July 1, 2017

Rebellious Children

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 1, 2017

Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.”   Isaiah 1:2

Rebellious children can drive you to your knees, for they don’t seem to care or concern themselves with their parents or the things of God. It is all about them, period. Prodigal young people can keep you up at night with worry and fear. These are the same children who used to be sweet and whose behavior had no negative consequence. Their compliance was stellar, for the most part, and their hearts were honest and open. Now everything seems closed.

All communication is shut down and restricted to occasional grunts. If they need something, they will break the silence momentarily, only to retreat back into their shell of secrecy. Their friends influence them more than their parents, who gave them life and brought them up in the instruction of the Lord. Why? Their friends offer them 100% acceptance, understanding, and love. Now is not the time to write off your rebellious child; while pride keeps the relational gap wide, humility builds bridges.

Give them up to God and pray the Lord will use Satan and sin to show them the emptiness of self-centered living, but do not shut the door on the relationship. Do whatever it takes to initiate contact and communication. Build the relationship; do not tear it down. Get to know their friends by inviting them into your home. Go as a family to a Christ-centered counselor. Pray for a mentor to influence your young person in wisdom and respect. Do not fall into the trap of fighting rebellion with rebellion. Hardening your heart is rebellion. Not backing down is rebellion. Rejection is rebellion.

“So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they, in turn, would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands” (Psalm 78:6-7).

Any behavior that dismisses the character and attitude of God is rebellion against God. Work with God during this rebellious season in your child’s life, not against Him. Grow in your dependency on God and avoid blaming Him and others. Do not let your child’s rebellion get the best of you, or you may become bitter and feel hopeless. Instead, use this time of turmoil to search your own heart. Remain a model of compliance to Christ and to the authorities in your life. Rebellion is defeated in the face of love and acceptance.

Write them when they do not write back. Call them when they do not call back. Pray for them when they are hell-bent on going their own way. Pray that God brings them back to Himself, no matter what it takes. This rebellious spirit is probably for a season. Pray for them to come to the end of themselves and turn to Him. The world’s antics will wear your child down. He or she will want to come back to a home of safety, security, and acceptance.

Pray for them to be influenced by other God-fearing followers of Jesus. In rebellion, they are bound up. In Christ, they are set free. Rebels make great leaders for the Lord. Be patient. Pray. Accept them where they are, and watch God work. His timing may take longer, but His work is thorough and worth the wait. Don’t beat yourself up over your children’s behavior. Allow God to love you so you can love them. Let go of your anger and accept your heavenly Father’s embrace. Acceptance of your child will help quell their rebellion.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:21-24).



Heavenly Father, give me patience and love to see my child as You see them, in Jesus' name, amen.


What struggle can I confess to my child to help build a bridge to their heart?

Related Reading

Proverbs 10:12, 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 Peter 4:8 Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.

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Pray for your child to be influenced by other God-fearing followers of Jesus. #rebelliouschild #wisdomhunters

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