So many parents today struggle with rebellious children. While we think that rebellious kids have strayed from the instruction of their parents, the problem goes much deeper. They have strayed away from the instructions from God, and it's likely that it's not all their fault.
It's funny how many parents are quick to own up to children's successes and achievements but never own up to their failures. While sometimes children do rebel out of their own accord, often it can also be because we as parents have failed to speak life into them. Ephesians 6:4 instructs parents saying, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
The proper use of words is powerful when it comes to parenting. During early childhood, nothing could mean more to children than the words that parents speak to them. Sometimes when we let loose our words, they can lead our children away from us and ultimately away from God. Here are three common ways that we lead our children away from God with our words.
Failing to speak truth in love
Ephesians 6:4 tells us not to provoke children into anger. Another translation uses the word exasperate which means to cause rebellion due to maltreatment. Our children need to hear the truth even if sometimes the truth will bring forth discipline and rebuke, but it must be done in a way that does not provoke anger.
Galatians 6:1 says, "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness." God does not expect us to treat a son or daughter any less. Let us speak the truth with gentleness and love to our children.
Not teaching God's Word
Psalm 78:4 says, "He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children." God has commanded parents to teach the next generation the Word of God. When we fail to teach our children God's ways, then it's likely no one else will.
Sure there are campus ministers, youth pastors and university crusades, but the primary role of discipling our children is our job. When we choose to outsource Godly instruction to others, we put our children in danger of straying from God's ways.
Our authority comes only through Christ. It is not our own so that we may misuse or abuse it. Our authority over our children is given by God so that we may point them to Christ, not make our lives more convenient. When we abuse our authority over children by letting them follow our selfish motives, we lead them away from God.