You know how when you're young, your parents always tell you that "I hope that one day when you you're a parent, you have children as stubborn as you?" Of course, I never believed it. That doesn't just happen. After all, I will be a better parent than mine were, and so my kids will just naturally be better.
So...are you falling over yet overwhelmed with hysterical laughter??? It hasn't quite happened that way. Here I am, a father of three great kids. My youngest Nathan, 15 weeks, is in his bed, where he will sleep through the night til about 9am. Faith, my daughter and middle child, was placed in her bad about 8:30pm tonight, where she will stay until about 8:30 to 9 tomorrow morning. Then there's Vincent, my oldest who is 3 1/2. It's a little after 10pm and I have been trying to put him down to bed since 8:45pm.
The problem is, every 10 minutes or so, he gets up with some excuse. Once, it was that he was too hot. Then, he had to "go potty" although there was nothing but air. After that, he needed his closet door closed. Now, you gotta understand something about me. I was raised in the south by a "mamma" who believed in discipline, and she expected what she expected. So, Vincent knows that with disobedience comes discipline. Sorry, but I'm not a big believer in time-outs, negotiations, and demerits. I believe the Bible to be literal when it says, "spare the rod and spoil the child."
But what's got me puzzled, is that even though he knows what he's going to get, he still gets up. He knows that his actions will result in physical discipline, and yet he still insists on doing his own thing. I know, I know, there is a lot of phsyco-babble about him being insecure, yada yada yada. He is a human being who is excerisizing his will.
Isn't that what we do? We know the consequences of certain things we do, but yet we still do it. We know the results of unforgiveness, and yet we still hold on to a grudge. We know the pain of betrayal, and yet we still keep walking back into relationships where there is no real change. We know the pain we cause ourselves and others by the sharpness of our tongue, and yet we open our mouth still. And we wonder why it hurts.
Yes, stubborness seems to be a part of the human way of life. My challenge to my son, to myself, and to whomever else is out there...trade stubborness for submission. It's not so glamorous, but it sure does get you further...with a lot less pain!