Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

How to Deal With a Wayward Child

Q: We raised our daughter to love God. She grew up in a Christian home, made a commitment of salvation and was very involved in her youth group. When she left home for college, everything changed. She rebelled against every moral principle taught and has made poor choices that grieve our hearts. What can we do?

Dr Linda: My heart goes out to you. No parent enjoys watching a once strong godly teenager make poor choices that negatively affect her life. But the reality is that once young adults leave home, they are in charge of their choices. Some are better than others at resisting temptation and standing firm on their convictions.

The biblical directive in Proverbs 22:6 is, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This verse warns us that children must be brought under parental and spiritual control. In some cases, that discipline is lacking in God-loving homes. Parents take their children to church, teach them about God but fail to break their will and properly discipline. That is not the case in your situation.

Advertisement

Other times, parents have been consistent disciplinarians, raise their child with a biblical view, and their child chooses a different way. In those cases, you pray that the godly foundation will eventually win out and the child will come back to his/her senses. Unfortunately that process can mean heartache for a time.

In other cases, family problems that were never addressed may be influencing your daughter. Families that don’t deal well with conflict and don’t get help when family conflict is out of control, produce adult kids unprepared to deal with conflict in their now adult lives. Unresolved family problems carry over to other relationships. For example, one young woman was sexually assaulted as a child. The family never dealt with the trauma and covered it up. Later, that daughter had major boyfriend problems that could be traced back to her childhood sexual assault.

Advertisement

Also, remember every person has a free will and is ultimately responsible before God. Our role as parents is to insure we have done everything possible to shape our children for independent adult life. Take a quick inventory of your parenting: Were you consistent? Did you set godly examples? Did you break your child’s will at a young age? Did you give in too often? Did you address family dysfunction?

Finally, keep in mind that many emerging adults struggle with making their faith their own. They need a personal encounter with the Lord even when they have been raised in a Christian home. Pray to that end–if Christ can show up to Muslims who don’t know Him, He can encounter your daughter in a life changing way. Hold on to that hope and pray to that end.

Advertisement

Obviously parents can’t go back and redo inconsistent parenting, but they can admit failure,  talk to their adult children and ask for forgiveness if necessary. You can also talk about foundational principles that bring a happy life. Be honest when reacting to your daughter’s poor choices. Point out the negative consequences that will result from ungodly living. Deal with family problems now. Love her unconditionally but not her sinful behavior or lifestyle.

Above all, pray. Prayer is powerful. The Holy Spirit can remind her of her childhood learning and bring others into her life who will positively influence her. Get support from other parents who will agree to pray with you. She may go through difficulty, but don’t give up on God’s best for her life. Continue to pray and intercede.

 

Previous Posts

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Fighting with a Narcissist
Rich and Sharon have constant fights, and the fights take on a common pattern. Sharon is dating a narcissist. The key traits of a narcissist are to be self-centered, need to be admired, be right, not admit fault and feel superior. All of ...

posted 7:00:58am Feb. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Dad's Anxiety Could Affect His Unborn Child!
Blog Question: My husband is very anxious about the birth of our second child. He is feeling the economic pressure of our expanding family and worries about everything. He is making me anxious because of his state of distress. What can I tell ...

posted 7:00:09am Jan. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Who is Deciding If Your Child is ADHD?
I've been in practice for over 20 years and worked in a center for ADHD. One of our goals was to make sure the right kids were correctly diagnosed when it came to ADHD. Great care was taken to do the proper assessments that help make the ...

posted 7:00:22am Jan. 27, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.