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Rebellion in the Last Days

By Rosemary Nuckols

"But mark this:  there will be terrible times in the last days.   People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them."  II Timothy 3:1-5

We all know time is moving closer to the last days, and I think we all have seen and been alarmed by the selfishness and decadence in our culture.  Many in our culture are calling evil good and good evil.  As Christians we don’t need to be confused, since we have our guidebook, the Bible, which gives us understanding of God’s absolute truth.  We need to purposefully share our faith in Jesus and the word of God with our children and to train them up in the ways of the Lord – as there is one roaming the earth who would like to claim them.  “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  I Peter 5:8

Dear parents, do not believe the lies of the world that rebellion in our children is “normal” and to be expected.   At a young age the sin nature in our children causes them to test their parents.  We need to be there for them, consistently guiding, encouraging, correcting, and disciplining them.  If our lives are so busy, we’ll be too tired to be consistent and will have little time to tune into their true needs.  If mothers are not “keepers at home” as described in Titus 2:5, our children will not have the consistent guidance, security, and nurturing that parents should provide for their children.  Even homeschoolers can fall into the snare of being too busy and involved in activities outside of the home.  The world applauds people for being busy.  God says through His Word, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Many parents are not allowing their children the time to be still and have quiet times at home with their families.  Should they be surprised when they discover later that these children don’t truly know God and rebel against their parents?

Some homeschoolers are not truly HOMEschooling, but are actually in the car more than at home as they drive their children to numerous lessons, classes, activities, and events.  Often parents may think that this is the only way they can measure up to the world’s standards and public schools. God’s plans for our children are much bigger than any manmade system.   Maybe some parents go overboard in this area as they try to dispel the myth that homeschoolers lack socialization. 

We parents are the ones who are accountable before God in training up our children.   When our children are busy with an abundant number of activities, they are receiving a variety of influences on their lives from peers and teachers.  Even homeschooling families can be robbed of the time they need together to grow in their knowledge of the Bible and in Godly character.   We all know it is more difficult to correct and discipline our children while driving in the car or in public settings.  I also believe a selfish attitude can be fostered in our children, if everything is centered around their activities away from home.  Selfishness can easily lead to rebellion.  If families are home together more, it is natural to include them in family chores where they can learn responsibility, unselfishness, and working as unto the Lord.

Therefore, I urge you parents to be mindful of the number of activities that your children are involved in, and work at creating a Godly atmosphere in your home.  Remember, that can only be created if you have plenty of time at home together as a family.   Children need to be with their parents to be trained in the ways of godliness and to keep them from rebellion and the ways of this world.  They need to see the godly examples of their parents living for the Lord in everyday life.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-7   It is important to be mindful and discerning of all influences on your children.  “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  I Peter 5:8

It’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate in making your decisions in all areas of training and nurturing your children.  Be careful not to give into the latest fad in toys, clothes, or entertainment.  Sometimes your children or even other adults are pressuring you or encouraging you to buy those items for your children.  Even many toys for young children are evil and can lead our children astray and into rebellious attitudes and behavior.  Make a point to choose toys for your boys and girls that are wholesome.  Some toys I see in stores give me a chilling feeling and really grieve my spirit.  All Christians (including your children) should be thinking on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) 

Many of the toys being sold nowadays are definitely evil looking.  For boys there are demonic looking creatures and super heroes, and for girls there are the rebellious and evil looking “Bratz” dolls.  Even “Barbie” dolls may encourage materialism, immodest clothes, and feminist and worldly attitudes in your girls.   Don’t let rebellion creep into your children’s toy box, and don’t let “socialization” become more important than the responsibility of training your children up.  Children do need supervision, and the friends they play with should be likeminded in their toys and play.  If you are home much of the time it is easier to create a home atmosphere that can be hospitable.  By being hospitable to other families, your family can get to know entire families and more easily supervise your children as they play with other children.

