Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

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morbo3000
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Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by morbo3000 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:27 pm

My 15 year old son has been in a relationship with a girl for about 6 months. In a series of events, he wound up grounded from her, with the ability to earn time together when he followed our rules. He kept sneaking around, so he kept losing the privilege. We then learned they were having sex. And discovered he was sneaking out in the middle of the night, going to her house, and coming home before we woke up. At that point, we called the police as a runaway because her mom was letting him stay there. They went to her house and picked him up. We then filed a restraining order against her. We've sat down with her mom, who is no help. She has either mental, or brain-blown-from-drugs issues, and her daughter controls her. We've sat down with him and our youth pastor. He continues sneaking around. Our pastor has talked with him. Every technological barrier I try to put up in the house he finds a way around.

At this point, I've come to the conclusion it's impossible for us to stop him being rebellious against us. He no longer cares about us, the church, or his pastors. His level of defiance is off the chart. His spirit has changed so much in the last 12 months. He is not the same boy at all.

It seems the only thing left to do is to hand him over to his own sin.

Do you think Matthew 18:15-20 speaks to this situation? What do you think that looks like in a parenting teenager situation? Are there other scriptures that speak to this?
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robbyyoung
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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by robbyyoung » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:23 pm

Hi morbo,

Sorry for the difficulties you are having with your son. Matt 18 could apply, but the prodigal son can also be of significant help. Sometimes we simply have to let go and rely on prayer for a loved one to come to their senses. Of course this doesn't dull the pain of going through these changes, but God can sufficiently sustain us in the end. These are my pithy thoughts, and I'm sure many here at the forum will aid in additional comfort and advice. Lastly, make sure your love for your son is extremely noted. Christians must be at the forefront in what "right looks like". Therefore, I leave you with this:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;
God bless.

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jaydam
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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by jaydam » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:09 am

I am sorry for what you are going through, and I speak as one who was such a son. My parents walked a hard road until I was 31. They saw me sleeping around, doing drugs, partying, etc.

It is difficult when they are at an age where you cannot kick them out. Once I was old enough though, my parents told me I had to go. However, they did so in a loving way. They let me know that just as I had become my own man and could live as I wanted, they were their own and could live as they wanted as well, which meant not facilitating my lifestyle. They did not give me money very often, but if I was short financially they would do something like take me grocery shopping.

They made it so that I could never question their love for me, no matter how much I had come to hate them and what they stood for.

Having been one of those children, I cannot say there was one thing my parents did that worked for me or one thing that didn't except that, unknown to me, they prayed daily and fasted together one day of the week for almost 2 decades before I turned around. And my turn around did not involve them. Until I turned around I would say that we were essentially estranged.

Two things I might do:

1. If you haven't already - Sit your son down, tell him the obvious, that there is tension in the house, acknowledge that it is not fun for either of you, and ask him what he wants, where he sees himself going, what kind of relationship he wants to have with his family, etc. Don't react in the moment to anything, my dad and mom became reactive and it caused more issues. Just take it in, thank him, and tell him you would like to think about what he had to say, and where to go. Then walk away and consider everything he said, and how you can turn it into a positive.

2. See where he is in his religious beliefs, and maybe even help him to explore if needed so that he can own his beliefs. God has no grandchildren. Each person must become their own direct child of God, they cannot inherit a lineage.

But the main thing is never give him a reason to doubt your love, no matter how much it might feel he hates it right now.

Edit, completely forgot about your passage. I do not think it is appropriate for a child whom you ultimately cannot cut ties off with yet, because the ultimate weight of the process cannot be brought to bear if need be. If he was a legal adult, so he could be treated as such, then it might be different.

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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by crgfstr1 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:26 am

That is indeed troubling and I am glad that you are sharing this here. I have a little one on the way and I heard Steve mention a good book on parenting. I purchased it recently and I am in the process of reading it. I am wondering if you have read it and if so how many parenting techniques you use from it.

