A life of rebellion can pull children into a web of regret. Once they are in it, it is hard for them to get out. As parents we need to help them find their way back into the bosom of the family. It should be our aim, regardless of what our children have done to us, to do everything we can to help restore them to fellowship with God and be in harmony with their extended family.
We are called to be peacemakers (1Pt 3:7). Our government sometimes sends out our armed troops to some hot spots in the world to serve as peacekeepers. Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the peacekeepers.” He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peacekeepers are simply people with big guns and more money in their pockets to keep a rebellion from getting out of hand. Peacekeeping doesn’t solve the rebellion; it just keeps it in check.
A peacemaker helps bring rebellion to an end. That’s what we’re called to do with members of our family who have chosen a life of rebellion. Peacemaking isn’t about avoiding conflict or trying to calm down someone’s anger. It is using whatever means that is beneficial to bringing another person to a point of reconciliation and restoration. It might mean working to avoid a conflict or bringing a conflict to an end. I want to suggest a few principles to follow when acting on God’s leading in restoring a rebellious child back to God and the family:
Talk things out with God before you discuss them with the rebellious child. You want to make sure your heart is right before you attempt to get your child’s heart right. God may need to change you first. He most likely has been teaching you things all along. Allow Him to continue to teach you. Talk with Him, but also listen to Him.
Don’t be afraid to voice your own despair and frustration to God. You may have a good deal of anger of your own to ventilate with Him. Speak what is on your heart respectfully to Him. But speak it!
God speaks very clearly to us through His Word. Put the Scriptures before you and meditate on them. Ask God to reveal to you the unmet needs in your son or daughter that might have stirred him or her to anger. God may wait days, weeks, or months before He gives you the calm assurance that you are ready to make your approach. Wait for His peace. In the meantime, God may not only be changing your heart; He may also be changing your son’s or daughter’s heart, too.
Take the first step. You may have been on the receiving end of a lot of dishonor. Your fragile ego tells you, “It’s your child’s duty to take the first step. He/she’s the one that has rebelled and caused you pain. He/she should have to initiate peace talk.”
Don’t let your flesh do the talking or allow your wounded heart to call the shots. Let God’s Spirit take the lead. And remember that holding back only hurts you. The Bible says that refusing to deal with unresolved conflict will block your prayers.
Identify with their pain. People don’t get angry and rebel for no reason. There may be a lot of pain stirred up inside them. Listen, speak less. Ask questions.
Go with the goal of sympathizing before attempting to find solutions. It’s not the time to rehearse the hurts or try to clarify the mistakes your child has made. Nor is it the time to remind him/her just how much pain he/she has dished out.
The key at this stage of the restoration process is to communicate that your child is tremendously valuable to you. His/her opinions, feelings and wounds matters to you. The Living Bible says, “We must bear the ‘burden’ of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others. Let’s please the other fellow, not ourselves, and do what is for his good” (Rom 15:2).
You may have to listen to some accusations and unfounded assaults. Don’t get into defending yourself. Let your child get the bile out of his/her system. When he/she sees that you aren’t rationalizing, explaining, or arguing, it will show him/her that you are more interested in him/her than in yourself. And remember, if you have to take some insults you don’t deserve, you’ll be doing the same thing for your son or daughter that Christ had to do for you.
Own up to the negative part you played. No parent is perfect. And if you got caught off guard by a child’s rebellion, you may have done or said things you shouldn’t have. Because your child has been so close to you, you may have unintentionally let him/her down.
Don’t try to explain why you did what you did or said what you said. Just ask for forgiveness. Jesus said, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt 7:5).
Your attitude of humility and remorse can play a huge role in changing your rebellious child’s attitude. Be thorough, humble, and gentle as you confess the part you played in his/her decision to turn his/her back on God’s best plans. Ask for forgiveness.
Deal with the problem, not the person. It is very important that you go through the process, not accusing your children or convincing them of things they did wrong. God will reveal that to them. This is not the time to attach blame to their actions or to rehearse your hurt.
The book of Proverbs reminds us that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Pro15:1). Your tone of voice, your posture, and your facial expressions can communicate so much that is in your heart. Just let your child see God’s grace and mercy in your eyes and feel it in your voice. The Bible says, “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction” (Pro16:21).
Regardless of whether they use sarcasm, put-downs, arrogance, or insults, don’t give back in kind. Paul said, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph4:29).
Figure out how you can cooperate rather than compete. You may have to swallow some pride. It’s not that you are compromising on absolute principles but rather looking for some common ground where you and your child can both agree. The key here is that you’re not trying to win a battle. Your goal is unity, not victory.
Don’t aim at resolving; aim at restoring. There’s no way both sides of a major conflict are going to agree on everything. Don’t even try. Reconciliation isn’t about evening scores and fixing all the problems that have occurred. Your goal is the restoration of the relationship between you and your child, not in resolving every difference of opinion. When hearts are brought back together, many of the differences between them become irrelevant.
