When is defiance better than obedience?

 

defiant child with parent

I’ll never forget her statement. I was speaking to a grade-school teacher in a Christian school about behavior problems with her students. In the context of the conversation she actually seemed more upset about the obedient kids than the defiant ones.

She declared, “I can always tell the kids parented by strict parents who follow parenting programs that demand first-time obedience. They do what you say but take no risks. They won’t give answers unless they know they’re right. The kids who fight back, they are usually the bold ones, the creative ones, the energetic ones. Many of them are leaders. I love the chance to shape these kids!”

Jesus was defiant. The Apostle Peter was defiant. Mary sister of Lazarus was defiant. Martin Luther. George Washington. Harriet Tubman. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Rosa Parks.

Maybe it’s time we understood defiance less as a quality to eliminate and more as a quality to use for good.

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