21 Chapter Twenty: MINE IS WAYWARD, AND I KNOW I

If your child is not showing any of the signs highlighted in the last chapter, then his actions which you term as rebellious are not what you call it. They may just be ordinary complaints of an aggrieved mind. However, if after a careful check, you still insist that your child is showing signs of rebellion, then you need to do a checkup on what the source of the problem is.

Before you go too far with this checkup, start with yourself! One is always quick to think the problem is with the other person whenever there is an issue. This may not always be true.

When a Preacher's Kid decides to act against the family faith and moral value, the first question the preacher-parents need to ask themselves is: "In what way have we contributed to our child's attitude against the faith". Rather than make excuses and blame others, we must be willing to search our hearts and determine the roles we have played as parents in the gruesome choices our children have made.

You may not always have to be blamed, but you need to be sure that you are not to be blamed by answering, honestly, this question, "What is my part in this?"

This same question can be asked in so many other ways for clarity. For example, you may want to ask yourself the following questions which are generated from this singular question:

* What cogent part have I played in this predicament?

* What roles have I assumed that pushed him to the edge?

* What could I have done that I did not do?

* What should I not have done that I did?

* What words were left unsaid that I should have spoken?

* What should I not have said that I have built a monument around?

* What choices have I made in the past that have brought these negative consequences on my child?

* What actions of mine, my spouse or his immediate environment have led to these negative reactions from our child?

* What lifestyle of mine has influenced or encouraged this unfathomable choice of the lifestyle of my child?

* Have I imposed too much parental restrictions or tolerated too few boundaries?

* Is my style of Christianity helping my child to follow the Lord or hurting him and pushing him away from the Lord?

* What particular aspect of the Christian Parenting Models that I have adopted is inciting my child to rebel against Christ?

* Have I been measuring my children's spiritual progress by God's standard or by the opinion of others?

* In all of my actions and reactions to them, am I being led by the Holy Spirit or am I just defending traditions?

* Am I helping them to have an authentic relationship with God or just forcing them to be in the good records of my church authority?

* Are the spiritual principles I often emphasize at the family front the things that make my teens better Christians or things that make them good members of the church denomination which I identify with?

* Am I unreasonably holding unto the doctrines of the traditional church while closing my eyes to the technological and generational changes that are sweeping across the world like a whirlwind or am I just simply honestly defending the old-time religion which Christ shed His blood for?

* Is this really a fight between the good and the bad or the old and the new?

* Have I been able to differentiate between what is good and what is bad about the old, compared to what is good and what is bad about the new or do I just simply assume that everything about the old is good and everything about the new is bad irrespective of what my children feel about both?

* What is fueling the constant clashes between my son's attitude and my spiritual expectations of him?

* What is the source of the unreasonable dispute between him and God? This is where the process of restoration always starts from.

* What kind of faith am I transferring to my children? Is it the kind of faith they want to willingly embrace or one they just want to reluctantly hold unto, for the duration of their stay with me?

* Am I balanced in my biblical analysis to them and my spiritual expectations from them, or am I driven to one extreme or the other by what I think are the right things to be done?

* The things I have done to salvage this situation, have they made any positive impact or have they made the matters worse than it initially was?
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* Do my children see a genuine passion in my activities for the Lord or what they see is just religious commitment to a set of church creeds and tenets of faith?

* Is my son blindly revolting against the ordinances of the church or is he just yearning for spiritual biblical authentication of these activities?

* Am I putting tension on them to demonstrate and exhibit the outward appearance of a believer rather than the regeneration of the inward man?

* Am I more particular about their Christian outlook to the detriment of their passion for Christ?

* Are my activities widening the gap between my child and my faith?

* Am I raising my kids to harbor a spirit of criticism and become judgmental of other Christian denominations which differ from mine, even if he has them as close friends?

* Will I rather prefer that their spiritual activities replace a close walk with God? Which of the two will, in reality, play a significant role in their maturity as believers?

If you find yourself guilty as a parent, own up. Take responsibility for the things you caused and do not trivialize the issues. The things you need to do are discussed in Chapter 22.