Another area that can easily draw children into rebellion is the music that they, their family, or their friends listen to.  Rock music is a music of rebellion and continues to evolve into more and more rebelliousness with the categories of heavy metal, punk, etc.  Don’t be surprised if your teenaged children become rebellious if they are listening to rock music.  Even so-called Christian Rock can encourage rebellion, as it gives a mixed message.  Christian words are tacked onto a rebellious style of music.  We need to give consistent guidance to our children, and it is contradictory to have Christian words with rebellious music.  Even if you do not listen to rock music at home, be aware that it can be introduced to them in the church youth group or other places you may not expect.  I know it is unavoidable as it is played as background music in many stores and restaurants, but I don’t think it should be encouraged as an entertainment for Christians. Many adults have grown up on rock music and are not discerning in that area and are quite unaware that it started out as rebellious music and that Christians have copied the world in that style of music. 

Nowadays parents need to be alert, as we can be the ones who are actually leading our children into rebellion, as we follow the world in various areas.  Remember, if you expect your children to be rebellious, they probably will be, but rebellion is not of God.  Instead, Christian parents should be expecting their children to mature and grow in their faith continually.  The teen years can be a wonderful, growing time for a young Christian. 

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…”  I Samuel 15:23(KJV)

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21

Think on this with fear and trembling... “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”!! and  “Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God”!!  Is there anything that we desire more than that our children will inherit the kingdom of God (that they will go to heaven when they die)?  The spiritual lives of our children should be a priority in our lives as parents.  For their sakes we must not give into the pressures of this world.   We as parents must be willing to take the “narrow road” and set that example for our children.  We must not be afraid of other people’s criticism, comments, and accusations.  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”  Proverbs 29:25

We all receive pressure to raise our children like other people are.  Relatives and friends may worry that your children are being overprotected, not in the “real world,” or not having fun.  I haven’t seen anything in the Bible that admonishes parents for protecting their children.  Rather there are examples of bad consequences for children who were not protected from ungodly influences (such as Dinah in Genesis 34).  What is the “real world” anyway?  Is it a world of impure thoughts and coarse joking, as so many of the TV shows suggest?  Is it a life of sexual immorality and perversion, drugs, spiritual darkness…?  No, we can choose to raise our children in the light and provide a real world of God’s peace, joy, and love in our homes, strengthening them spiritually as we encourage them to memorize God’s word and hide it in their hearts.  Is “having fun” only connected with worldly ways?  I know our children have had a lot of fun in the fresh outdoors and in our home playing with wholesome toys and games, being able to enjoy life with a pure heart and without peer pressure to conform.   I know it is difficult to stand against even the subtle glances from others who disapprove of us protecting our children.  Yet parents are to protect their children from the world’s ways, because “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.” Proverbs 22:15

It is so very important to be discerning in all influences on your children.  In your home purpose to only have Christ-honoring reading material available for your children to read.  In our family we felt it was very important to develop a family library with plenty of good Christian books and character building books for our children to read.  With many good books to choose from, our children have been able to develop a love for reading.  Also, we don’t need to worry about the books they choose, if they are books from our own library.  It takes a lot of time to check over the books children might find in a public library that are contrary to our Christian faith.  Your children might read it before you even have time to check it out.  A good church library can also be helpful for a family’s reading.  Things we read do get planted in our minds, and rebellious characters in books can plant rebellious ideas and attitudes in our children.

Entertainment is so valued by our culture, yet we as Christians need to use much discretion as we evaluate appropriate entertainment for our families.  Many movies, TV shows, and video games are full of sinful behavior and ungodly attitudes.  Don’t allow sinful entertainment to invade your homes, and be sure your children aren’t watching it at their friends’ homes either.  Electronic media needs to be so very carefully monitored.  There is so much pornography on the internet, as well as in movies and TV shows.  People can even access pornography on cell phones.  Reading special books together as a family and carefully picking out wholesome videos and DVD’s can be great family entertainment.   Since there is a prevailing “entertainment mindset” in the world today, many parents (even homeschoolers) think their children have to be entertained in their schooling, or it’s too boring for their children.  This teaches their children to be self-centered, which usually results in rebellion.  Remember, in the last days people will be lovers of themselves.  We as Christians need to stand against this selfishness that the world encourages.  We need to teach our children to have lives full of JOY – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.

