• Don't pull away from her physically. She needs to be reassured of your love for her every day.
  • Discover his "love language." Plan dates whenever possible. Your child's wayward actions may be his way of trying to get your attention. Be proactive and give him undivided attention regularly.
  • Teach all the children to love and not to engage in conflict with or provoke each other. Teach them to love their enemies and to find a way to bless and not curse them. Teach boys to honor and protect girls. Teach girls to love and respect boys.
  • Love is patient and kind--but is Mom patient and kind? Allow God to fill you with the same love that He has for your child. She needs to see love from you even while she is yet a rebel.

Stay Grounded
Rebels are very draining--spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We need to stay grounded in the Word and in prayer.

  • We need times of refreshing at regular intervals. Get away to a quiet place and rest. Spend time in the solitude of prayer and Bible study.
  • The Word. This is a heart-wrenching, iron-sharpening, full-out battle, and we need to keep our armor on. We need the belt of truth. Untruth comes forth from the child regularly. Read the truth, speak the truth, and memorize it together.
  • Prayer and fasting. We are in the trenches of warfare for the soul of our child. We need to be vigilant and proactive and one step ahead in prayer. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against every evil thing that exalts itself. Spend time fasting and focus on the spiritual battle--not just the outward rebellion.
  • We need to die to our pride, our anger, and our unrealistic expectations.

Have a Future Vision
We need a future vision as we are raising the next generation. What will these rebels have to face in their future that will take this kind of strength of character? If persecution comes to your rebel for his faith in Christ, what kind of person will he need to be? Obviously, God is raising up an army. Remind your child to fight the good fight he was created for. Remind him that he is fighting the wrong fight when he is fighting God's authority (you), and tell him that God made him strong for a reason--he is to be God's warrior. Give her a cause to stand up for, something to fight against, and help her use her strength for good now. We need rebels in the Kingdom of God to stand against sin and to stand for righteousness.

Be a Rebel
Homeschooling a rebel is extremely difficult, and we are still working through it all. Yes, we still have eruptions, but much less frequently. We have learned how to pray, repent, and start over. More importantly, the strong will has carried over into spiritual battles. This will be the time to form a stronger prayer life, a stronger sense of what is right and wrong, and a stronger love for the Lord and His Word. Rebels don't give up easily--be a rebel, Mom, and don't give up on your child. You will both learn to turn to the only One who can truly change hearts: Jesus Christ.

I can hear you asking, will my child ever change? I am here to tell you that there is a God and that He is more interested in the heart and soul of your child than you are. Jesus Christ Himself intercedes to His Father on your child's behalf. Join Him in prayer as you intercede for the heart of your child. Don't give in to discouragement; be encouraged with new vision for your child. You are not alone in having the special blessing and calling of raising a rebel.

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." --Galatians 6:9

Further Resources
I highly recommend the following resources:
Homeschooling the Challenging Child, by Christine Field
No Greater Joy--free monthly newsletters
Winning the Heart of a Rebel and other resources on anger by S. M. Davis
The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman
Doorposts--many resources taken from the book of Proverbs
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell
The Heart of Anger, by Lou Priolo

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Deborah Wuehler is the chief contributing writer for Chapel, and Devotional Door/e-newsletter creator. She resides in Roseville, California, with her husband Richard and their six gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!
www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/DevDoorDeborah

Copyright 2006. Originally appeared in Summer 2006. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com