When I was young, my mother informed me that I was somewhat...headstrong. Stubborn, even.
Take, for example, the time when I decided that I was through with afternoon naps. Two-year-old me stood up on the bed, hands on hips, and declared, "I will NOT take a nap!"
And since that day - no more naps! Unless you count the times when I would fall asleep at dinner, fork midway to my mouth. Or unless you count the many times since college, when I rediscovered the beauty of sleeping when you could be doing work (as opposed to actually sleeping, you know, at night).
So apparently my mother felt that she was in need of assistance, or at the very least some sound advice on what to do with such a determined toddler. She turned to Dr. Dobson and his book, The Strong-Willed Child. He has since published The New Strong-Willed Child, New Strong-Willed Child Workbook, and Dr. Dobson on Parenting: The Strong-Willed Child/Parenting Isn't for Cowards...Mom, apparently you are not alone...and I'm not the only one!
It has always amused me that she looked to this book for help. And in a way, I'm proud of the fact that I have such an untameable spirit....maybe not proud that I sent my mother scurrying for the self-help books, but there is something about having a distinctive personality that makes me feel good. Maybe it's my Celtic roots (what few of them remain untangled with all the Welsh, and German, and Scottish roots).
But I do think that I have come a long way since swearing off naps. At the very least I've recanted that oath and wholeheartedly embrace a good mid-day snooze. I also like to think that my personality has become much more manageable, particularly in the context of marriage. But I saw something today that stopped me in my tracks and made me go hmmmmm. Maybe I should re-evaluate. Because someone out there apparently is married to a version of me who never grew up. Behold: The Strong-Willed Wife.
I don't really think I need this book. My character flaws have all been gently and lovingly refined away in the crucible of graduate school in clinical psychology. (You come out the other end either totally aware of and overcompensating for your issues, or you emerge infinitely more wacky than you went in and henceforth do therapy wearing poncho shawls and cowboy boots and sparkly hair ribbons).
I'm not strong-willed anymore. I'm the very picture of wifely submission and sacrificial service. Right honey? ....Honey?
*In all seriousness, the Lord has been infinitely gracious in His refining of my spirit. While some of the strong-willed-ness remains (ok, a significant portion of it), He has taught me volumes about the importance of gentleness and submission. Joel and I are reading through a fabulous book right now called Each for the Other, by Brian Chapell. This book discusses the true meanings of male headship and wifely submission, and how to conform to these Biblical roles in marriage without sacrificing your personality and gifts.
If any of you knows Joel and me very well, you realize that he and I are at opposite ends of the assertiveness/submissiveness spectrum - and in the wrong direction! But in our short year and a half of marriage, God has molded us both to be ever more in His image and living more closely according to His ideals for marriage. What a blessing it has been to journey together, learning about ourselves and about dying to self without killing the self...we've come so far, and really it has been the most natural process.
People say the first year of marriage is the roughest, with all the adjustment that is necessary. If our first year has been the roughest, are we in for a smooth ride! Again, we attribute the many blessings of marriage not to our own impeccable characters and flawless behavior (heavens, no!). Rather, only by the grace of God have we arrived at this point in our marriage where we can sit on the back porch listening to the rain, looking at one another through the hazy April air, and remark "We have the best marriage ever." No, really. It's how we feel, so it must be true.
(anyone get the postmodern/emergent church jab there at the end?)
No, if we need any book in this house it's The Far Too Humorously Sarcastic Wife.
As an aside, did you know that "badum tish" is the official spelling of that drum sound that follows (lame) jokes? Seriously, Google says it, so it must be true. Badum tish!
2016 Books: 3Q
10 months ago