Signs of a Leader — My Strong-Willed Child, Part 2


My son has always been a natural born leader… Some call these attributes strong-willed. :) It depends on what paintbrush you grab, or what lens you view it through. His candle is bright, and his presence is unhidden. Each day he is being molded and shaped; crafted with God’s hands through time, experience, knowledge and love. As I look at my sweet boy, I am motivated to grow, to learn truth, to live out truth, to abandon excess baggage in myself so I can guide him with a clear mind and heart. His eyes are watching, and emulating everything to the umpteenth degree, because whatever he does, he does big and loud… Because his roar is meant to be heard.


Maturity is a beautiful thing; it helps us grow and cultivate the areas of our personality that need to be improved upon. Even our God-given qualities, when used incorrectly, can breed rotten fruit, but if honed in and allowed the ability to be sculpted, they can really show their true beauty.

When a strong-willed child is able to use their strengths for productivity, they are unstoppable. They are determined, focused, unyielding, and strong, yet those same strengths, if left uncontrolled, can appear selfish, uncompassionate, and rude. What a privilege it is that we can be part of a journey with ourselves and our kid(s), to help highlight the incredible gifts God has given to them, and unearth the potential of kids with limitless borders. May God be glorified through it all.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

James 1:23-24

In the Life of my Boy

From the starting gate, my son was a very strong-willed and self-assured young boy. He demanded an audience with each step he took, and being the first grandchild, that was not a hard feat. He is doted upon, and loved by so many. When he started to try to learn how to crawl, you could see the frustration in his eyes as he tried to do something that his body was telling him he couldn’t do yet… I still see that frustration come out, of course not with crawling, but with various learning obstacles that are hard to jump through. My son can be his hardest critic.

I sometimes still see the emotions of the…

Baby trying to crawl, when he can barely sit up.
Frustration with learning to read, when he first picked up a book.
Wanting to beat his parents in games, he just learned.

Yet, I’m amazed as he walks through life pushing himself to do better. He wouldn’t have it any other way. His strong-willed nature that at many times forced me to question if I am an adequate parent, is starting to turn into fruit that I don’t think would be possible without a level of strong-willed determination and confidence.

Bold

My son is bold. Whenever he opens his mouth he is confident of the words he speaks. He speaks with authority and desire to be heard. We are trying to teach him to speak with respect, because even the wisest words will fall on deaf ears if done in a degrading manner.

We have called him “Tim, the preacher man”, “Officer Tim”, and “Chief” to name a few of his nicknames. :) At 7 years old I have seen him confidently speak his testimony at his baptism for the whole church to see and hear. It’s as though he’s not intimidated by age or who is watching. He knows his words hold value.

Later that year, his teacher suggested that he read the narration for the church nativity because she saw something in Tim that we see too. He quickly accepted.

Integrity

There is an ache in my boy’s heart to tell the truth… Even when he gets in trouble for it. Recently, he took his sister’s keychain that was used to win an award. Instead of quietly saying sorry, he said it in a venue that I could hear, so he would receive the just response. He even reminds me if he was penalized for something and I forget. He’s not concerned about getting away with things; he wants to learn and not make the same mistakes.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

Proverbs 10:9 

Fortitude

Being able to do what is right despite the consequences takes grit. Tim does not calculate the situation like most people. He doesn’t weigh the situation based on people’s reactions. He assesses the situation based on what he feels is right or wrong, and with a strong horn, he boldly, and unrelentingly shares the convictions on his heart.

Recently, my daughter Izzy had come home from an event and said, “Tim stuck up for someone who was called a wierdo. He told him that was not a nice thing to say.” In turn, the boy called Tim a wierdo. I asked Tim about it, and it wasn’t even something he delved into. He wasn’t seeking praise and accolades, he just did it because that was the right thing to do, and then he moved on.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9

What are you investing in your kids today, to help them be stronger and more Christ-like tomorrow? Some will be teachers, preachers, encouragers, singers, and the list goes on. All are needed. All are valuable.

It’s easy to struggle with all of life’s demands and lose sight of the great honor of helping our kids soar with vision and focus. Who are your kids? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are you investing in your kids today, to help them be stronger and more Christ-like tomorrow? Some will be teachers, preachers, encouragers, singers, and the list goes on. All are needed. All are valuable.

I think sometimes we have to quiet the noise of the distractions that try to consume our time. Instead of letting our mind be consumed with the tough moments, focus on the great moments. Those are the moments that allow us to focus on what can happen when our great God takes hold of their talents and skills and transforms them and those around them to live a life beyond themselves.

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