I have 4 boys... and my second-born is definitely the "strong-willed" type. Sometimes I think that is just a polite way of saying that he's the stinker. He is the sweetest, most loving little darling with cherry-red cheeks and a beautiful dimpled smile.... until he doesn't want to do something. Then the dimples fall off.
It's not just that he says "no" to me, but he pushes, pouts, and you can just see the stream rising from his ears. He is a boy who is sensitive to God and wants to follow him, but when he doesn't get his way, he loses self-control.
So we had a special conversation the other day, about being a puppet vs. being a master. I explained to my babe (he's 6 by the way) that puppets have people who put their hands into their bodies and decide for them how to move, and what to do. The puppets have no mind of their own and so lose control of themselves. He was listening when I told him that satan wants to be in charge of his body and use him like a puppet.
And what is the name of the person who is in control? The Master. I told my little guy that he doesn't have to let satan move his arms and legs and make him talk the wrong way. He, my son, is really the master and can decide for himself what to make his body do. He thought that was really really cool. What 6 year old boy doesn't want to be strong?
So when he is told it's time for bed and he starts to flail his body at me, I ask him, "Are you a puppet or a master? Do you want to do this God's way, or satan's way?" and I see him straighten up and MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION about his actions, and I see him follow God.
How awesome is our God, that He gives us control over our actions and thoughts and our enemy? Just thought I'd share, and hope this can be a help to you as well!