There are different levels of waywardness when it comes to Pastor's Kids generally. The first level comprises of those who, like the apostle Peter who betrayed Jesus, are on a very brief rebellious trip from the church. For no just cause, at least none that their parents or any member of the church can think of, they just wander away from the love of Christ. Nonetheless, they are always quick to return to the Lord. With the depth of God's word and the knowledge of God in their lives, there is nothing the devil wants to use that is strong enough to deceive these ones and keep them in his fold longer than necessary. They are always quick to discover the deceits of the devil. They cannot stay out of the church for too long before they begin to yearn for the manifestation of God's presence which comes only through His love. This presence, which always permeates the home where they once left, is something that the devil cannot replicate. Their brief trip into the world always terminates abruptly as they always end up returning to the Lord with sober reflections and a repentant heart. Most times, they come back to become stronger believers than they were initially.


The second level of rebellious Pastors' Kids are those with a consistent attitude of visiting the world and returning to the church after a while. Unlike the first group whose rebellious excursion is a one-time experience, theirs is seasonal. One day he is in the church, the next day he is in the world. Today he is a believer, but tomorrow he is dining with the devil. He is constantly out of the church to have a taste of the world, but for each time he goes out of the ecclesiastical fold, he always returns once he has had his fill of the world. His major challenge is that the source of his problem has not yet been addressed; the root of worldliness in his life has not been uprooted. Each time he is back to the fold, the preacher-parent advice, counsels, and admonishes him. They try to check his life for any branch that has a resemblance with the world, and are always quick to cut such away once noticed, but it is only a matter of time, this branch buds again, and an uncontrollable desire to have a taste of what the world has to offer overcomes him one more time. Before the absentee preacher parent notices any change in him, or if at all they notice before they take any meaningful step to salvage things, he is long gone again, only to reappear not too long afterwards in the same church again, with a repentant heart and sober reflections. Until the source of worldliness in his life is dealt with, the cycle will continually repeat itself.


The third level of rebellious Pastor's Kids are those who, like the prodigal son who left his father and journeyed into a far country, find it very convenient to go on a long term excursion into the world. Unlike the first group who go on a brief rebellious trip and the second group who enjoy several brief trips to the world, with either long or short breaks in between, these ones really get carried away with the devil's adulterated version of enjoyment for a long time. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life get them so entangled with the world that they find it quite difficult to break their hold over their lives. Since most of them do not have a sound scriptural foundation, they do not have enough spiritual strength to easily turn their back on the devil. Although this excursion into the world always takes a long time, the good news is that they always trace their way back home to the Savior either while their parents are alive, or after they have gone to be with Lord. The period of this long excursion is relative. For some, it may be a few years while for some others, it is in multiples of it, long enough for their family and the church to completely lose hope of their coming back to the knowledge of the saving grace in the Lord Jesus. No matter how long, they always find their way back to the place of the cross before it is too late, even if it is at their last-minute with their last breath on their death beds. Their earthly parent may not be there to rejoice with them on this decision, but there is joy in heaven, with their heavenly Father, over this single sinner which repents.


The fourth group is the most pathetic group. Although they have everything similar to the last group who go on a long vacation from the church in order to have a taste of what the world has to offer, they get so used to the taste of what the world offers that they completely lose the taste of what the Lord once offered them and is willing to offer them again. Their long vacation out of the church into the world becomes an unending trip into the bottomless pit, a place of no return. Some of them may die prematurely because of their wayward lifestyle, and they end up without having an opportunity to come to the knowledge of the saving grace in the name of the Lord Jesus. They are lost forever. Some who grow to old age get so used to the devil and what the world has to offer that they no longer appreciate what they lose by turning their backs on their Savior. They also die without an opportunity to rededicate their lives to God. They are not only lost from the church, but they are lost forever from the assembly of the saints, both here on earth, and thereafter in heaven, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.


Whenever Christian kids rebel, it is not always because either of the parents have failed in their respective responsibilities in bringing him up in the way of the Lord. Of a truth, parental failure may be one of the major reasons why Pastors' Kids rebel, but rebellious attitudes among Christian kids is not only limited to parental failure.

