First things first. Let’s be really clear on the meaning of stubborn. Stubborn is not being disobedient and disrespectful – even when corrected. That is rebellion. Stubborn is not insisting on having your way – no matter what. That is selfishness. Stubborn is not continuing an argument forever because you are determined to be right despite the costs. That is being controlling.
Stubborn is what used to be called perseverance. We don’t use that word any more, and it’s a shame. Stubborn sounds ugly and often it is, because people don’t define it properly. Stubborn – in the perseverance sense of the word – is a wonderful quality you need to train your child to have. Perseverance is your child’s ability to stick to doing, saying and thinking what is godly, loving, pure, good, uplifting, giving and beautiful no matter the circumstances.
Stubborn is sticking to an important godly task and seeing it through until its completion. It is doing what God needs you to be doing for the Kingdom whether it is serving or sharing your faith – even when things get tough. Raising a truly, godly stubborn child will result in a child who:
- Does what is godly even when mocked or rejected by peers and others.
- Does what is godly even when what needs to be done is difficult and uncomfortable.
- Does what is godly even when it seems like it is taking forever to see any meaningful results.
- Does what is godly even if it seems less fun than what is sinful.
- Does what is godly even if it seems for a moment she is the only one in the world who still wants to obey God.
- Does what is godly even when it doesn’t seem trendy or popular.
- Does what is godly even when tempted by Satan to do otherwise.
- Does what is godly even when the rest of the world calls him crazy.
So go ahead and raise a stubborn child. Just make sure it’s a godly stubborn and not a spoiled, rebellious one.