A son rebels when his father tries to befriend him instead of lovingly disciplining him.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Many years ago our family heard an interesting sermon
delivered by a pastor friend of ours. He said, very emphatically that he
believed God called him to be his sons best friend. It was a fairly
innocent-sounding comment. However, his determination to befriend his son
proved to be the childs undoing.
We had the opportunity to observe this family for the next
fifteen years. The father failed repeatedly to administer firm discipline for
fear his son would no longer like him. He established boundaries in the childs
life yet he failed to enforce them.
His son soon learned that all he had to do to get his way
as a young boy was to whine and throw temper tantrums. As he grew older and
realized how socially unacceptable that behavior was, he mastered the technique
of looking sad and disappointed, and clamming up in silence to punish his dad.
In his early twenties, this promising young man dropped
out of college, began abusing drugs and became a great source of pain and
heartache to his parents for years to come. Our pastor friend was sincere in
his goals for his son. But he was sincerely wrong.
It is wise to be parents to our children while they are
young. We can be their friends when they are grown.
Christian parents are sinners. Consequently, we will
discipline our children improperly at times. When this happens we must be
willing to confess our sinful behavior to our children and ask them to forgive
us. Children do not perceive their parents sincere repentance as weakness. Nor
does it undermine a parents authority when the parent admits that he or she
made a mistake.
Children have plenty of friends. They need a loving and
unmovable authority figure in their lives.
Even children know that no one is perfect. When we try to
portray ourselves as flawless, we appear hypocritical to them. We should model
the character quality of humility before our children.
We mustnt make the mistake, however, of swinging to the
other extreme and trying to be our childs best friend. Children need a parent
and an authority figure much more than they need another friend.
It is not the churchs job to teach our children godliness.
We should not expect our churches, our friends, or anyone
else to be responsible for nurturing our childrens spiritual growth. God does
not charge the churchs childrens ministry or the youth ministry with teaching
and training our children to be obedient, fruitful Christians. God charges
parents with that responsibility. He calls Christian parents to biblically
train and discipline their children with loving diligence and godly