The first cause of teen rebellion, is that teens are sinners, as are all of the rest of us. And rebellion is sin. This might be an obvious point, but it bears looking into. In fact, our sweet children have been sinning from babyhood. There is a set method the Scriptures lay out – what I call the torah of discipline, or God’s righteous instructions in discipline – for parents to deal with childhood sin.
The torah of discipline includes training our children to obey us, not only punishing for disobeying. The torah of discipline requires every transgression to be dealt with, which provides children freedom from guiltiness. The torah of discipline sets responsibilities for the parents and not just the children. Following the torah principles, the Scriptures teach us, will ensure well being for ourselves as well as our children after us.
Therefore I believe the parents who have successfully employed the torah of discipline from babyhood with their children will have the least trouble with teen rebelion. The children have already been thoroughly trained to obey, and by following the torah principles, the parents have cared for their children’s spiritual well- being and their hearts, and kept them soft toward themselves and the Lord.
At any rate, rebellion in teens should be dealt with at the first sign, in the same manner all sin has been dealt with since babyhood. Parents who recognize rebellion as sin, and are not brainwashed by our society into thinking teens ought to be treated more leniently just because they are now teens, will have the most success in nipping the rebellion in the bud.
The biggest problem we parents face, however, is that most of us don’t know what the torah of discipline is. There have been few to teach us, and not all the Christian parenting books out there are thoroughly based in Scripture. One has this key, another has that key, but how to we string the keys together? Worse yet, some are based completely on psychology and not on Scripture at all. We have to ask God, study the Scripture for ourselves, and do what we know to do so far, and God will give us greater wisdom and understanding as we continue to seek Him for it.
But the fact that teens sin is not the only factor influencing teen rebellion.