One of my children is contrary. You parents of contrary children know exactly of what I write. His brothers have short hair; his is long. His brothers all took a pacifier as babies; he did not. He is obstinate and stubborn and seems determined to do exactly the opposite of what he thinks I want him to do.
One Sunday when he was about two or three years old, he announced to me that "God made Miss Polly." (Miss Polly was his Sunday School teacher)
I asked him, "Did God make you too?"
"Not really, Mama, not really."
And I have to tell you, there are those times I wonder...
Yesterday morning he came down the stairs and wanted strawberry pop tarts, which, naturally, we had none. Instead of gratefully accepting any one of the number of breakfast items contained in the pantry, he refused to eat. And yes, I sent him to school without any breakfast. You better believe it.
Not only did I send him to school without proper sustenance, I hoped he was really, really, miserably hungry, thereby learning an important lesson or two. Like gratitude for what we do have. Like home is not a restaurant where you get your meals made to order. Like sometimes Mommy forgets stuff like buying strawberry pop tarts and she needs grace not blame and punishment.
I don't mean to paint him in a negative light. He can be Mr. Personality as often as he is Mr. Grouchy. You just never know. And like you, I've heard Dr. Dobson say it is the strong willed child that will change the world.
If he survives.
Lately he and I have been like oil and water. I think of the Potter/Voldemort prophecy: Neither can live while the other survives. Sometimes I wonder if we both will survive! And hey, if you were to lay odds, I think the best chances lie with the boy!
Raising a contrary child is not easy. I see his stubborn streak "a mile wide." But I see mine too. I realize perhaps he comes by his obstinancy honestly. It takes so little for me to become just as grouchy, petulant, and contrary as he.
How I pray God will take my boy's determination to be different and live different and use it for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom. How I pray for grace and wisdom for my husband and I to teach him to live contrary to this world.
Surely John the Baptist was a contrary child, do you think?