My wife an I are raising three rough and tumble, loud, aggressive, highly physical boys. My oldest boy is extremely Noble and cooperative. My middle child is the most strong willed person on the face of the earth! He is also very sensitive. My youngest is also strong-willed but less than my middle child. Two of my kids are Strong-willed boys! What a combination!
Sometimes I look at other people raising quiet children and wish we had days like that. I mean, quieter days with less drama and less reaction to what otherwise would be a normal day.Little things like asking them to put away a toy become an Oscar winning drama! It’s tough when they don’t “go-with-the-flow,” and they “dig their heels in the ground.” Will they ever learn that throwing things and hitting is wrong?
The thing I hear the most from other people is “They are so full of energy”! I heard one dad say “they’re wild as bucks!” but I know what it means. What they’re really saying is, “You should control your children better.” “You’re doing something wrong.” Or worse… “There’s something wrong with your kids, and I don’t want my kids around them.”
I firmly reject those words as lies.
Believe me friends, I know my boys. No one knows them better than me. And because they live their lives out loud, I know what’s in their hearts. I know when they have an issue with sin because it rears its ugly head loud and clear through their over the top actions.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves.
It’s actually a blessing to have boys who share (and wear) their hearts and emotions so openly. Because while we may not always know how to handle our boys, we always know what’s in their hearts. And that’s most of the battle.
You see, when a boy is quiet—pouting instead of hitting, walking away instead of tackling, hiding his thoughts and feelings from his parents and those around him—it’s easy to think his heart is all good, and overlook the way he might be sinning that no one can see.
The reaction is different. It looks and feels different, but the heart issue is the same.
How do I know?
Because I was like that. I was that likable boy that you wanted your children to be around. But my heart was far from God. On the outside, I looked clean, but the inside was dirty. A double agent, showing one face to the adult world and living a different life in my own mental world!
May I speak to our hearts for a minute?
Whether you have a quiet boy, or an over-the-top strong-willed one, your boys still sin. And most likely, though their reactions may look different on the outside, the heart of a quiet boy and the heart of one of “those” boys are much more alike than they are different.
So why do we want them to change?
Isn’t it really more for our sake than theirs?
It hurts me when they don’t get invited to birthday parties, or when I see the judgmental stares. Mom, dad, I see when you move your boys away from mine, and it stings. Because I’ve learned that “these” boys of mine are just who they are. And it takes all different kinds of men to change the world.
So today, I declare that God made my boys loud, stubborn, and ready to tackle life head-on because it best serves His purpose for their lives. These boys of mine will likely become men who will Rescue the innocent, who will fight for justice, Hero for the helpless and tackle the enemy! I proclaim that they will be Stubborn for righteousness and Loud for the Lord!
If you have a Strong-willed child would you proudly raise your hand to say, “That’s me. I have one (or more) of “those” boys, and I love them more than life. I vow today to fight for them as hard as I can.”
Please know that I am in no way attempting to make excuses for poor, inappropriate, or sinful behavior.
I am however, attempting to begin a battle for “strong-willed” boys, and ask the world around them to see their value and worth.
By: Eduardo Quintana
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