A child is a precious gift from Heaven, and it’s little human that God has entrusted you to raise in the paths of righteousness. The Lord makes it very clear about how much he loves kids, in Matthew 19:14, he told His disciples to suffer not the little children and not to forbit them from coming to see Him.
Parenting the Rebellious Child
Parenting a child today is certainly much different than it was all those years ago. Kids today are exposed to things at an early age that many of their parents didn’t learn till they were adults. There’s also the rebellious nature of a child that seems to be encouraged by peers and society.
While it’s great for a child to be a forward thinker and innovative, they still should be respectful to their parents. In fact, this is one of the most significant problems among children today is that they have no respect for authority. Jesus addressed this issue 2,000 years ago when He stated in Ephesians 6:1 for children to obey their parents as it was the right thing to do. Then he continues and says that they might have a long life. Could rebellion cost your child their life?
A rebellious child is certainly a struggle, and you might find yourself hitting your knees more times than you can count. Some of it is developmental as they have hormonal fluctuations and things going on inside them that are shifting and changing. Other parts of it are the influence of outside forces that you can’t control.
There are always children at school who don’t have a firm hand in discipline and their parents let them do and say whatever they want. These troubled kids often have a significant impact on those around them. Have you ever had a bowl of beautiful apples sitting on the counter? If just one of those apples gets a bad spot in it, it’s indicating that there’s decay in that piece of fruit.
Now, if you don’t remove that apple with fungus on it from the rest, it won’t be long until that bacterium will penetrate the entire bowl. This is very much what happens today with your children. They’re curious by nature because their bodies are growing and changing, and they get around kids that aren’t the best influence, and it rubs off on them.
You certainly don’t want them running with the wrong crowd as it can cause all sorts of troubles in their personal life such as suspensions, involvement with the law, and other consequences. So, what do you do with the child who seems to have gone down the wrong path?
From Rebel to Soul Winner
What you say and do as a parent in these times can mean everything. Take, for instance, the story of Tony. Tony wasn’t your typical child, as he had a knack for being hard to control. He was the kid that no one wanted to come to their house for dinner or to play with their children. He would brake things, use vulgar language, and was nothing but disrespectful.
His father was killed in a car accident, and his mother was doing her best to raise him on her own. One thing she never did was give up. After his mom would be drug into another meeting in the principal’s office, she would go home and hit her knees. She held fast to the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 that stated God knew the plans He had for each person, and she knew God had a plan for her son.
No matter what Tony did, how much trouble he found himself in, or where he went in life, his mom prayed this scripture over him. One night Tony came to his mother’s room and knocked on the door. He told her that he wanted to give his life to God, and so Tony went to Bible College. They lived in Manilla, Philippines, and so Tony went to learn more about Jesus and to become a pastor.
Fast forward to today, and Tony is one of the greatest soulwinners the area has ever seen. His life experiences and dark places gave him testimonies that he could use to help others. The area is impoverished, but people respected and trusted him because he was the real deal.
He didn’t care about money or fame, he only cared about bringing people to Jesus. Now, where would Tony be today if his mama didn’t have the prayer life she had? Would he be sitting in a jail cell? The bible says in James 5:6 that the fervent pray of a righteous person avails much, so you better believe that his mama’s prayers touched the throne of heaven on his behalf.
Tips for Parenting by God’s Design
You know that children don’t come with manuals on how to raise them, but you can use your Bible as a roadmap for the journey. Jesus and his disciples spoke very powerful words throughout the book, and many of them are applicable to parenting. Here are a few tips for you to parent by God’s design.
1. Be Angry but Don’t Sin
There will be times when you’re so angry with your child for their actions that you see red. While you’re justified in your fury, how you handle it means everything. The Bible says you can be angry, but in Ephesians 4:11 you’re instructed not to sin during these moments. Don’t call names, hit, scream, or act in a way that’s not representing your father in heaven.
2. Learn Self-Control
How can you expect your child to control themselves if you can’t control yourself? In Proverbs 25:28 it states that if you have no self-control, you’re like a city broken down without walls. Walls were very important in those days, as it was a form of protection. If you want your children to control themselves, then you must learn how to have self-control when handling them.
3. Think About Your Words
Most people fly off the handle when they’re mad and then later regret what they’ve said. God wants you to take a moment and think before you speak. Words can cut sharper than any knife, and you must ensure that you don’t say something you can’t take back.
In James 1:19 the Bible says to be slow to anger and to speak. Take a moment to deliberate your thoughts before they turn into words. Kids push your buttons, but you want to make sure you don’t give them any reason to be scarred from the situation.
4. Know When You Need Help
It’s easy to become anxious when dealing with a troubled child and not knowing what to do, but the Bible reminds you not to be anxious for anything in Philippians 4:6-7. You may need the help of a pastor, friend, counselor, or even a support group. Raising kids is not easy, but getting the help you need when you need it is imperative.
5. Hold Onto God’s Promise
When you’ve done all you know to do to be a good parent, sometimes you must be patient and wait. Kids will often go astray, they did even in Bible times. The good news is God gives you a promise to hold onto. In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible says to train your child in the way they’re supposed to go, and when they become older, they won’t depart. They may leave the faith for a while and it seems like all is lost, but they’ll come back just like the prodigal son.
A Prayer for Raising Godly Children
Dear Lord, I thank you for the children that you’ve entrusted me with in this life. I am trying my best to raise Godly kids that can work for You in the kingdom. Sometimes it’s challenging, and I struggle to be a good parent.
Lord, I ask that you keep your hand on ______ and guide them every day through their life. Put a hedge of protection around them like you did for Job in the Bible, even when they don’t make the best choices. Strengthen me as a parent and give me Your wisdom to raise kid that seek You. Amen