Remedy for Rebellion
by Barb Shelton
We are led to believe that bad attitudes,
inattentiveness and rebellion are to be *expected* in the teen years.
This is a lie the enemy concocted and loves to perpetrate. However,
contrary to popular belief, it is simply not true. These problems are
not "givens"; they got there ~ or were *allowed* to get there ~ for a
*reason.* We reap what we sow. This does not mean parents are
responsible for everything a child does! (like split families with
"problem ex's," and problems with step parents and step-children are
common) But it does mean that even if we have dealt with our children
in ways that have resulted in dissatisfactory behavior or attitudes ~
even unknowingly, even doing our best ~ we are still going to have
Sharnessa in her Dad's lap!
If you truly want things to be turned around, you first thing you will
need to realize is that you, the *parents,* must be the initiators in
this process. You will need to be willing to face some things in your
family and your own hearts, views, opinions, ways of dealing with
things, manners of responding, and attitudes that you have very likely
not ever seen before; at least you have not seen how they all work
together in the "bigger picture."
It is imperative that you be willing to shed old ways of thinking.
Until you do, God will not be free to breathe His new life into your
situation. You cannot insist that the traditional school methods and
curriculum be brought home" and still discover God's way out of this
situation. Homeschooling will be a complete waste of your time and
resources, totally fruitless, ineffective and pointless *if* you do
not approach it with this open attitude. I assure you, though, that
not only is it well-worth the effort, it is the *only* way out of your
frustrations. I know of many families who have made drastic and
wonderful changes that resulted in transformed children *and* parents,
but they *had* to start with this heart ~ in themselves.
If your child is in a state of rebellion and you are at your wit's end
as to what to do, I recommend two books. One, "How
to Win the Heart of a Rebel," is a small book, but to the point,
and it will help you see some things ~ new, that you might not have
been aware of ~ and see other things in a new way. You will then be
led to change your heart first, your child's heart second.
Another book I recommend,
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, gives much more
practical how-to and encouragement, and is applicable to ALL parents,
whether the children are rebellious or not.
The Hurting Parent is yet another book that offers help. I have
not personally read it, but have heard from others that it's very
I need to be up front with you and say ~ with great love and
gentleness ~ that unless you are willing to turn your heart and
situation over to God ~ which you can do the moment you *want* and
feel led of the Lord to do ~ no resource will be of any use to you. A
child in rebellion does not merely need "time." This is a lie I have
heard come directly from the lips of a pastor! Nor will "behavior
modification" help. Your child needs nothing more ~ and nothing less ~
than a complete *heart transformation*! And I cannot stress enough
that this must start with the parent. A child who is rebellious did
not get that way on their own, all by themselves. We as parents must
be big ~ and humble ~ enough to admit that we had something to do with
it. It is a process God will lead us in. He alone knows your entire
situation, each heart involved, and every word, look, circumstance,
compromise, and event that contributed and led up to the condition
things are in now, and He alone can lead you OUT of the painful
place you are in.
My (our) three kids and me ~ at the
of the Space Needle around 1999.
None of our own three children have been rebellious, but we *have* had
a few challenges to deal with along the way. And I have had to repent
to my children on several occasions! That was soooo hard! Hard to see,
first, and then hard to humble myself before them!!!! But I realized ~
and agreed with God ~ that I had to take responsibility for my own
wrong ways of dealing with things, my inconsistencies, my wrong
and my ungodly reactions before I could expect to
see any changes in my children's hearts! I had to MODEL what I wanted
to see in them! (I'm MUCH better at TELLING them what to do ~ "talking
the talk" ~ rather than LIVING it out! ~ and "walking the walk"!
God has redeemed *much* in my life *and* in my family! But it wasn't
because I passively waited around for *them* to see the light or learn
the hard way! It had to start with *me*!!! Even though you have
most likely done your best, any lack of wisdom in dealing with the
hearts of our children will still produce the exact fruit that was
sown, good intentions or not.
We have a God who is a very wise, gentle and capable Redeemer, but He
does not barge in uninvited. He is free to work only if and AS He is
given *full* management of a situation, no matter what stage it is at,
which means the hearts of the parents must be fully yielded to seeking
and doing it "His way" before anything can start happening.
With a big hug
Dave and I at my 50th Birthday Party in
All three of the above-mentioned books
and several other favorites of ours can be
obtained through us.
They're all on this page:
Catalog Resources for Relationship with and Discipline of Children
...at our Online Catalog.
(There's a clickable Index near the top of