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Summary: Message 5 of 6 on building a Christian Home. This message is focused on training a child to know God according to his ways. Proverbs 22:6

What to Do with a Rebellious Kid

June 10, 2007

All Children are Rebellious Kids!

Let me start this morning by saying that rebellion is part of our nature. Some kids are born angry. They come from the womb red faced, arteries pounding, screaming obscenities and smoking a cigar. The make a strong willed child look wimpy. You know when they are rebellious – which is pretty much all the time. Then there are the easy kids who are born placid, contented and pretty much just lay there. When they get a little older they don’t cry much, never whine, or get out of line. They just quietly do what they want to do. You gotta keep your eye on the quiet ones!

My point is that all of us are in some way and at some time in our life rebellious. Our work as parents is really quite simple. It is to prepare our kids for this life… and for eternal life. In other words it is to teach them to be good and Godly men and women. This is parenting.

Now modern parenting methods often involve some interesting ideas which don’t have a lot to do with raising good and Godly kids. It’s more about survival. You’ve probably seen these methods or you may have even found yourself using them.

Ostrich Approach

Also called the “close-your-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best-parenting method.” Just take care of basic needs, shuttle them around, feed them keep clothes on their backs and look the other way… it will all work out in the end.

Delegator Procedure

Believing that good leadership always means delegation, this parent uses others to raise his or her children: childcare, day care, schools, church camp, school counselors, scouts, coaches, Sunday School teachers, Youth Ministers and anyone else out to whom they can delegate parental responsibility.

Taxi Cab Schedule

Parenting is simply a transportation problem. They believe that lining up a full calendar of events and activities is what makes a successful family: (Sports, music, drama, dance, cooking, woodworking, karate, youth group. These worn out parents aren’t purpose driven, they are activity driven --- driving theirs kids anywhere and everywhere.

Neiman Marcus Style

This parent believes that if he or she just provides the child with the best of everything then all the child’s needs will be met. Nothing but the best for my child – clothes, toys, schools, a car …. Or a Hummer!

Warden Organization

This parent runs a tight ship like the Von Trapp father in Sound of music. These drill instructor parents focus on keeping all external behavior in line with a detailed set of rules. Their kids would describe them as rigid, critical, meddling and angry.

Church Mouse Manner

This parent believes that the more time the kid spends in church, Sunday school and youth group, the better off they will turn out. There is some truth to that but sometimes church is used like punishment.

(edited from Bruce Wilkinson, Experiencing Spiritual BreakThroughs, 204)

God’s Way

God’s way is about guiding and growing kids to become what God imagined when he fashioned their soul and created their personality. Today we’re going to look at a well known proverb that is not well understood. Proverbs 22:6 says…

As the twig is Bent, so is the Tree is Inclined

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Parents are entrusted with children to raise up godly offspring in order to powerfully influence the world for Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 22:6 is a religious “rabbit’s foot” that many sorrowing parents and grandparents desperately resort to when children stray from the Lord: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” They interpret this to mean, “they will stray away for a time but then come back,” but that isn’t what it says. It says that if they’re raised in the wisdom and way of the Lord, they won’t stray away at all. Even in old age, they will follow the wisdom of God.

Certainly it’s true that children raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord can stray from God, but they can never get away from the prayers of their parents or the seed that’s been planted in their hearts. Parents should never despair but keep on praying and trusting God to bring wayward children to their senses.

But that isn’t what Proverbs 22:6 is speaking about. Like the other proverbs, it’s not making an ironclad guarantee but is laying down a general principle.4

Illustration: A great tree begins as a weak sapling. It requires careful guidance in the early years to make it grow straight and strong.

The Hebrew word for train means to dedicate

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