Through their clothing choices many young people express rebellion.  It takes a lot of effort to find clothes in stores that will show respect.  I thought it was interesting as I was looking in the children’ clothing departments the other day that the only clothes that looked decent were the ones meant to be worn as school uniforms.  The uniforms for boys and girls look very neat and respectful, whereas the other “back-to-school” clothes looked sloppy, rebellious, and immodest.  You don’t need to give into the fads in the area of clothes.  Nowadays it takes a concerted effort to dress your children in clothes that would be honoring to God, but it’s important to stand firmly against our culture in this.  The effort you put into finding appropriate clothing for your children will show your love for them.  You may need to sew, look in thrift stores or garage sales, if you cannot find modest and honorable clothes in stores.  Clothing doesn’t need to be expensive to honor God.  Teenagers will understand the need for dressing modestly with propriety, if they are trained this way when they are young, and if they are not immersed in peer pressure situations.

We’ve found that peer pressure can be just as prevalent in churches and in church youth groups.  We have seen some homeschooled children who fall into the peer pressure trap after they join youth group and then become rebellious.  “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20   Do be careful about the friendships of your children.  When children reach the teen years, they need to be strengthened in their faith by studying God’s Word in depth, rather than weakening their faith by encouraging more worldly entertainment.  As children mature and grow in their faith, they should learn to serve others more and more (e.g., helping an elderly person with lawn care, playing music at a nursing home, serving at a soup kitchen, etc.)  Truly, they can also be having a lot of fun as they are involved in various service projects!  Also a youth group can encourage young people to look to their peers or youth pastor as their authority, rather than to their father, whom God gives the authority for his family.  A father’s ideas can seem old-fashioned compared to the youth pastor’s contemporary ideas and all of the “fun” activities, like going to Christian rock concerts.  A rebellious attitude is formed when a child doesn’t respect his parents’ authority.

Parents, ask our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to help you make an all out effort to teach your children to be wise and discerning in every area of their lives.  In each of these areas I have mentioned I am not giving you a list of no’s and don’ts to respond to your children with.  Rather, these cautions are for you, the parents, to have wisdom and discernment in all areas of influence on your children.  Your children won’t be feeling oppressed if they are kept away from ungodly influences, because they will have positive, Christian influences instead.  The toys, books, music, entertainment, clothes, and friendships will be wholesome and fresh and pleasing to Jesus, if you call on Jesus to give you the wisdom in all of these areas.  You must also be willing to trust and obey Jesus – even though your family’s lifestyle may be very different from everyone else around you.  Your children will also gain hearts of wisdom when they are trained with Jesus first in every area of their lives.  When they are mature enough, they will joyfully make decisions to choose what honors God and will be strengthened to be able to stand against the world’s ways. I write all of the above giving Jesus Christ the credit for guiding my husband, John, and me in raising our six children.  We can testify that it helps greatly to fill your home with good Christian influences and keep your children away from much of the contemporary culture’s pitfalls.  Jesus guided us as we guided three of our children through the teen years and into adulthood.  We are continuing this God-given journey of homeschooling with our younger three children, and we continue to remind ourselves to trust and obey God and allow Him to lead us in parenting.  As He leads us, we want to exhort you to raise your children without all of the worldly influences, so your children can each have a happy, wholesome childhood and even through the teen years, when so many people expect them to rebel.  Truly, the Christian family can be and should be a bright light in this world that is full of rebellion and much spiritual darkness.  “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you:  God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin.”  I John 1:5-7






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