Bible Question:

What do you do (biblically) with a child (18 year old) that is out of control? I have already tried rehabilitation.

Bible Answer:

From God’s perspective children are to be in submission to their parents, but many of the world’s cultures are encouraging our children to reject parental authority. This is evident in our movies, television, books, music, and in almost every aspect of life. Since the teenage years are normally characterized by rebellion, such cultural views are especially destructive to the training of godly children in the later years. God has made it clear that children are to obey, and it is the parents who are to determine when the child leaves the home. Again, this is contrary to at least parts of western culture.

Obey Your Parents

From long ago, God has said that children are to respect and obey their parents.

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. (NASB) Proverbs 23:22

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching . . . (NASB) Proverbs 1:8

These are just a few examples. There are many more. God is consistent; the command is also repeated in the New Testament.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. (NASB) Ephesians 6:1-3

God also encourages our offspring to respect the older generation (Lev. 19:32). However, that respect is increasingly disappearing today. Our teenagers are encouraged to disobey and not to respect their parents, especially older people. This is sin and destructive to any society. Satan is winning many spiritual battles, but he will eventually loose the final spiritual war. 2 Timothy captures what is occurring with these words,

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power . . . (NASB) 2 Timothy 3:1-5

We are in the last times. We live in a progressively rebellious and godless world. Pray for your country.