveiling the controlling tendencies that we all have.  

  • I loved this book. And it came at a time when I really needed it. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased a copy for a friend. The author does a great job of making the topics personal and relatable. I felt like she was speaking directly to me while reading. The book would work well as a personal study book, but would also be perfect for a small group or women’s Bible study. Definitely a 5 star book, in my opinion.

  • MysteriesEtc says:

    Shannon Popkin’s book Control Girl came into my life at the right time. I have always been one who likes to control every situation. I have anxiety and have been looking for ways to help with it. Control Girl is divided into nine sections that would be perfect for an organized bible study. Popkin utilizes women from the bible such as Sarah, Hagar and Rachel to help us understand our anxiety and control issues. Popkin also uses humor which is very refreshing. I appreciate this book so much right now. Highly recommend.

  • snidbits says:

    I really enjoyed this book! I just finished reading a book about Sarah and her struggle with waiting on God so for a chance to read about some other women in the Bible (including Sarah as well) was exciting! I like how Shannon sets up the book by talking about Eve and the full impact of her decision to eat the forbidden fruit. She made some points that I’ve never though of it before but make complete sense.

  • Moments says:

    Shannon also shares her heart and her humor which makes this an excellent read as it is not “preachy” or lecturing, but a fun and inspiring read, but still gets the point across.  I loved really learning about these women, as a different perspective is offered and I felt like I really got to know them and who they were, instead of just a tidbit of what they each are well-known for.  Sarah, Miriam and Leah were my favorite chapters, although I really enjoyed the entire book.  This is one I am going to read again and revisit often.  I highly recommend this for individual and small group study.

  • How many times have we worked our way through the Bible or a study only to be left thinking, “I could never be like so-and-so in the Bible. She is the perfect woman.” Let me reassure you, that is not the case with this book! The lessons that are taught throughout this book are lessons that are learned from seven women in the Bible. They weren’t perfect women, they were women like you and me. They had control issues and they too needed to learn to overcome them.

  • Sean & Shey says:

    A great book for every woman who has a little bit of control freak inside of them. I mean, come on, isn’t that all of us?

  • If “control girl” describes you in any way, you need to get this book. If you’re like me and think it sometimes describes you, I highly recommend you read it, too. While it is good for any woman, much of the writing is written with an emphasis on being married and having a husband. The way Popkin writes not only brings fantastic insight to the dangers of being a control girl, but she provides rich, biblical detail to women in the Bible in a way I have never seen before. Great resource, and I have already recommended it to several friends.

  • More Of Him says:

    I love how honest and open Shannon is about her own control issues. There’s no preaching at you feeling with this book – just a “been there, done that” quality and the feeling she’s a friend who is going to help you let go of trying to control it all. A friend who wants to encourage us to make God a bigger part of our life so we can give our concerns to Him.

  • Popkin has taken a topic I’ve seen little written about and tackled it well. She is an excellent writer, skillfully blending solid biblical study with personal examples. She goes deep by lesson 2, which I appreciated. And every lesson was peppered with good strategies, penetrating application questions, and depth I seldom see in a women’s book. Great job for her first book. You’ll want this book for yourself, your women’s group, or for someone you love.

  • Control Girl is a biblically-based book and Bible study that takes you on a profound and personal journey through your own control issues. Each chapter is filled with several lessons that include journaling questions and meditations to reflect upon.

    No matter how control issues manifest in your life, Control Girl has something to teach you. This is a great book that I recommend for both individual and small group study!

  • Shannon Popkin’s book Control Girl is exactly what I need. It’s simple to follow but the truths contained on these pages are profound and life-changing. This would make an ideal resource for small group Bible study as well as personal devotions. I look forward to more books from Shannon in the future!

  • Three to Five lessons in each chapter, this would be an excellent group study, as well as individually. I would love to share this with my young adults group as I think it is practical for any age woman.
    Very well written and organized!

  • Controlling? Me? No…definitely not!

    Of all the words I might use to describe myself at times (sensitive, anxious, sometimes impatient) “controlling” would not be a word that fell into the list. Most of the time, anyways.

