Are you the parent of a rebellious child? There is hope. Find out how you can stand for a rebellious or prodigal child and finally see the miracle you’ve been praying for.
No one ever said parenting was easy. When you first bring your babies home from the hospital, there is so much hope and possibility for who they will become and what kind of lives they’ll lead. It doesn’t take long to realize that raising great kids is not automatic—it’s a lot of work! And you’ll have to contend for them every step of the way.
Whether their children are young or grown, many parents face the unexpected situation of dealing with a rebellious child or even a prodigal. The disappointment is stinging and the road often lonely. It can be difficult to even know where to start. First, we’ll begin with the basics.
What is rebellion?
A stubborn or rebellious spirit is one that rejects truth, challenges authority, and refuses to take personal responsibility for attitudes or actions. Further, a rebellious spirit is one that often, but not always, begins to turn away from God. Rick Renner explains that the word witchcraft comes from the Greek word pharmakeia, which refers to “the flesh’s attempts to avoid being confronted and changed.”
It’s important to understand that not all rebellious children are necessarily prodigals. Nonetheless, even the smallest hint of rebellion in the home must be dealt with immediately. Rolling the eyes, becoming angry when asked to take out the trash, or balking at the household rules will all open the door to a greater severity of rebellion down the line.
Perhaps your situation is much worse—stealing, lying, violence, drugs or alcohol abuse. Maybe your child is so far away from God, you can’t even see the possibility of his or her return. Know this: There is hope for your child. You are not powerless. You can see the miracle you’ve been praying for with these seven ways to stand for rebellious children.
1. Put Feelings Aside
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” –Romans 8:14 (KJV)
You’re hurt. You’re disappointed, shocked—even angry. You blame them. You blame yourself. You don’t know where to turn or what to do. When a child is rebellious, it is frustrating. When they’re extremely rebellious, it can feel downright devastating.
Here’s where you have to be careful. The devil preys on feelings—any feelings. You don’t even have to swing the door wide open—all he needs you to do is crack it open just a tiny bit—and he’s in. He’ll have you doubting your ability to parent, questioning the moment-by-moment well-being of your child, and plummeting into deep despair. The game plan? Don’t even give him the chance.
Put all feelings aside and focus on the TRUTH. Don’t be led by thoughts or emotions—be led by the Spirit in everything you say and do regarding your child.
2. Give Them Room
“‘Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future,’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come again to their own land.’” –Jeremiah 31:16-17
Mothers and fathers, take God’s Word for it. Receive Jeremiah 31:16-17 for yourself. Stop weeping for your children and start believing the Word. That’s the only thing that will bring them around. If necessary, go to your kids and ask their forgiveness for neglecting them.
Many times, rebellious children feel lost, insecure and angry, and are trying to discover their true identity. Give them room. The closer you push in, the more they will tend to back away from you. That doesn’t mean you stop being involved in their lives; it means you focus on encouraging and blessing them, rather than criticizing, condemning or pushing them to have a relationship with God.
Continue to set proper boundaries in your home or with their behavior toward you, depending on their ages. And don’t stop there. Take every opportunity to minister love to your children. Whenever they come around you, express your love in some way.
But overall, be led by the Spirit and give them the room they need to “come back to you from the distant land of the enemy.”
Watch Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim teach you how to stand for this generation.
3. Learn to Intercede
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” –James 5:16 (NKJV)
One of the most powerful and effective things you can do for a rebellious child is to pray for them. But you can’t just pray the sad, pleading prayers of a parent who wants reconciliation. No. You must learn to intercede. That’s where you put your own feelings aside and focus on God’s will for your child. Because God is the only One who truly knows what is going on in your son or daughter’s heart, praying in the spirit will be very effective as well.
