I was at my wit’s end.
He sat there, his usually sparkling eyes narrowed. His lip was shoved out in a stubborn pout, and a plate with a few bites of scrambled eggs sat in front of him. Strong-willed doesn’t even begin to describe this child of mine. (Okay, since we’re going for honesty, they are all more than strong-willed. I don’t know where they got it. Ahem.)
He had been sitting there forever, and nothing I said moved him. Not the joy of playing with trucks, or watching a movie, or going out into the shop to help Daddy. Not baking with Mama, not playing outside with Sissy.
Seriously? A two year old?
Yep, he’s strong willed, this boy.
I really, honestly did not know what to do.
So I went to my knees. I prayed in the way desperate mothers do, begging for wisdom and patience and some kind of break through past the stale mate of opposing wills. It’s just eggs today, Lord, I said. But when it’s school? Or curfew? Or the wrong crowd of friends? I don’t want to do battle with this kid every time I turn around!
We stuck to our guns, and he stuck to his, through lunch time. He went to bed for his nap, and awoke to freshly scrambled eggs.
Finally, he caved.
I almost cried.
One bite of eggs, it turns out, was not as toxic or gag-worthy as he thought.
And God gave me fresh perspective on the whole situation. Yes, it was incredibly frustrating. But a two year old that can sit at the table and turn down enticing offers like playing in the sandbox and watching Veggie Tales®…albeit for the wrong reasons…is a teen that can stand strong against peer pressure and a man that can withstand the assault of an alluring and corrupt culture.
What drives me to my knees in despair today is the trait that God can shape into something priceless tomorrow.
So pray, mamas.
But pray in hope, knowing that the God who made your children can leverage any weakness into strength.
He gave them you for a reason. No one will fight for them in prayer more tirelessly, no one will love them more fiercely, no one will train them up to love Jesus like you will. You, as your kid’s mama, have a peek into their hearts that is unique.
Every child has the raw materials for greatness woven into their very being. Here’s a few things I try to do with our littles:
- Teach them how to use those gifts. Show them how to embrace their tendencies in a good way.
- Encourage them. Speak truth and blessing as much as correction and discipline.
- Study them. Know their strengths and weaknesses. They are not me or my husband, and that’s a good thing. They are just and only themselves.
- Appreciate them. They have tender little hearts (yes, even the stubborn ones!) If they know that their mama likes them, correction will not be traumatic. They may not enjoy being told “no,” but they will not doubt my feelings for them in the heat of battle.
And if you’re asking…no, my 2 year old still doesn’t love eggs.
But he’ll eat them.
Hallelujah! And pass the knee pads. I have a feeling I just might need them in the near future…not just for intercession, but also for thanksgiving.
Because who these kids are?