DEFINITION: Rebellion is opposition towards a person or group in authority and a refusal to obey rules or normal standards of behavior. Biblically, it is opposition to God’s authority, His Word, and God-ordained authorities.
FACTS ABOUT REBELLION:
Rebellion occurs for various reasons. The most common is that people want to be in control of their own lives and do what they desire. They do not want to live by God’s mandates. Children often rebel because they do not want to abide by their parents’ rules. A rebellious spirit can also develop when someone in authority over you is wrong or you think they are wrong. Rebellion also results from not understanding God’s structure of submission. (See also the topic of “Submission” in this database.)
Rebellion is sin. Rebellion is a serious sin, considered as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).
Rebellion was instigated by Satan. He was a rebellious angel who sinned against God and was instrumental in the first rebellion of mankind in the garden of Eden. He still works through a spirit of rebellion.
DEALING WITH REBELLION:
Admit rebellion and ask forgiveness. Rebellion is sin, and as in the case of all sin, you must admit it to God and ask forgiveness. You may also need to ask forgiveness of a parent, employer, spiritual leader, or someone else in authority against whom you have rebelled.
Ask God to put a new heart within you. Ask for a heart that is pliable and submissive to His will: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Train your children in the ways of the Lord. Discipline them to obey you and God at an early age and raise them up knowing the Word of God (Proverbs 22:6 and 2 Timothy 3:15). These practices will prevent rebelliousness later in life.
If an adult child rebels, continue to love them and pray for them without condoning their sin. Do not feel that you have failed as a parent if your adult child rebels. There comes an age of accountability where each person must choose whether or not they will serve God. Children sometimes rebel because of the influence of unbelieving associates. Pray for such negative relationships in their lives to be broken.
Claim this promise and personalize it for your children: “And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children” (Isaiah 54:13, AMP).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT REBELLION:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
Only do not rebel against the Lord… (Numbers 14:9a)
Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother. (Deuteronomy 27:16)
Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle. (Joshua 22:29)
But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:15)
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23)
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (Proverbs 1:8)
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. (Proverbs 10:1)
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1)
He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13)
A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. (Proverbs 15:5)
A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother. (Proverbs 15:20)
He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. (Proverbs 15:32)
To have a fool for a son brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool. (Proverbs 17:21)
A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him. (Proverbs 17:25)
He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace. (Proverbs 19:26)
Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:11)
Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22)
Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious. (Proverbs 24:21)
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’ Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good. (Jeremiah 5:23-25)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Ephesians 6:1)
(See also “Submission”, “Authority”, and “Chastening And Discipline” in this database.)