    However, after recently reading Control Girl, by Shannon Popkin my eyes have been open to the many subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways, I have fallen into the control trap in an effort to manage circumstances in my life.

    The moment I read the description of the book and watched one of Popkin’s Facebook videos, I knew I had something to learn from her story. I love the way she effectively grounds her own experiences with substantive evidence from seven Biblical women who had control “issues” themselves (Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel and Miriam).

  • I absolutely devoured this book! Each lesson left an impression on my heart. I relaxed and leaned into the Lord instead of frantically thinking of ways to “help” Him. The burden of control is immense and stressful and I was beyond ready to let it go. I just didn’t know it. Reading Control Girl was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

  • The study is both a challenge to surrender to God and a reminder of who really is in control. I appreciated the author first sharing transparently her own desire for happiness that she ended up ruining by trying to control well, everything or everyone. While I can boast in the Lord in the fact He has helped me overcome a lot of my own attempts at control, there are still areas where I am reminded to surrender it all to God. It’s scary isn’t it? Letting go and waiting to see what comes, especially when the waiting time for hope to be fulfilled can definitely be an exercise of the prayer muscles!

  • EmpowerMoms says:

    I was excited to read this book because I feel at times I have an issue with wanting things to be orderly and be in control. Unfortunately, after reading this book I didn’t feel like I could relate to the author’s need for control and examples and stories she shared. I did read the entire book however and felt it was well written and clear to understand.

    Although I didn’t find this book helpful for me, I loved that she used 7 specific women from the scriptures (Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam) and used their stories as examples on how they were controlling and how it affected their lives in a negative way. The author also used her own personal stories and examples through out the book.

  • Buzz4Mommies says:

    Oh wow, let me tell you how convicting this book is for me! This is not something that changes overnight, but a definite work in progress. This doesn’t mean that we should live in a sinful or careless lifestyle. Letting go of the thoughts of being in control just guides you to trust Him and His plans for everything in our lives. I think this devotional very clearly walks you through this. Each section has you reading scripture and praying and asking yourself some tough questions. I really found the author’s candor about her own control issues very reassuring. This is something a lot of us deal with. But God wants us to relinquish those thoughts of control and trust Him. This is a terrific devotional that I will be sharing with some other moms as soon as I am done.

  • You know a book is good when it changes your perspective on yourself.  Although she did give some advice on how to deal with your controlling behavior, just the (probably years late in coming) realization that my anger, and even my worrying comes from a need to control things was what I really got from this book.  Now I am (trying) to stop and think about what I am trying to accomplish when I start to get angry.  It isn’t working as well as I would like, but 30 years of being a control freak probably isn’t going to go away overnight. 

  • The desire to control started when Eve listened to the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit. Since then, women have been on a slippery slope of their longing to be in control in their marriages, with their kids, in their jobs, etc. The sin is often subtle and women explain it away, but if you take time to read through this book, study the scriptures, and listen to the prompts from the Holy Spirit you might find yourself in need of initiating changes in your heart and attitude.

  • No one wants to admit they have control issues. And giving up control means surrendering. I like how Control Girl points out that control ruins relationships, with other people and with God. If you do or don’t feel you have issues with control I think this book is worth checking out.

  • Shannon Popkin, author of “control girl”, doesn’t just write chapters filled with information and personal examples, she also includes lessons learned through her study of the above-mentioned Bible girls. They make great studies which lead to great discussions for small groups.

  • I could relate to many of Shannon’s experiences and it really hit home. However, what I loved most about this book was that the entire thing was steeped in Scripture – each section gives a portion of the Bible to read before continuing with the lesson. Many contemporary women’s “Bible study” books have one or two verses per chapter and then are filled with personal opinions, stories, etc. Shannon truly bases this entire book on the Bible and gives passage after passage to study on your own and through the book.

  • Really enjoyed digging into this book. It made me stop and think about why I feel the need to be in control and how that is not reflecting God. I also enjoyed going through the Bible characters and seeing their desire to be in control and how it did not work out they way they hoped. This book would be a great read for anyone, as we either need to be in control or we know someone else who does!

