My father used to tell people sometimes in his sermons that he had two sons. One that in earlier years could be disciplined with a look…another that required a more “direct” form of punishment.
Almost every time he used that illustration I would ask him, “dad which one of the sons am I?” This question usually went unanswered, but one Sunday afernoon he resonded with “son you don’t want to know.”
At first the idea of being a stubborn seemed incredibly funny to me, but then I realized my dad wasn’t laughing.
The realization of being a strong-willed child  confused me because my actions definitely weren’t rebellious
- I didn’t get in trouble at school
- My heart was very tender towards God
- I always had a great relationship with my brother (well most of the time)
- And I didn’t get into trouble at home much
So I was NOTHING like the idea that I had in my head of what a strong-willed or rebellious child looked like
- They disrespect all forms of authority
- Demand their way at all times
- Refuse to obey the rules
- Are constantly yelling at people
It took a while for me to understand why my father referred to me as a strong-willed child. It wasn’t because of the outward rebellion in actions, but a seed of rebellion in my heart. That seed (beginning) of rebellion is what parents must deal with so it doesn’t grow into an outward rebellion.
Most people who knew me would be shocked at the idea of my being a strong-willed child because they only saw sweet little John-John .
There was of course another side of me however that refused to confess wrongdoing and show remorse till threatened with, or experiencing serious punishment.
Some individuals would call this “just being a kid” but I’m incredibly grateful for parents who saw this for what it was…the beginnings of a rebellious attitude.
And did whatever it took to elimnate that attitude 🙂
The problem is many of us (myself included) don’t recognize this kind of rebellion until it’s too late.
This is why for the next two weeks I will be sharing some lessons learned as a strong-willed child with the prayer that it will help others own up to thier hidden rebellion.
It’s not always easy to hear the truth sometimes, but I’m glad my dad explained the rebellion in my heart as a child because it allows me to lead others with that same rebellion towards maturity.