Every family has its headaches and heartaches. Because human depravity runs deep, it is impossible to rear our children from infancy to independence without encountering times that call for straight talk and tough love. While parents continue to love their children no matter what, they cannot escape those occasions when wills clash, rebellion reaches an impasse, and things get downright impossible. For any number of reasons, some adolescents and young adults who still live at home reach a place where they simply refuse to obey their parents. All attempts to restore harmony in the parent/child relationship prove futile. The result? Harsh words and ugly reactions as parents stand their ground and sons and daughters react in stubborn defiance, refusing to back down. The parents pray, but nothing changes. They reason with the disobedient child, but it’s a dead-end street. They apply different measures of discipline, but things only get worse. And the realization that their other children are being neglected—or negatively influenced—as they spend their time and energy dealing with the rebel complicates their struggle. This is one of those times when the fun stops for parents.
1 Samuel 15:22–23; Luke 15:11–24
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