  • Fruitbearers says:

    Do you know any controlling, manipulative persons in your life? They are not pleasant to be around, are they? I know I don’t want to become one….I highly recommend this relevant, convicting, and insightful book! It’s great for personal study or for small group studies. I’d rather be a Jesus freak than a control freak any day.

  • Before picking up Control Girl by Shannon Popkin, I would have said that “controlling” is the last word people would use to describe me – but then I began to see myself in the pages of this book. This study is all about control and its opposite, surrender – something that I struggle with daily. Control Girl is written in an easy-to-follow style that captured my attention from the first page. There’s a good blend of personal stories, lessons drawn from the Bible, and personal reflection. Studying the lives of these Control Girls opened my eyes to truths that I hadn’t seen in myself. Highly recommended.

  • Noveltea says:

    If you would have asked me if I had issues with wanting to be in control, I probably would have said no, or at least not really. Reading Control Girl was rather eye-opening to me, because I realized that I like to be in control of stuff a lot more than I realized.


  • O, this book! Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control…by Shannon Popkin really hits you! I mean, how many times have I gone through this book and realize (with a thump and a stop in your heart) that the author could be talking about me?! With nine chapters and between three and five lessons each, readers are presented with personal thoughts, biblical depth and insightful discussions, as well as areas of reflection and meditation. Control Girl gave me much to think about, from my words to my actions.

  • This is one book I highly recommend to ladies of all ages. I can’t remember when I have read a book that could be more helpful. It seems like little girls are just born as natural controllers……I know I sure was and still struggle with this control issue.

  • I have always considered both my husband and myself to be controlling to a certain degree. Yet, I saw myself as the one who would cave to let him have his way (more than the other way around). Then I read this book. Control issues are affecting my life in ways I did not know.

  • A great resource for all women. We all seem to have areas that we feel a need to control. Which is not unlike some of the women of the Bible. . . . This would be an excellent book for a group study.

  • I pray that you are brave enough to pick up this book and thoughtfully go through each chapter and pray prayers of repentance and gratefulness that The Lord loves you enough to bring books like this into your life for such a time as this.

  • Control Girl by Shannon Popkin is an in-depth study on Women in the Bible that wanted to have control and how we as women today can relate to them. Popkin shared many things in her book Control Girl that hit home in my life.

  • I love how this book is laid out. For me, I love when a book offers me lessons and in each of the 7 women you will learn from in this book, those chapters are broken down into lessons, which makes for a great way to teach from it, or just to learn yourself.

    I learned a lot about myself and my issue with control. I feel that after reading this, I have a better understanding and feel like I am able to let go a little more. This is definitely a great read in my book.

  • My Full Cup says:

    I thought it was more fluff than substance. Its a great topic and one that we all need to hear and apply, but this book was just lacking some meat for my taste. But that is just my experience with this book, you might really love it! You should order it, or purchase it and read it for yourself.

  • This really is an amazing book for those of us who have issues with anger and anxiety. It challenges us to deal with the sin beneath the sin. And it helps us learn how to hold and fold. She talks about how as we try to control things we can’t control we lose control the one thing we can — ourselves! I say Amen!

  • We all have issues with control in some area of our life or another. This book helps you realize that, and also helps show how we can let go of our obsession to control things. We must learn to surrender our need to control things to God and let Him have his way.

  • This book was such an eye-opener for me! At first I thought I would just skim this book since I have no control issues whatsoever. Well, imagine my surprise when it turns out that I am a total control freak! This book ended up helping me so much and showing me things about myself that I was just totally blind to.

  • I can honestly say that I have control issues. I know I do. Control is something that I want to have over my life and what is going on in it. Control is also something I really and truly rarely have if I think hard enough on it. As I’ve worked through this book and the Biblical examples I’ve been challenged. Challenged to let go of my need to be in control. God truly desires and is ultimately in control of our lives no matter how hard we struggle to take that control from Him.

  • So, I thought that I would be able to quickly read through this little book over a weekend. Little did I know that God was going to use Shannon Popkin to hit me with all kinds of warning bells about my control issues.

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