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5 Bible Verses to Save the Sanity of Parents Struggling With a Strong-Willed Child


Parenting a strong-willed child can be a rewarding — and profoundly challenging — experience. But while it’s certainly a deeply difficult undertaking, the Bible gives us some powerful tools and points of advice that can help guide us through the ups and downs.

Here are five verses that might help you along your path if you’ve discovered that you are, indeed, parenting a strong-willed child (all presented in NIV):

Proverbs 22:6

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Key Take-Away: Even when parenting gets tough, remember that the task is to train our kids well. The Bible tells us that equipping them — even when it’s difficult or challenging to do so — will help guide them in truth during their older years.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Key Take-Away: Some days are harder than others, especially when parenting a strong-willed child. As difficult and frustrating as it can be, remember to “pray continually,” not only for your sanity but for guidance in living out Proverbs 22:6 and for your child’s own growth and development.

Ephesians 6:4

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Key Take-Away: Again, it’s going to be difficult at moments, but as exasperated as we might feel as parents, we must remember that we’re the adults who are tasked with guiding our kids along the proper path, while also offering them good examples of how to act and react to difficult situations. Doing this all the right way helps with the “training and instruction” portion of the verse.

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Hebrews 12:6

“Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Key Take-Away: Discipline matters. And since God disciplines and teaches us lessons through the ups and downs of our lives, we must also discipline our children appropriately to help them learn from their errors. In the end, this is how we equip them for the real world.

James 1:5-7

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Key Take-Away: At moments, we might feel at a loss on the parental front. But it’s essential that we keep turning to God for wisdom and guidance, especially as we navigate the more uncertain and difficult elements that accompany parenting a strong-willed child.

If you’re looking for more about the whole “strong-willed child” dynamic, go here.

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