You know there seems to be a lot written and discussed in mom circles about the strong-willed child. How to live with them. How to teach them submission. Should you break their stubborn ways? The best way to obtain a more flexible and obedient kid…
We’ve all been there with that two-year old determined to humble us as we pass the candy aisle in the grocery store. We’ve all dragged that three-year old to the car as she screams about how bad her life is while still clutching her ice cream cone you just bought her from the restaurant that she didn’t want to leave. We’ve all looked into those sarcastic eyes of that “older kid who should know better” who is still clinging to their selfish platform. Oh, dear friends, we have so been there.
And the question looms; how do we teach the locked-jaw, stubborn among us?
I’ve had many years to ponder this very question and have yet to come to a firm conclusion in the heat of the moment, so feel free to look elsewhere if you think I’ve found the magic ten steps to freedom. But what I have learned I am willing to share. I’ve learned that I am asking the wrong question.
Things began to change around here when I started telling my girls through many different avenues that “It’s ok to be stubborn, you just have to be stubborn about the right things.” See, I realized that I really do want them to be stubborn afterall.
I want them to be fiercely stubborn about compassion. Unwaveringly clinging to justice. Uncompromising on commitment and purity. I want them to look in the face of the divorce rate and broken homes and lock their jaws in stubborn rebellion. I want them to brace their strong-willed backs in rebellion to the human trafficking numbers which are ever rising. I desperately want them to be unbreakably stubborn about their devotion to Jesus, compelling them into His Word and into the fields ready for harvest.
I hope every single one of my little ladies is terribly stubborn.
We’re still learning stubbornness with respect, kindness and gentleness. We’re still learning which battles to be stubborn about. It’s a lifelong lesson that they will carry on without my guidance in the future.
But it’s time to stop seeing strong-willed as a bad thing. I don’t want to break them. I want to train them to appropriately apply that passion and that zeal and that burning fire in their eyes. It is truly a gift. A God-sent gift. And I am praying for their opened eyes at how God would lead them to apply that stubbornness to this lost and dying world.
Stiffen your back, little ladies, and fight the good fight until we see His face.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made for that very purpose.