Remedy for Rebellion

by Barb Shelton

We are led to believe that bad attitudes, inattentiveness and rebellion are to be *expected* in the teen years. This is a lie the enemy concocted and loves to perpetrate. However, contrary to popular belief, it is simply not true. These problems are not "givens"; they got there ~ or were *allowed* to get there ~ for a *reason.* We reap what we sow. This does not mean parents are responsible for everything a child does! (like split families with "problem ex's," and problems with step parents and step-children are common) But it does mean that even if we have dealt with our children in ways that have resulted in dissatisfactory behavior or attitudes ~ even unknowingly, even doing our best ~ we are still going to have problems.

Sharnessa in her Dad's lap!

If you truly want things to be turned around, you first thing you will need to realize is that you, the *parents,* must be the initiators in this process. You will need to be willing to face some things in your family and your own hearts, views, opinions, ways of dealing with things, manners of responding, and attitudes that you have very likely not ever seen before; at least you have not seen how they all work together in the "bigger picture."
It is imperative that you be willing to shed old ways of thinking. Until you do, God will not be free to breathe His new life into your situation. You cannot insist that the traditional school methods and curriculum be brought home" and still discover God's way out of this situation. Homeschooling will be a complete waste of your time and resources, totally fruitless, ineffective and pointless *if* you do not approach it with this open attitude. I assure you, though, that not only is it well-worth the effort, it is the *only* way out of your frustrations. I know of many families who have made drastic and wonderful changes that resulted in transformed children *and* parents, but they *had* to start with this heart ~ in themselves.

If your child is in a state of rebellion and you are at your wit's end as to what to do, I recommend two books. One, "How to Win the Heart of a Rebel," is a small book, but to the point, and it will help you see some things ~ new, that you might not have been aware of ~ and see other things in a new way. You will then be led to change your heart first, your child's heart second.

Another book I recommend, Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, gives much more practical how-to and encouragement, and is applicable to ALL parents, whether the children are rebellious or not.

And then The Hurting Parent is yet another book that offers help. I have not personally read it, but have heard from others that it's very good.

I need to be up front with you and say ~ with great love and gentleness ~ that unless you are willing to turn your heart and situation over to God ~ which you can do the moment you *want* and feel led of the Lord to do ~ no resource will be of any use to you. A child in rebellion does not merely need "time." This is a lie I have heard come directly from the lips of a pastor! Nor will "behavior modification" help. Your child needs nothing more ~ and nothing less ~ than a complete *heart transformation*! And I cannot stress enough that this must start with the parent. A child who is rebellious did not get that way on their own, all by themselves. We as parents must be big ~ and humble ~ enough to admit that we had something to do with it. It is a process God will lead us in. He alone knows your entire situation, each heart involved, and every word, look, circumstance, compromise, and event that contributed and led up to the condition things are  in now, and He alone can lead you OUT of the painful place you are in.

My (our) three kids and me ~ at the top

of the Space Needle around 1999.


None of our own three children have been rebellious, but we *have* had a few challenges to deal with along the way. And I have had to repent to my children on several occasions! That was soooo hard! Hard to see, first, and then hard to humble myself before them!!!! But I realized ~ and agreed with God ~ that I had to take responsibility for my own wrong ways of dealing with things, my inconsistencies, my wrong thinking,
   and my ungodly reactions before I could expect to see any changes in my children's hearts! I had to MODEL what I wanted to see in them! (I'm MUCH better at TELLING them what to do ~ "talking the talk" ~ rather than LIVING it out! ~ and "walking the walk"!

God has redeemed *much* in my life *and* in my family! But it wasn't because I passively waited around for *them* to see the light or learn the hard way! It had to start with *me*!!!  Even though you have most likely done your best, any lack of wisdom in dealing with the hearts of our children will still produce the exact fruit that was sown, good intentions or not.

We have a God who is a very wise, gentle and capable Redeemer, but He does not barge in uninvited. He is free to work only if and AS He is given *full* management of a situation, no matter what stage it is at, which means the hearts of the parents must be fully yielded to seeking and doing it "His way" before anything can start happening.


With a big hug

to any hurting parents,


Dave and I at my 50th Birthday Party in 2002




All three of the above-mentioned books

and several other favorites of ours can be obtained through us.

They're all on this page:

Catalog Resources for Relationship with and Discipline of Children our Online Catalog.

(There's a clickable Index near the top of that page.)




I got the checked wallpaper at:





Back to Article Chart


Back to Main Lobby







[What's New]  [About Our Ministry]  [Website Tips]  [Help! Article]  [Course (SORR) Intro]  [Article Chart]  [Recipes]  [Shelton Family Scrapbook]  [V-Enna]  [Storehouse]  [Catalog]  [Lifestyle of Learning]  [High School Helps]  [Love Lullabyes]  [Local (Longview, WA) Pages]  [Reader Comments]  [For Newsletter Editors]  [Email List Options]  [Site Map]  [Contact