There are some nice Christian families with sound moral upbringing who have had at least one of their kids rebel against their fathers' religion at some point in their lives, and they tried to do everything they could about it, all to no avail. If you find yourself in this group, and you are so sure that you have done all that is humanly possible as expected by heaven in bringing the child in question up in the way of the Lord, then you should have no condemnation in your hearts. It is natural to feel so bothered and concerned about the issue, but truthfully, either here on earth, or at the close of age in eternity, you are not to be blamed for whatever choice your child decides to make if you have indeed done your part.

All that God expects of every Christian parent, preacher or not, is to show our adolescents the way and make it easy for them to follow the path by giving them all the necessary encouragement, physical or spiritual. Whatever decision they make thereafter, they face the consequence squarely, solely. It always gladdens our hearts as either Christian parents or preacher-parents to see our children make the right decision, but when they take the wrong decisions, there is really little we can do about it, besides praying for their salvation before it is too late.

Irrespective of what your church council or any other committee thinks about your parental ability, if you have genuinely searched yourself and feel you have done your best for this kid, do not let whatever anyone says get to you. It is okay to be concerned about it but do not get overly worried such that it begins to affect either your health or the ministry God has committed to you. It is natural to feel concerned for a wayward child, but it is not helpful to feel very guilty for the crazy choices he has made, so much that it begins to affect you. If you are sure you have done all you should, contrary to what the devil will minister to you, you are not a first-class failure as a mum or dad; you may just be unlucky as a minister to have a kid who has chosen, for now, to go the other way. That is if indeed you have done your part.

The story of the prodigal son in the Bible is a good evidence to show that godly parents can do all the good things they know to do and it still may not stop a rebellious child from being a rebel. The father of the prodigal son did all a father could do to such extent that the storyteller, Jesus, never found a fault with his parenting techniques, but his son still became recognized in the history of the Bible as the only prodigal son.

Be careful to note that the father was not labeled the reckless or careless dad but the son was called the prodigal son. No parents pray for such, but it does happen. The prodigal son just rose up one day and decided that he had had enough of his father's protection, the security around the home, the spirituality of the environment, the do's and don'ts, and worse still, the enjoyment at the home front and the comfort of being around his nuclear family. All of these for no just cause, at least, none traceable to the father or mother. Some kids are still like this today, and their parents may not be responsible for their actions. It is just their choice to try out the self-destructive way.

Do not feel too bad when you discover your properly raised Christian Kid is becoming rebellious with all of your spiritual investments in him. See it in this light: Of all the Pastors' Kids in the world, God has assigned you the responsibility of this rebellious one because He knows you have what it takes to maturely tame his excesses and bring him back to the Lord. Should you not be excited to be part of Heaven's Special Task Force to bring solutions to a lost soul?

So do not get yourself overwhelmed with guilt and misery. A number of suggestions will be given to you by other preacher friends or Christian parents, most of whom have been lucky with child-rearing and have not had any of their children rebel before. Some of the suggestions they will give will sound nice while some others may make you look as though you are a baby in the Lord who does not understand Christian parenting; do not let it get to you. They really do not mean to hurt you. They are just trying to show their concern. They may ask you to keep punishing the kid at home until he bends to your will, or ask you to change his school or close friends. Some may even allege that it is because you do not read enough Bible verses at home during your morning devotions, or you do not sit together as a family during worship services, or the kid does not memorize enough scriptural verses on daily basis.

All of these things have their advantages in bringing up a God-fearing Preacher's Kid and the absence of any could result to raising a rebellious Preacher's Kid, but the presence of all does not guarantee that a Preacher's Kid will not misbehave once in a while. You may want to try out some of the reasonable advises you get around this time. Do not become too hard on the child, especially if he is old enough to decide to leave home and walk into the streets to make a living for himself. It is still better to have him under your roof and trust God for a change in his life than to lose him into the waiting hands of agents of the devil on the streets where you have no idea what else they will introduce to him on daily basis.

Keep your calm in the physical, but make a serious effort in the spiritual. Control your emotions whenever you are around him, but wage serious war in the spirit every time he is not close by. If you continue in this and do not faint, as time goes on, God will give you the secret key that will unlock the hardened part of his heart, and he will come to identify God as his Lord and Savior.