Tripp, Tedd (2011-07-22). Shepherding a Child's Heart. Shepherd Press. Kindle Edition.

It seems to be a very good book. I only have one area where I am not sure that I agree. They do believe that spanking is the rod that is not to be spared from the Bible. I did a little research and it seems the rod was most often used by good shepherds to guide sheep and prevent them from harms way. Yes this was physical such as blocking their path. It doesn't seem that good shepherds used it to hit the sheep in any way though. I believe that picking up a young child and putting them in their seats would fit with this. Physically standing in their way as well. Spanking I am not so sure that is correct. I hope to avoid it entirely but will cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

In any case it seems the book would work best if approached from the very beginning of the child's life. It does address though some aspects of introducing it later in life. I would recommend that you take a look and see if it would be of any benefit. I would like to know why or why not you think it might help. Also would it have helped if you had used it from the beginning or not?

I am already picturing conversations with my child along the lines of the book and in my imagining it works very well. I don't know of any conversation that I imagined however going nearly as well as I had envisioned.

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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by steve7150 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:52 am

Do you think Matthew 18:15-20 speaks to this situation? What do you think that looks like in a parenting teenager situation? Are there other scriptures that speak to this?









I don't think this applies to parents with a 15 year old son and possibly this may be so far gone that you may have to let it play out. Hopefully the girl does not get pregnant. I think that Jaydam's advice was really good and Robby's suggestion also. Also Paul said sometimes you have to let someone deep in sin to be sifted by Satan for hopefully a long term benefit. There is one more thing you may want to try. IMHO Satan is real and underestimated and does influence people. I know the WOF teachings are much maligned but the teaching that we have authority over Satan IMHO is accurate so in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ I do command Satan to be impotent and disabled in and around myself, my wife and my children and grandchildren and I do believe it is effective, so you might want to consider that.

crgfstr1
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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by crgfstr1 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:55 am

I keep going back and forth on whether I should explain a little what I have gathered from the book so far. I am sure I will not explain it as well as they do. I believe I haven't provided enough though to peak an interest in looking at it. The aptly titled book focuses on the heart of the child rather than the behavior. Just like the Pharisees we know that good behavior is not what God is after; it is a good heart. Children with a good heart will most often behave correctly. Children focused on good behavior will only do so when it is to their benefit.

When addressing misbehavior (sin) it is important to understand what was in the child heart when he did it. Was his act really loving to God and all people involved. Listen to his reasoning in this area first and guide him to consider areas where it is wrong. I am sure we can all picture much of the temptation that led him to do what he did. I think though having the conversation though awkward would still be of value. I was just listening to this today and I think it would be good to bring into the conversation with your child http://www.thenarrowpath.com/mp3s/rad/R ... rriage.mp3

A good dialog on all of the pro's and con's of what he is doing. He obviously sees the apparent advantages of what he is doing. Does he really see the both short term and long term harm he is doing? Can you ask questions to get him to come up with the possible harm rather than telling him? I have recently started to notice that often when God speaks in the Bible it is in the form of questions rather than answers. He eloquently poses questions where the answer is obvious and yet troubling or surprising. He wants us to think for our selves I believe but use his heart and character when we do.

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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by morbo3000 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:00 pm

Thanks everyone! I should clarify, I'm not thinking to kick him out, or ostracize him. More to let my hands off the steering wheel trying to keep them apart. We've been trying to protect him from really bad consequences, but he keeps end-running around our parenting. So continuing to fight the battle is a losing approach. I think I've heard it said that one of the worst things that can happen to us is if God gives us what we want.


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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by crgfstr1 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:33 am

I have been giving this a lot of thought as it is weighing on my mind. I am not sure anything I say here will be of any value and might be someone what offensive so please forgive me if it comes off that way or is really bad advice. I am probably writing this more to sort out my own thoughts than anything useful for anyone else. With that said here goes.

