My name is Stephanie and I have a strong-willed child. There are days that I fail miserably at parenting this child, but I have prayed about it unwaveringly and God has pointed out some things to me. I thought that I might share them with you in case you may be sitting at your house overdosing on chocolate and weeping over your computer because you lost another battle.
One day during my prayer time, God asked me a question. He asked, "Who is your favorite character in Pride and Prejudice?" I didn't even have time to think that it was an odd question before I mentally cooed, "Elizabeth Bennett!" The Lord went on to ask me what kind of character traits she displayed. Fortitude. Unwavering tenacity. A complete lack of care for others imposed opinions of her. Now, mathletes, are you adding this up? As I sat in discussion with the Lord, I realized something very profound. Most every character I loved in literature and in Scripture displayed the trained characteristics of strong will. Then why is it so unnerving in my four year old? Control.
We have this idea all wrong. We are not in battle against something. We are in battle for something. I thought about the prophet Isaiah and the fortitude and tenacity he displayed amongst such hatred. He persisted in telling people exactly what God told him to until, history states, he was sawed in half. The man walked around naked to make a point. That's something, I just don't have the guts to do. Your child is going to be strong and lead because it is their personality. Shape them to lead others to Christ.
Our children are messages from us to the next generation. Let me tell you, the next generation looks none too pretty. We must have people rise up to speak against all odds. Will this happen if we are trying to kill tenacity instead of train it? Our strategy is in developing character, godliness. Remind them that they are made in the image of God and to use their personality for Him, not against Him. Remind yourself. When you are overwhelmed, pretend you are raising Elizabeth Bennett and carry on. Don't pay any attention when your children remind you that their name is not Elizabeth. Carry on.