Not even the best of friends and the healthiest married couples see eye to eye on everything. That’s not the goal of love anyway. Grace has room for different perspectives and different interpretations of a situation. Concentrate on bringing your hearts back together and deal with the differences later, after God has brought healing to your relationship. Shalom.
- Free from the Stronghold of Rebellion (ptl2010.com)
God in His immeasurable wisdom put something in mothers that makes them bond well with their children. We will be discussing the bond between a mother and her daughter. One of the most important and enriching relationships you can have in life is the relationship between a mother and her children. But specifically, there is an incredible impacting relationship between a mother and daughter. Surely, your mother may drive you crazy or your daughter may be the cause of all things stressful in your life, but there is no denying the power of the mother— daughter bond that exists. Many of us are blessed with a supportive and loving mother– daughter relationship from the start while some of us will never know what that kind of relationship is like. Not every mother– daughter relationship is solid and many of us will have to work hard at developing a strong bond with our mothers or daughters. The dynamics of a mother—daughter relationship changes constantly as each woman enters a different stage or phase of life. But no matter the stage/phase of life the importance of a mother– daughter relationship never diminishes. Let us look at these tips for improving this unique bond between a mother and daughter.
Advice for Daughters
Part of being a nurturing and loving mother is having to be a disciplinarian, but once a daughter becomes an adult and establishes her own independence, a mother– daughter relationship evolves into more of friendship than discipline. Your relationship with your mother matures as you both mature. The older you get and the more life experience you acquire, the more you will be surprised at how your relationship changes.
Involve your mum in your life: Your mum may want to spend more time with you but does not want to feel like she is imposing. She knows you have your own life, but she wants to be a part of it. The advice is you take time to engage in activities that will strengthen your bond with your mum. My relationship with my mum is very rich; we both have respect for each other. As we both mature in age, she began to see me as both her friend and her confidant. She became an important part of my life and my husband is her “blue-eyed” boy, since I do not live in the same country with her, I diverse means of involving her in my affair through regular telephone communication.
Remember that she will always be your mummy: Your mum is the one that raised you, and no matter what age you turn or what decade of life she enters into, she will always be your mummy. Treat her with the respect and dignity she deserves. Ex21:17; Lev20:9 and Pro20:20. Remember to thank her being the great mummy she has been all these years.
Honor your mother and regard her wise counsel: The scriptures taught us to honor our parents Ex20:12 and Eph6:2. No matter what status you have attained in life in terms influence and affluence, you are not permitted by the word of God to dishonor and disrespect your mother.
Irrespective of your mother’s actions or inactions towards you the word of God must be obeyed, and by so doing you will enjoy the benefits of God attached to His words concerning you.
Advice for Mothers
As a mother you have one of the most difficult jobs, but also one of the most rewarding. Your children are your life. There is a good chance your mother– daughter relationship has suffered some few blows as your daughter passes through the adolescent phase of life, but now that you are older and have adult relationship with your daughter, it is time to take some good advice for mothers.
Stop criticizing: The time for being critical has passed. Your daughter is grown up and will usually not respond well to criticism, even though a mother may know best. Keep your criticism to yourself unless she asks you for advice, or you are being critical over something that is dangerous or immoral to herself or her loved ones. Also remember that constant criticism can lead to resentment, which can lead to a much bigger problem later on. When your daughter opens up to you for advice or support, it is because she trusts your motherly instincts and wisdom. Do not abuse that trust by being overly critical of her or her marriage, it can be harmful to your mother– daughter bond.
Give your daughter some space: In other words stop meddling into the affairs of your daughter, especially the running of her home and marriage. She has her own life to live now; her identity seems almost independent of you now, even if you helped shape it. Let her experience her own adventures with you sometimes in the background. Remember your daughter is grown up now, so you can no longer play centre role in her life. My mother understands this very well and she respects my privacy. She knows she cannot interfere in my life and most especially my marriage. Even though she is welcome to my home at anytime, she cannot just leave her house and come visiting without notifying me and my husband. She does not meddle into my affairs, and if I do not seek her opinion over any matter she will not offer it. I enjoy a very wonderful relationship with her and all my friends that come in contact with her enjoy the same motherly love.
Remember your own mother’s lesson: Your relationship with your own mother is an excellent tool for you to learn from to enhance your relationship with your own daughter. With age, you gain great perspective and you learn what you liked or did not like about your mother’s parenting style and what was most effective. Learn from your past to better your future with your daughter. Remember that parts of your own life lessons that you teach your daughter will be passed onto her own children.
Have a wonderful mother– daughter relationship that will be the envy of all.
- Mother’s Day (rubylane.com)
- Tara Brooke on Mother-Daughter Relationships (familyfocusblog.com)
- Top 10 Famous Mothers and their Daughters (listverse.com)