There are many testimonies of rebellious or prodigal children making supernatural turnarounds solely due to the power of a praying parent. Just because you don’t see immediate results, don’t discount the power and influence you have in your prayer closet. Press in, keep on seeking, keep on knocking, keep on asking. The effective (based on the Word), fervent (continual, never-ceasing), prayer of a righteous mother or father will bring great results.
When you pray, declare the Word over them, prophesy over their lives, and praise God for the victory. You may not see it yet, but His Word says you have it!
Find A Prayer for Rebellious Children here.
4. Take Authority
“Behold, I give you the authority…over all the power of the enemy.” –Luke 10:19 (NKJV)
If your children are still living at home, the key is to address any sign of rebellion quickly. If you let simple backtalk slide one day, a rolling of the eyes the next, and then a refusal to complete chores or requests, it becomes a slippery slope toward greater and greater rebellion in your home. If you have young children, it begins now. Don’t wait and assume they’ll grow out of it—they won’t!
Even if your children are older, or grown and gone—it’s never too late to take your spiritual authority as their parent. We overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, so now is the time to bind and restrict the enemy in your family.
According to Galatians 3:13, Jesus already broke the power of the curse; then in Luke 10:19, He gave us all power and authority. That means we have the right to order Satan out of our children’s lives and to take authority over the spirit of rebellion. Begin by walking your home and declaring, “Thank God, my children are not going to hell. Thank God, they are taught of the Lord and great is their peace!” Instead of walking the floor worrying, walk the floor praising God for the solution!
You can even anoint their possessions with oil in the Name of the Lord Jesus and speak life over your children. Anoint their pillowcases, their doorframes, their cars. Whatever you do, stand and believe for your children, and kick Satan out of your family!
5. Set an Example
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” –1 John 3:18 (ESV)
One reason some children are rebellious is that they haven’t seen the right example set at home. If you have lived with a spirit of rebellion yourself, that is the first thing you need to address.
Do you speak against your boss, the police, the government or the president? What are you modeling? And what spiritual door have you opened as a result?
Of respect in the home, Kenneth Hagin’s wife, Oretha, had this to say: “If a husband and wife don’t show love to each other, how can they expect their children to show love to others? And children need affection, too. It’s a sad thing for children to be raised in a home where no love and affection are shown.”
Spend time allowing the Lord to uncover any area of rebellion in your own heart. Clean up that area of your spiritual life, and close the door on the devil in this area once and for all.
6. Release Your Child to God
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” –Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
One of the most difficult things to do as a parent is to release your children to God. Even when they aren’t in a state of rebellion or out of relationship with those who love them, there is always the temptation to keep them tightly within our grasp. We are called to guide, protect, discipline and set boundaries, but we are not called to worry. In fact, we’ve explicitly been told not to!
Continue to stand and believe for your children, but don’t try to force the matter. No matter what, refuse to worry. Release your child into God’s loving arms, and trust that His promises are sure.
7. Never Give Up
“Having done all…stand.” –Ephesians 6:13 (ESV)
Maybe it’s been years, even decades. Maybe you haven’t seen or even spoken to your child for longer than you can remember. All hope seems lost. At times, you’ve even wondered, Should I just move on with my life and forget about this?
Remember the words of David, when he said, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV).
Things may not change overnight, but you can be like Abraham and call things that be not as though they were. Say, “I’m not moved by what I see, hear or feel. I’m moved by what I believe, and I believe what God says!” Second Peter 2:9 says that God knows how to deliver. He knows how to do it, so give Him the opportunity. It doesn’t matter where your children are—right there in the room with you or a thousand miles away—grab hold of the Word and never give up. Sooner or later, the Word will grab hold of them!
Watch Gloria Copeland teach you the best way to pray for your children.
Begin putting these seven ways to stand for rebellious children into practice, and rest in the peace of God concerning your children. Love always believes the best. Believe your child is returning to the Lord, in Jesus’ Name. Those who have run from the Church will be the first in the doors. Reconciliations are on the horizon in the Name of Jesus. Your prayers for your child will be answered!
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