The commandment to "honor your father and your mother," which is introduced as one of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, is often repeated throughout the New Testament.
One of the Bible's top instructions for children is to obey their parents. Numerous encouraging Bible verses state that, while growing up, it is a child's duty to heed their parent's guidance. The commandment to "honor your father and your mother," which is introduced as one of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, is often repeated throughout the New Testament. Ephesians 6:1, for example exhorts children to "obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
If only raising children was as simple as reading them these inspirational words of encouragement and enjoying their love and obedience. Parenting, however, is nowhere near that easy. Instead, your child is likely to test your boundaries by rebelling and eschewing your advice in favor of their own misguided views.
Sometimes all that a rebellious child needs is discipline and firm boundaries. The worst thing you could do is give in to their demands and allow them to talk you into letting them do as they please. You need to stand your ground while remaining tough but calm, explaining your position logically and lovingly. It is important to communicate and share your point of view so that your child knows the rules you have set up are out of concern for their own safety and their own good.
Work with your child in order to find healthy and positive outlets for their excess energy. Enroll them in an after-school activity or encourage them to channel their passions into artistic endeavors such as writing or painting. Rebellion is often simply a cry for attention, so make sure that you devote adequate time to doing activities together as a family as well. A child or teen who feels that they have a strong and supportive network of friends and family will often have no reason to rebel.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a rebellious child is to never give up on them. Your child may act out in ways that disappoint you and make you not want to speak to them, but these are precisely the moments when they need you the most. Their rebellion is usually a sign that they are lost, hurting, and need someone to reach out to them and show them the right way to go. Think of your rebellious child as the lost sheep that Jesus is referring to in Matthew 18:12-14:
"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
Just as God looks after his entire flock and always searches for those that go astray, so too should you never give up on a child who has lost their way. Pursue them with strength and compassion and rejoice over them when they return. A lost sheep can find it nearly impossible to return to the flock without the guidance of their shepherd.