Thursday, September 06, 2007

Contrary

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.

Contrary.

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?

19 comments:

  1. John the Baptist did have the hair thing going for him. As you describe him, all I can think of is our 4 year old daughter. "Syble", as we like to call her, can be the epitome of joy and then instantly be the epitome of "un-joy". I like Dr. Dobson's comment. I think sometimes we are aggravated by their individualism (nice term there, eh?) because we see something in them that we possess also....and we may not like it.

    I so want the world to be perfect, at least my family. But in wishing such, I'm taking the power of Jesus Christ who changes us for naught.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahh I understand the contrary child well. Our 2nd born has had a mind of his own from birth. He has to learn by his own mistakes. There have been many a painful day watching him suffer through his bad choices and of course I suffer with him (I'm a mother after all) But God is doing good things in him. He's 26 and I'm happy to say that things have calmed down and he is maturing nicely but oh the tales I could tell. I thank God for his mercy and grace every day in the life of this child of mine...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so funny. I too have the contrary child. He too has long hair and the other three have short. He is my passionate child. Who can change at a drop of the hat. He too is my 2nd born son. He likes the ways of the world...fashion, music, etc. This son of mine loves so deeply, feels so deeply, and can get angry so easily. I pray daily that God uses his passionate nature to be passionate for Him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have one of those. I pray for him in the same way you pray for yours: Lord turn that stubborn streak and use it for your glory.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, I'm right there with you; I have a contrary boy, as well. When he was little, some "reverse psychology" came in handy. But as he gets older, he's getting to clever for my attempts at trickery. My husband and I have been known to say to each other, "You know he gets it from you, right?" Yeah, I think there's plenty of orneriness in this family to go around.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you decide not to pick that battle next time like I do so many times with my second born we almost always have strawberry poptarts behind ya!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lisa...I love this post...don't we all have somewhat of a contrary spirit? There are days that no strawberry poptarts might just send me over the edge, too....I have seen the day that less than that did me in...ha

    MdA

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think I was my mother's contrary child. And yet God certainly had his hand on me. It is so good that you pray that God will use his determination to be different for His glory. I don't know that my parents prayed for me. But I do know that even without prayers God has worked for His good in my life. So much more will God work for His good as you pray for your son.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yep. Mine, too. He can be so very loving and tender, but he'll also cut off his nose to spite his face. Just trying to shape that temperament into something positive is a challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We nicknamed my son "R.B." - rule book. He is my child that brings me to my knees before my Lord every day. I suppose that is a good thing. :)
    I've been reading your blog over the last week - found you via Lifesong. I've been blessed!
    Lisa of homeschoolblogger.com/TNLisa

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, I found your blog through another blog :) I loved this post as I too have a contrary child...lol. Praying she chooses to not only survive, but thrive in God's plan for her life. God Bless you and yours-Heather

    ReplyDelete
  12. He's got a praying mom in his corner and I know God will use Him in a big way for His glory. Keeping praying Mom. You're doing great.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was the contrary child and the oldest. Seems like those two traits go hand in hand.
    All I can say is that I am so thankful that my parents and my grandparents never quit praying for me. It wasn't easy - but here I am, by God's love and grace, and the many, many, many prayers sent up on my behalf.
    Hang in there! You are doing a great job!!
    Blessings,
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  14. OH My! LOL I have three of them! My youngest is my most contary child. You tickled my heart, thank you.
    -Terri
    www.the-potters-clay.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. God uses those children to shape us into what He wants us to be...God grows us through the contrary children, which is something in the long run we can be very grateful for!

    ReplyDelete
  16. would this happen to be your #3? Because you could have been describing mine...:))

    BTW - Saw your favorite pharmacist today! :)

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, I'm not sure how exactly I found you...a link of a link, etc. But I thought I would comment, if you don't mind. I too have a contrary child (and I only have two total - I guess that makes it 50%!). Reading this reminded me very much of her, and I always tell myself that she will in fact change the world someday!
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm a little late on this one, but, boy, does it resonate with me! I've found that my firstborn, who is my super-contrary child, is God's way of molding my character. I never considered myself impatient or quick tempered, but he has revealed through my son what has been in my heart all along. I cry out to God to help me as I homeschool him, to save his soul in spite of his mother, and I view him as a raging river I must keep within its banks! Someday, maybe he'll be a fiery evangelist!

    ReplyDelete
  19. would this happen to be your #3? Because you could have been describing mine...:))

    BTW - Saw your favorite pharmacist today! :)

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete