The absolute fact is, a strong-willed child is exactly what we should want. Strong enough to fend off peer pressure. Strong enough to set good goals and work toward accomplishment. Strong enough to put off current, brief pleasures for better, long-lasting rewards. – Bette Dowdell
Do you remember back in your teenage days? I do. I was one of those kids that tested all the limits. Actually, I didn’t just test them. I pushed past them like a record breaking Olympic runner through the finish-line ribbon… leaving them all in the dust with everyone’s mouth hanging open.
I was a rule breaker. A grey hair maker. The one you don’t bring home to mama.
And God took the wild in me and bridled it gently with His grace and forgiveness. He covered all the ugly with His selfless love. Because believe me, there’s a lot of ugly left over when you buck and bruise yourself and others. A lot of wounds needing healing. A lot of stories that are better left untold.
Part of me was hoping that homeschooling was going to keep the teen troubles away. I guess that’s a little naive to think you can go from sweet little baby to capable adult without the slightest battle of wills. Anyone who has ever fought with a toddler about leaving the train table at Barnes & Nobles knows that there’s bound to be a few tears and tantrums – no matter how good of a parent you are.
Jesus said that the one who had committed the worst sin was often the one who loved God the most – because they knew the price of His forgiveness in a deeper way. This concept was something he talked about with the racy woman who poured perfume on his feet. He implies in the verses about the sinful woman who anoints his feet with oil that the one who loves Him more is the one who has the largest amount of sin forgiven them (Luke 7:43).
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” ~ Luke 7:47
I know that God loves my children more than I do. I was that woman. I pray that they don’t have to learn the power of forgiveness through the greatest sin, but whatever the path laid out before them, I pray that they DO come to know the power of forgiveness and salvation. Whatever it takes and where-ever it leads them. May I never step in-between God’s discipleship to prevent them from learning His truth for their life.
We all want our children to become exceptional adults… to fly like eagles. The tricky part of parenting is learning how to let go as they begin to test the air under their new-found wings.
Lord, help me to cheer them on from the edge of the nest and allow you to guide them on the breeze. Show me when and how to lead, because heaven knows I want them following YOU and not me.
Amen, Spritti! I use to be a wild teen child too and am amazed every day at how great His faithfulness is!
Michelle Taylor says
This is beautiful, Thank you for sharing.
Charlotte Mason has a lot of good things to say about encouraging will in a child…much like you are saying.
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I really like the tips you have given. Thanks a lot for sharing. Will be referring a lot of friends about this.
Amy @ Hope Is the Word says
Amen. Oh to be like Paul (I think?) when he said "Imitate me as I imitate Christ.". I'm a poor imitation. Will is a wonderful thing, when harnessed. 🙂
Dawn @ The Momma Knows says
Oh Heather, I have been there. I am there. And I understand. Homeschooling your kids does NOT prevent trouble and it doesn't prevent rebellion. Hang in there, pray without ceasing, give a lot of grace, and pick your battles wisely. Decide now what the boundaries are and stick with them, but give lots and lots of grace for the nonessentials. If you want to chat, I have ears for you. Broad shoulders too! 😉
jobs writing says
Girl on photo amazing!
And very interesting post. as always))
Kelli @ Life in a Barn says
Thank you for this post. I needed it. I cried. Enough said.