My youngest son, Rowan, is the type of child that determines his preferences based on his own logic, and no one else’s.
We cannot counsel or cajole him into liking anything, be it a new food, game, or other activity. So, Rowan is often compelled to try things.
It’s not that he’s disobedient – just the opposite, in fact. He’s a good kid, willing to please, and happiest when he is a contributing cog in the wheel of our family life. He’s even learned how to make his own hot breakfast, though he needs to stand on a stool at the stove to cook his scrambled eggs.
But Rowan is determined to make up his own mind about things. For example, I’ve given up on telling him, “Oh, you’ll love this, Rowan! It’s got your favorite flavors in it.” To that, his immediate response might be, “Well….it’s okay, I guess,” or, “It’s not my favorite, actually.”
He convinces himself he won’t like something just because I said he would. And we’re not talking Brussels sprouts. It could be a new type of cheese or a chocolate dessert – things he actually loves, but not if someone else tells him so.
Why does he react this way? His father, siblings and I don’t understand it. Perhaps it’s a way to get attention that has become habitual, or his need to be his own person as the youngest child.
Maybe he’s just stubborn.
Recently, I’ve begun praying that Rowan will make the necessary attitude adjustment. As I’ve prayed, I’ve reflected upon my own thoughts and actions before God. Perhaps they’ve not been as blatant as my son’s, but they are not dissimilar.
I know there have been times when I have figuratively crossed my arms and shook my head at God, refusing to attempt something for him that might be uncomfortable or inconvenient, be friendly to someone who is rarely friendly to me, or adjust my busy schedule to accommodate someone who will not appreciate it.
No, God. I won’t like that. I won’t like them. I won’t help them. And you can’t make me.
Looks like I need my own attitude adjustment.
I consider the compassion and selflessness of Christ, and my heart melts. His comfort zone knew no borders. He loved the haters. His schedule was nonexistent.
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? – Matthew 18:33
And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. – Mark 6:34
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. – Galatians 5:13
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:7, 8
So, I pray not only for my son, but for myself, that I will shed my stubborn mindset and be open and tender to the promptings of the Spirit.
Do you ever find yourself being stubborn and set in your ways in your Christian walk? I welcome your comments. Your words are such an encouragement to me!