If ever there was a typical strong-willed child, it is our first born.

He was never a difficult baby, just a challenge from the beginning.

While I don’t agree with everything Dr. Dobson says in “Bringing Up Boys”, he does have a lot of insight into how the boy mind tends to work and why exactly they are so crazy set on doing things their own way.

Yesterday, I had a serious toe-to-toe with Big Boy. He is 6 and has a stubborn streak that puts his mommy to shame. I say that because he gets it from me. And whenever I see it come out, which thankfully is not that often, I am reminded of myself.

So the issue was that we were in Walmart, he had to go to the bathroom, I had to stay with Keekers and the cart of stuff we had already purchased outside. JJ had no problem running into the women’s, where The Boy, who had already visited the same bathroom earlier, absolutely refused.

I tried coaxing – nada. JJ tried getting Big Boy to go in with him – no way. Encouraging – didn’t work. Dragging – he wouldn’t move. I tried telling him that what he was doing was submitting to temptation and not to God – nothing. Every angle I tried met with the same response – hardened face and vigorous shaking of his head.

It was almost comical – in fact, once or twice I almost burst out laughing at how stubborn he was being! But then it became far more serious as he became less and less responsive – I don’t even think he was really hearing what I was saying. Something was so bound up in his heart and head that he almost COULDN’T obey.

That boy was not budging. I wish I could say that I had the wisdom to see that I needed to pray for him, with him, right then and there outside of the bathroom. But I didn’t. We finished our errands and headed home where I sent him upstairs to have a chat.

I’ve seen this streak of defiance in him more lately – not quite to this extent, but something seems to snap and he really can’t do anything about it. But when it comes down to talking it out and dealing with it later, he sees it and knows that it is wrong. I don’t know how to help him avoid it, except that he needs the Holy Spirit in his life.

While I was out walking this morning, I began to see again that I should have prayed for him while it was happening. We have always told our kids that if they are struggling with something, they can come to us for help and we will pray for him and help them.

So I blew it yesterday. I probably could have avoided at least half of the confrontation. But I’m learning.

While he has such a stubborn streak, I see also that he has a real heart for little ones – teaching and playing with them, taking care of their needs. He is also a great helper (when you catch him in a good mood :D) and encourager. I am seeing more and more his potential for serving and seeking areas for him to help at church and at home.

My prayer for this boy is that his will would not be broken, but that the Lord would get a hold of his heart, change it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh, that he would seek wisdom, and that his resolve and his will would be fervent in following and serving the Lord.

Proverbs 2 brings tears to my eyes as I read through the promises of seeking and embracing wisdom. It also contains some promises in verses 5-9 and 20-21 for those who determine to walk in the ways of the righteous:

“5 then you will understand the fear of theLord

and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

8 guarding the paths of justice

and watching over the way of his saints.

9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice

and equity, every good path;”



“So you will walk in the way of the good

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will inhabit the land,

and those with integrity will remain in it,”


Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I don’t want my children to be good – I want them to be godly.