By Lisa Tobias, GFC South Tampa
I have a daughter who challenges me and often exhausts me.
If you’ve ever dealt with a defiant child then you’ve probably experienced the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions that comes with constantly trying to figure out another way to discipline that child. After all, we are to “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
One year when she was experiencing extreme anxiety at school and fits of rage at home, I was in the process of trying to get her the right help, but I had a complete meltdown myself. I’m sure you’ve had meltdowns before? Gone through a box of tissues? Me too. But this one was different. I wasn’t just sobbing uncontrollably; I was spewing hateful and destructive words at myself. Whoa.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Thoughts about being an inadequate mother had taken root in my heart. I had to realize I had a defiant, disobedient spirit inside of me. How could I reign in my own child if I couldn’t reign in my own thoughts?
I didn’t always understand the scripture from 2 Corinthians 10:5 that says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take
captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” After this scary, personal meltdown I leaned into this verse. How can we make negative, destructive thoughts obedient to God’s truth?
We have to view those thoughts as a disobedient, defiant spirit that is NOT of us, because we were not given a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
See yourself as the authoritative figure over these defiant thoughts and speak to them with the authoritative power of the Holy Spirit in you. Make them obedient to you and the Holy spirit by replacing the lies with God’s truth. This takes practice and discipline, and it’s often an internal wrestling match. When I can wrestle well between my faith and my feelings, I find I have more patience and wisdom when dealing with others, including my daughter.