Counsel of Chalcedon
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Dealing With Rebellious Christian Teenagers

Many years ago, when God gave us our first child, I made a silent promise to myself to stop giving advice on child-rearing until AFTER my own kids were safely grown up, educated, married and still in the faith. Quite frankly, I have always been less than impressed with men who "knew it all" theoretically, but were unable to put their wonderful theories into practice. For example, I have known "experts" who were "brilliant" marriage counselors but ended up divorced; and I have seen more than a few men with international reputations as Bible scholars whose personal lives were terrible messes. I certainly did not want to join these ranks but instead demonstrate that by consistently applying basic Biblical principles we had succeeded in raising godly, self-governed kids.

But I do not always have the luxury of covering my assets this way. One of a Pastor's most important duties is to proclaim and explain the Word of God for the benefit of His people. If we pastors do not or cannot understand and apply God's principles of managing the family, then we ought to show a little integrity and go sell used cars or something. Therefore, despite my reservations, I need to address some issues in this essay that will be far too close to home for many Christians; when "good" kids go bad. This is not going to be an easy essay for you to read. I have some hard things to say and some will accuse me of being harsh and uncharitable. But honestly and sincerely, I really do want to help. And sometimes, the kindest, most loving thing you can do is telling someone something that they would rather not hear.