Rather than taking your hands off the steering wheel what about doubling your efforts? I don't know what your options are but it is likely that your child has time off from school right now. Would it be possible for you to take this entire time off with a focus of rebuilding your relationship with your son? Think about all the time your family spent raising him. To give up now seems like a lot of wasted effort. If you don't and if you don't do so correctly it is likely you will end up like Jaydam's parents with your only remaining route to your child being through God in prayer.

For the most part I would focus that time on just positively connecting with him and repairing any damage that these events have caused. Not just these events but what ever happened 12 months ago and that time since. Is he feeling loved and connected at home? Is he feeling loved and connected at his school and friends? What sins have been creeping in besides this one?

Just like we can't let our sins drive us a way from God and he has given us a way to restitution we need to provide a path for our children. His primary sins are against God not us. I am guessing that you have made a lot of mistakes through this process too. Raising your voice or even yelling at him. I can picture that I would not have in any way shape or form kept my cool through this process so I would have sinned a great deal. I would start with sharing with him what I did wrong through the course of these events. Families are waging a war against our sin nature and the society that has resulted. We need to fight the battle together by sharing our struggles in fighting it. We need to not let it divide and conquer us.

Once you have sincerely shared your sins and asked for forgiveness share your feelings and thoughts but more your feelings that led you to do what you did. You are probably terrified of the path that he is on. The feelings that he is dealing with are there to keep a couple together for life. Often when people realize they wasted these feelings on someone they didn't know and isn't someone they want to spend their lives with they are devastated. Often people consider suicide because these feeling were designed till death do us part so when they fail it seems like that is the viable alternative. (Of course it isn't.) You may remember specific people in your life that had really bad break ups. You may have had some yourself. Tell him about them. Tell him about the real experiences and the feelings people had when they went through them.

Ask him questions about his girlfriend that he is likely not to know. Ones related to what it would be really like to spend the rest of his life with her. Does she want kids and if so how many? Where does she want to live and what does she want to do? If she has kids how woulds she want to raise them? Would they be raised in a Christian faith or in a purely secular way? He is having a relationship and feelings that are life long. The feelings themselves however could be shared between two lonely people who are not on the same path and who will be devastated when the realities of life rip them apart. Staying in a relationship with these feelings and giving up our path is even a longer more drawn out pain. Just like you warned him when he was about to get burned by something hot as a child. If he listened he didn't get burned. If he didn't and you couldn't stop him he got burned.

In this case it is far worse. He isn't listening (at least with the approach used so far) and you can't seem to stop him. The only option left is that he will be scarred for life and he needs to understand that is the most likely outcome. These are emotional scars that often lead people down a path of sin because they are the consequences of sin. God softens are heart but our sins harden it. Share with him your how you see things likely going. Ask him how he sees things going. Then discuss the likelihood of each possible route.

He might just say it isn't that serious we are just hooking up. While that may be true for one of them it is very unlikely true for both. Most likely one of them has true feelings and if it is only her than he is probably committing and even greater sin. He will end up hurting someone else and may not even realize how badly until judgement day.

You might be thinking there is no way we could have this conversation. I would agree. I am not talking about a conversation but something that occurs over a long course of time. It will be made in little steps as it is likely you two are not communicating well at this point. That is not going to be easy to change.

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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by morbo3000 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:31 am

Craig, (crgfstr1) thank you so much for your time, both in concern, and in writing. I have spent my days resting in the belief you are certainly praying for us. We've been on vacation away from our town, which has given us a much-needed reprieve from the stress. He has enjoyed family, and we've enjoyed him. His older sister, whose family we've been visiting has spent a lot of one-on-one time with him talking about his relationship. It's very possible we will be sending him to spend some time with her when she returns from her own trip. He knows and experiences the love of all his family, including us.

Thanks again.
When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
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Re: Rebellious son, and Matthew 18

Post by crgfstr1 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:32 am

I am so glad that you got to spend quality family time together. The prospect of spending time with his sister who might know the slightly newer (and worse) packaging of the same old temptations might serve him well.

Thanks for sharing with us.
Craig

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