Summary: Outrageous conduct is not done for reasons of ignorance of God’s standards of truth, but is caused by self will, rebellion and one’s own sinful desires. Only the Lord’s love is able to break through to some stubborn hearts and minds.
What Should I Do With My Disobedient Children?
1. Ask the Lord for help in resisting the declining moral tendencies in our society. Paul writes, "They disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Rom. 1:30-32)
Example: Paul wrote, "Bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Example: Paul wrote, "We admonish you and teach everyone with all wisdom that we may present everyone complete in Christ." (Col. 1:27,28)
Outrageous conduct is not done for reasons of ignorance of God’s standards of truth, but is caused by self will, rebellion and one’s own sinful desires. Only the Lord’s love is able to break through to some stubborn hearts and minds.
2. Be firm, but loving in your discipline. Paul writes, "And we are ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Cor. 10:6) Aim for spiritual maturity.
Example: But, (In contrast to remaining immature infants) speaking the truth in love, let us grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ." (eph. 4:15)
3. Set a good example of love, faith, and service to the Lord. Jesus said, "Every pupil when he is fully trained will be like His teacher." (Luke 6:40) Children learn most from their parent’s examples. Reward obedience and prescribe warnings for disobedience allowing the child to choose between good and evil. Solomon wrote to his own son, "A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke." (Prov. 13:1)
4. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Commend your children for heeding instruction and affirm them for every good deed. Solomon writes, "A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence." (Prov. 15:5)
5. Practice positive affirmations with your children for their positive responses to God. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus." (I Thes. 5:16-18)
6. Give plenty of examples of people who failed to heed discipline and suffered as a result. Solomon wrote, "He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored." (Prov. 13:18) Take a field trip to a local jail to hear testimonies of regret.
7. Teach the scriptures in a way as to allow it to guide your children through its self-correcting mechanisms. Paul writes, "All scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness." (2 Tim. 3:16) God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
8. If it is necessary, apply discipline to your children to emphasize how serious you are about their Godliness in all aspects of life. Solomon wrote, "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. Do not withhold discipline from a child.
9. If you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death." (Prov. 23;12-14) Believe the promise given to us about Godly training of our children. Solomon wrote, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Prov. 22:6)
10. Give your children holistic examples of the kinds of people you want them to become. Paul wrote to Timothy, his spiritual son, "You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings... the persecutions that I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Tim. 3:10-12)
11. Teach your children how to memorize, meditate and obey the scriptures. Paul writes, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom. 12:2)
12. A scriptural led conscience is the best give to give children. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psa. 119:105)
13. Treat each of your children uniquely according to their own strengths, weaknesses and personalities. Paul writes, "Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way." (Rom. 14:13)
Concluding Thought: Every child learns how to find God’s personal will through their own pilgrimage.
"Present yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, that which is good, acceptable and perfect." (Rom. 12:1,2)