During our Bible study at church last Sunday, we were being admonished to not be stubborn or proud. Of course, I’m always in the “Amen! Pew” and heartily agreed with what the pastor was saying.
But it occurred to me that I might have been just a bit premature with my enthusiastic amen. After all, I do tend to be a bit stubborn and tend to be somewhat bold at times while expressing my pride.
So, I had to ask the question. Are there times when it is, in fact, appropriate to be stubborn? Once we talked it through, we agreed that perhaps there are circumstances in which stubbornness is appropriate.
I have no problem admitting to the world that I am thankful for being married to a very stubborn woman. I’m thankful because we both are stubborn about maintaining our marriage. We both fully realize that we are two imperfect people who have agreed to be married to each other for the rest of our lives.
We are still married today, not only because we love one another, but because of our dogged determination to stay that way. Because people are not perfect, there is no such thing as an ideal marriage. It takes work. Sometimes it’s hard work, but I can truthfully confirm after 45 years that the reward is well worth the effort.
As parents, we have stubbornly set forth goals and objectives and do’s and don’ts for our children. While we attempted to be as flexible as possible, there were certain lines that we not to be crossed and we let those young people know it. We didn’t raise perfect children, but each of them is happily married. And naturally, their children are perfect!
As a business owner, I was very determined to build a successful business that would prove to be an asset to the community. I dedicated a great deal of time and energy to my work, sometimes to the detriment of my family. I had goals, I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and I was stubborn about attaining those goals. Thankfully, they haven’t yet all been met.
Finally, I am stubborn about the value system and faith to which I cling. It is very important for me to be able to rely upon absolute truth. I need to be able to properly place my trust and let others see that truth in me. I have no problem listening to the views of people who don’t believe as I do, but I will not be dissuaded.
Am I guilty of being stubborn and prideful? Yeah, it would appear so, because there are plenty of reasons for me to express pride.
I proud to be a citizen living in the middle part of the most wonderful country on the globe — the United States of America. Despite its faults, I’m proud of my country and I’m proud to have been raised in Missouri.
I’m proud of my family; the great job my wife has done raising our kids (and me), and of the way our kids maintain their marriages. We have six wonderful grandchildren: Need I say more? Only another grandparent can truly understand the special bond and love and pride that I have for each and every one of them.
I am proud of the opportunities that have been afforded me to give back to our community. I’ve have many such opportunities through our business and other civic activities and through our church. Even though many were but small gestures, together we can all do so much to make our community a better place.
Doesn’t it sound like a huge contradiction? I claim to be stubborn, but willing to listen; prideful but humbled by the undeserved blessings I have received. I think I’d rather be a contradiction than a hypocrite. Wouldn’t you?
David Coffelt is a Harrisonville area resident and his email address is email@example.com.