Rebellion according to the English dictionary means armed resistance to an establish government or ruler. It is the defiance of authority or bold opposition of authority. According to the Scriptures, it is the deliberate refusal to submit to God and his Principles as well as other constituted human authorities. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft (1Sam 15;23). The bible story in Luke 15; 11-32 tells of the rebellion of the prodigal son who unlawfully demanded his share of the Father’s wealth even while the father is alive and his elder brother remain loyal. He went away with his portion thereby resisting his father’s authority (i.e. rebellion). He wasted his inheritance on loose living and only came back with his senses when he has lost everything even his dignity. This emanated from the spirit of rebellion. What can one say about the persistent rise in number of juvenile delinquen in the society or the world at large th today despite the frantic efforts of parents, guardians, educatio, social and religious workers , even the government to raise upright and responsible youths that will adorn the society. What about all the vices in the society today-prostitution, drug trafficking, street fighting, alcoholism, homosexualism, internet fraud to mention but a few, are these not as a result of rebellion .
Rebellion leaves both the child and parent affected. The parents of a rebellious child feel emotional pains, discomforts and ceaseless anxiety worse than that of a sick child. On the side of the child, rebellion affects his health, his relationship with everybody around him and leave his destiny truncated.
When Does A Child Becomes Rebels: Rebellion can be traced right back to the cradle. The occasional tantrums a child throws for example may develop into rebellion overtime if not watched. Even the habitual cry of a child not out of hunger, discomfort, or in need of attention may just be an early sign or indication of rebellion. So rebellion does not suddenly spring up in a child, there must be underlying fundamental reasons.
Why Children Rebel: In an ideal Christian family where the father probably is a pastor, the mother well for her strong Christian virtues but their child wayward, vehemently and boldly refuses to adhere to parental orders and dare the parents to do their worse ne begin to wonder why this child should rebel. Let’s look at some likely reasons.
- Delay in Commencement of Child Training: This is the first and most common reason for rebellion. Most parents do not start on time to teach their children the principle of right and wrong behaviour. They often do not correct misbehavior due to the erroneous belief that children are born with traits of sin which do not wait till they are older to begin to manifest. (P 51:5).Child training must begin at birth.
- Parenting with Hurt and Harshness: Some parents out of fear of having loose or wayward children apply hurting attitude and harshness rather than love and understanding in bringing up their children. (6:4). Children who are often abused, injuriously afflicted in the name of correction will eventually rebel when they become immune to the ceaseless beatings and harshness of their parents. Parents should learn to correct in love’
- Failure in parents to Live Exemplary: living a life contrary to what you teach as Christian parents gives the children the false impression that they can tune in and out of righteous lifestyle at will. It makes them confused for they will not know which to follow – your preaching or your lifestyle.
- Favoritism: when one child is given more care, attention and affection above the others or worse still when children are made to feel inferior or worthless due to constant nagging and condemnation, bringing down the child’s self esteem, rebellion will step in.
- Unrealistic Expectation: some parents set unreasonable high standards for their children irrespective of their age and natural ability. Some even go as far as compelling the children to choose a career they have no interest in thereby frustrating the child. This usually leads to rebellion.
- Fake Conversion: Many Christian parents are eager to see their children active for the Lord and as such encourage them to get involved in one church activity or the other without necessarily making them see the importance of genuinely giving their lives to Christ before service. The end result is that the children will find it difficult to maintain their Christian life due to lack of faith.
- Negative Peer Influence: children who choose worldly and ungodly people as role models and friends end up rebelling against God. Parents should discourage such association. There are other reasons for rebellion which might not be traced to parents such as the death of a loved one which may cause bitterness and make the child rebel against God.
WAYS TO CURB REBELLION Having seen the likely reasons for rebellion as discussed above among others, parents can curb or even eradicate such ugly traits/ attitude in their children through the following ways:
- Having a solid and blameless relationship with God. This will strengthen the faith of the child giving him that confidence that what you preach is true and so is our God.
- Give attention and affection to the child when due to discourage inferiority complex.
- Don’t label the child as rebellious, but handle and correct with love.
- Do not create arbitrary rules too difficult or impossible to obey as this will harden the child.
- Help them to appreciate and reverence God as our sole sustainer. Make them see why they must obey.
- Ensure they are genuinely saved or converted.
- Meet their security and self esteem needs reassuring them of your love.
- Desist from condemning, correct in love.
- Above all make prayer your breath concerning your children more so the rebellious ones. Depend on the Holy Spirit to train and mould their character. Remember that rebellion can be instigated by the evil one or decadent peers when your children are far away from you.
Bear in mind that God frowns at rebellion, regardless of the cause or the perpetrator.
No rebellious person ever escapes His righteous judgment therefore help your child to avert this wrath.
With love and ceaseless prayer your household will come to know, love and serve the Lord.