What You Can Do with Your Rebellious Teen!

Let me cut right to the chase. What troubles Christian parents most is when their rebellious teens reject not only the church, but also God. Even though the Bible says not to, we cannot help but fret about their salvation. We blame ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong. And we wonder what we can still do… if anything.

"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." Romans 16:20

We must first remind ourselves that the children we have, no matter the age, no matter the challenges, are gifts from God.

"The Lord gave me this challenging child for a purpose. He wants me to mold and shape this youngster and prepare him or her for a life of service to Him." - James Dobson, The New Strong-Willed Child

When they get to be more than a handful, we can't give them back, and we can't just leave them be.

Every Child is a Gift from God

James Dobson, on his program called Focus on the Family once said, we must remember, "The Lord gave me this challenging child for a purpose. He wants me to mold and shape this youngster and prepare him for a life of service to Him."

It's more than ‘hanging in there", even though doing that may very well seem an impossibility. Our teen tells us they do not want to go to church anymore, even though they don't really have a reason.

They just don't want to go!

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Down the road, our teens tell us they no longer believe in God.

You swear you can feel the earthquake and that the ground is going to open up and swallow them whole.

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

"The funny thing about kids is, they are the reason we lose it, and the reason we hold it together." --Anonymous

The key to your sanity as a parent, and your effectiveness as the guide on the side for your teen, is to look beyond the rebellious behavior.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

You must summon all your best to see your teen's rebellion in an objective light. You must look to see where such behavior might possibly emanate. And you do not have to do this on your own.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16

Pray. Involve God. And Seek Wisdom From Experts

One of the possible sources for your teen's rebellion is physiological, the normal physical functions of a living and breathing human being. If this seems to be the case, do not hesitate to involve your family physician. 1

Another possible source for teen rebellion is psychological, those matters that pertain to or are related to the mind or emotions. Again, do not hesitate to lean on professional insight. A therapist might be just what the doctor ordered. 1

Christian Parents Praying with Former Rebellious Daughter

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1

The third source of teen rebellion is social, those matters that involve relationships with others, and especially to authority. If you suspect something in this area of concern, reach out to your teen's school counselor or teachers. They may see similar behaviors at school and have some ideas about how to best proceed. 1

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." Mark 11:24

The fourth source of teen rebellion is scriptural, those issues pertaining to belief and faith. Your church pastor, or youth pastor, maybe an invaluable resource in times such as this. 1

"Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11

Living With the Strong-Willed Child - Part 1

with Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk | 11/26/2018

1 "When Your Teen Rejects Your Values—a Christian Parent Response," Rick Rood, Probe Ministries, 2020.

(This article is the second in a series of articles about rebellious teens and what parents can do when their teens reject the church, and even God Himself. To read the first article of the series, "Teen Rebellion is No Laughing Matter," click here)