The last several months Dylan has been going through some kind of “testing the limits of my power” type of period. His strong-willed tendencies have flourished and needless to say, it is driving me crazy! As it turns out, Dylan’s strong temperament clashes with my own. We can both put on a really scary show that makes the mild-mannered (Grant and Link) in our household scatter and run for the hills (or for under the table, whatever is more accessible and quicker) to escape the fireworks of wrath.
I have a really hard time controlling myself. Therefore, I feel like a hypocrite of Biblical proportions when I tell Dylan to control himself. Who am I to tell him that? Me, who can’t tolerate the slightest test to my patience??? I have no authority to tell Dylan to calm down and exercise self-control, when I myself can’t keep it together…and the worst part is…Dylan knows it all too well. So he doesn’t listen to me because he is seeing I cannot do what I say he should do…so we are locked in a vicious cycle of yelling and screaming that doesn’t seem to be broken.
As I read the book a Praying Life, by Paul Miller, I have discovered that I have not been praying for this situation with Dylan. I have been trying to fix it all myself, by my own power. I have been thinking of ways I can make Dylan listen and obey so things smooth out between us. The result? Total failure! Nothing I try works and no matter what and how I tell him, he continues with his defiance, which prompts my bursts of anger…and the vicious cycle’s endless spin continues as well.
I think I can shape Dylan’s will. If I only had the right technique…if I only could tell him the right words…I could certainly change him…
I can change Dylan just as much I can change an orange into a mango!
God has reminded me, through the book A Praying Life, that He is the only one who could change anyone’s heart. But He has also reminded me that there are, indeed, words I can speak which have immense power: His Word! The author of the book says that he has index cards with Scripture that he prays over his children constantly…that gave me an idea (I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before…). I needed to pray the Lord would lead me to His Word in a way that I could find something I can claim for Dylan and pray it back to God. So I did. And the Lord, in His mercy, led me to two places.
First, He led me to Ezekiel 36: 25-27:
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…
He is the Only One who can do this…as He reminded me in the other part of Scripture that He sent to me:
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Revelation 21: 5a
He is making us new! He is not done yet. He is still working on us and in us. There is still hope. Dylan will be a new creation by the power of the Most High, by the power of He who sits on the Throne…and so will I.
I just started this, so I can’t tell you that Dylan’s strong-willed heart has subsided yet. But I do realize that as I recite the words in my head, I am finding a new kind of rest.
Once again, He has showed me that, when in doubt, go to His Word for His Word is, indeed, the Lamp unto our feet that allows us to see the way! (Psalm 119:105)