The Strong Willed Adult

I am not sure if you have heard of Dr. James Dobson? He is a very encouraging speaker and author. He has a book titled, "The Strong Willed Child." He has also authored many other books as well, but this is the one that sat on my nightstand for several years! I have a child whom I have always said could be the poster child for the Strong Willed Child-she has a will of steel!!! I remember that I realized just how strong willed she was when I had told her not to say "poopy-da****" anymore because it wasn't nice word and if she said it again she was going to be in trouble. She looked me right in the eye and said it with such a daring attitude that at first I wasn't sure how to respond. I quickly recovered and got a bar of soap out and stuck it in her mouth (hey, it worked for the kid on A Christmas Story, right?!) She say there with that defiant air about her and did not cry or even flinch. When the time was up she took it out of her mouth and went on about her business-WOW! I knew the next time I would have to up the antey, so to speak. Vinegar was my next tool of taming the tongue and after a spoonful she looked at me and said, "Mmmmm, taste like pickle chips!" Are you kidding me???!!! So, the next spoonful was a little but larger and apparently didn't taste quite as good, because that was the last time I ever had to use vinegar again. That 3 year old is now almost 13 years old and although we face some new challenges, I thank God for helping us get through those very tough years. Even though Dobson's book is titled, The Strong Willed Child, as I am getting older I have realized that maybe there should be a sequel to this book called "The Strong Willed Adult." It wouldn't be about the struggles between the adult and their earthly parents, instead it would be about the struggles between the adult and their Heavenly Father-God. As I read in the book of Daniel this morning I saw just how stubborn and strong willed the human nature can be. King Nebuchadnezzar was, for the most part, a great and wonderful King, chosen by God himself. However, the fame, power and riches went to his head, rather than his heart and he became what I feel a lot of adults are today; self-righteous. I am not trying to be ugly. Believe me, I have acted in the same way. There are many people who have the power, money and fame and they handle it beautifully. Unfortunately, the ones who don't handle it as well are the ones who are in the news most of the time. The story of King N and Daniel is one that starts out with Daniel being King N's right hand man. Every time King N has a dream, Daniel tells him what it means. Daniel is faithful to King N and makes sure that he knows that these dreams are really God telling the king what will happen if he doesn't obey. In Daniel 2;27-28 says, Daniel answered, "No wise man, magician, or fortune-teller can explain to the king the secret (dream) he has asked about, But there is a God in heaven who explains secret things, ans he has shown King N what will happen at a later time. This is your dream..." Daniel tells the King that there are reasons why he is dreaming these dreams. The king listens and obeys-for a little while. Sound familiar? How many times do we listen to God and do what is right for a while but then something happens or we just get lazy and we start doing whatever we want to do? I am guilty of this many times over. It is easy to listen to God and follow the right path as long as it is easy and God seems to agree with whatever WE think is the right choice. But the first time God says, "NO!" we become like the strong willed child and dig our heels into the mud and refuse to budge!! I mean, come on, God did give us the freedom of choice, right?! Yes, He did. But he also gave us a servants heart and a desire to follow Him. You can't be a follower of Christ if you always have to push your way to the front of the line. God loves us and wants to see us happy, but just like a parent He has to discipline us as well. King N was pretty stubborn when it came to doing what God wanted him to do. God didn't get the bar of soap or the vinegar out, but for 7 years King N had to live like a wild animal and eat grass! I am sure that my daughter is thankful I didn't choose "biblical" punishment for her defiance;) In King N's writing of his experience during this time he says in Daniel 4:34, "At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven, and I could think normally again! Then I gave praise to the Most High God; I gave honor and glory to him who lives forever. God's rule is forever, and his kingdom continues for all time!" How strong is your will? Not the will that helps you with temptation or to do what is right. I am referring to the will that keeps you from doing God's will. God's will is by far much stronger than our own, it has to be to endure the way that His people treat Him at times. God will never force anyone to do what he wills, but in the same regard He will not withhold punishment either. Having a strong will when it can be used for the kingdom of God is a good thing. But trying to match wills with God and thinking that you are in control of your own life will only end in sorrow. I pray that as you seek God's will you will seek it with abandonment. Blessings-Nicole

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