My soul is burdened with the stories of some of the children of Christian brethren who have strayed from the Lord. What is more perplexing is that, the parents of these rebellious youngsters are faithful in serving God. I’ve heard that some have yielded to drug addiction and other vices, teen pregnancy, and marrying young only to end up in separation. I’m puzzled as well as depressed that this should happen considering that these families serve the one true living God. As testimonies of former drug addicts and such echo from the pulpit, how they have been delivered from their addictions and vices that had enslaved them, stories about rebellious, backsliding teenagers are discussed privately.
I look at other girls and boys whose families have religions but don’t have personal relationships with the Lord, and yet, they have discipline. They respect and obey their parents and bring them honor.
So, what could be wrong with some of these Christian families who are laden with teenage rebellion? One mother who is also close to us has lamented that she and her husband have long given up on their straying daughter. Their daughter has had an on-and-off relationship with the Lord through the years. But lately, after her young marriage broke apart, she turned to drugs and will not leave it. Her marriage was destroyed because of her vices that she couldn’t give up. But her parents continue to serve the Lord faithfully. Such a story is truly lamentable.
Although prayer is paramount in raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we don’t stop there. As our children enter into adolescence, the more vigilant we should be in guiding them. A regular heart-to-heart talk is a must. We use the teachings of the Bible as our guide. There is a need for parents to instill in the minds of their youngsters the fear of God. For them to understand that if they fear God, they must also need to honor Him in their minds, hearts, bodies, and in the way they live. There must develop in them an appreciation of the goodness of the Lord. It is important, therefore, that the parents exemplify a life of gratitude. One of the roots of rebellion is ingratitude.
Another mother told the story of her teenage daughter who became pregnant at a very young age. When the daughter confessed her pregnancy to her mother, the mother forewent questioning her. She did not ask her any questions. She didn’t even bother asking who the boyfriend was. I admit I was incensed when I heard it. The daughter was so young that there was a problem with the pregnancy, her ovary being not fully developed.
If parents are afraid to discipline their children and set rules and boundaries, they are actually driving them to destruction.
He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. (Prov. 13:24)
I am not advocating for parents to hit their children. What I want to emphasise here is the strict discipline that we need to enforce. We don’t want them to turn their backs to the Lord and go astray. We don’t want them to take lightly the salvation that they have received. This is serious business for parents.
Mothers, don’t be afraid to talk to your teenage children. Prov. 31:26 says “She opens her mouth with wisdom…”. Ask God for wisdom and anointing, that your words will have power over them.
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