This is a continuation of my last post on rebellion.
I think one of the things that precipitates rebellion is the way we are treated by others and how that makes us feel, especially by those who are closest to us, like our parents or wives or husbands.
Think for a moment about the hypocritical parent. Well, we are all hypocrites to a degree, but I mean the proudly hypocritical parent. This kind of parent who espouses an ethic and then regularly and knowingly goes against that ethic. This kind of parent can really mess with a kid’s wiring.
I am not talking about a parent who is sincerely striving and yet makes mistakes. I am not talking about being weak and trying to overcome a weakness. I am talking about the unapologetic, chin-out, belligerent parent who can’t be wrong about anything.
Think about the effect of this, for example. A child attends church and hears that swearing and cursing and taking the Lord’s name in vain is against the commandments, and they go home and hear their father or mother, who espouses the same faith, swear and curse regularly, without apology or repentance.
Nothing dislodges a child from the faith of their parents like this kind of hypocrisy. When a parent behaves this way, whom a child admires and loves and clings to and believes, it really messes up their ability to hang on and endure in the faith.
And Satan, who is as real as you and me, knows this. It is one the tools he uses to disrupt families and break them apart. To me it is one the saddest things. One the of the very saddest.
I have at times been hypocritical. But I have also been repentant. I have admitted mistakes to my children, and they have forgiven me. I have tried to do better, and they have helped me to be better.
It makes a difference if you are willing to change, willing to try, in the eyes of your children or spouse. It also makes a difference if you are unwilling to change, unwilling to try. A willing heart makes a big difference in the longevity of families and marriages. An unwilling heart leads to the destruction of relationships, of respect and trust.
Bear with me. I’ll get to the positive part soon.