200 comments later, I’ve learned that nothing hurts more than rebellious children – – though, community helps cope with the pain

Chris —  July 30, 2010

I am moving the sharing of hurting parents to this post.  If you have a rebellious or wayward child, this group could be a great encouragement to you.  You can see the original post here. 

If you are hurting because of the decisions your children are making, this can be a place of encouragement.


As a pastor, I have learned that there may be no more hurting group of people in the world, than parents who are concerned for a son or daughter who is making poor choices.

So, in December of 2008, I posted with the goal of encouraging parents of wayward children.

The most effective aspect of the post was that it was the beginning of a small community.  After the post, several began to share their struggles with one another in the comments and to pray.  The discussion continues.  To date, there are over 200 comments – – many of them quite lengthy.

In fact, there are so many comments readers are finding it difficult to read them all.  As a result, I am suggesting that we move the encouragement and discussion to this post.

You are invited to join the discussion.

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24 responses to 200 comments later, I’ve learned that nothing hurts more than rebellious children – – though, community helps cope with the pain

  1. Dan and Louise July 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I just want to say: Thank-you for this very supportive blog!
    I have received much encouragement, hope, and relief from the wonderful brothers and sisters, who are also traveling the very difficult and heart wrenching road. I thank Him and all of you for your continued love, prayers, encouraging words, and support.
    God Bless all of you!

  2. Dan and Louise – – wonderful to hear from you. You know – – you have been commenting for a long time now.

    I pray you will have a blessed weekend.



  4. Too much has happened with my daughter to write it all. Things seemed to be getting better, but now are much worse than they have ever been.

    Please pray for us.

  5. Dear Amy,

    I am definitely praying for you and your family. I am so sorry you are going through this. It can be like a roller coaster ride with its’ ups and downs, but just hang on and let GOD handle it. Concentrate on the ones at home and pray for your daughter. Louise said something one time that really made a lot of sense….God’s arms are longer than mine, His love is greater than mine and His ears will hear her when she decides to cry out to Him. Trust Him with your daughter and pray for strength. I’m praying for you and your family.


  6. I am truly heart-sick for you, Amy! It just seems, one onslaught after another keeps coming to knock you all off balance! The enemy of our soul is a shrewd enemy, and one to reckon with. We cannot do it on our own. You know that, we all know that…BUT you are really learning that this is WARFARE! Start your day praying the armor of God to be placed on you, on yuour family…and pray the Psalms for her!!…He will hear…and He will deliver her!
    Remember, He owns her soul…
    Ask Him to show you His heart in this matter…and to give you His eyes in this time of great trial. He will answer…give Him time and let Him calm that storm of yours…it is not vacation time in the ocean…YOU are in HURRICANE season. Though the storms assail you, He will keep you and all that pertains to you!!!
    Standing on the promises of God, OUR Savior!
    Love to you dear sister…and His loving arms extend to your daughter as well.
    Love, Louise

  7. Hi everyone, I received this message from Amy. I am not sure why there is a problem with the web site. But, I want to pass this along.

    Hi Chris,

    I wrote to you once before about a problem I was having posting to the “rebellious adult children” blog, and soon after that you started the new one.

    I am still having problems. I’ve just tried, at least 7 or 8 times, including once from a different computer, and all I get is a message that starts, “Oh no! You’re looking for something which just isn’t here”. This is even happening with this new one you’ve set up.

    I don’t know what causes this problem, or what to do to fix it. I was just wondering if you could let people know that I still need prayers, and I am still praying for those who write on the board. This blog has meant so much to me, I just can’t tell you how much. I would love to know that, while I seem to no longer be able to post, you all are still praying for me, as I am praying for these other hurting parents.

    Thank you,


  8. Amy and everyoe else!

    My husband and I continue to pray for you hurting parents, family, friends, etc…who may be connected to someone who is acting out..and wounding you while they are hurting. God is faithful…and He does hear all our cries. We have been through and endured pretty much what you all are experiencing.The grief goes soul deep and becomes so heavy at times, and the sorrow is unbearable. But…we are learning that His yoke is easy…and He is our burden bearer!
    God bless you all…and praying you can log into the site, Amy. I wish we were neighbors, and we could chat over coffee and pray together in person. This will suffice, as we know that He is present with us no matter where we are!
    And…no matter where our children are…He is with them ,too! Our best to you all…Have a blessed Sunday!

  9. Dear Amy,
    You are in my prayers. I pray God comforts you.

  10. I am writing to the people who follow this blog, to ask for prayer for my family. I have a daughter who was raised in the church, was always a very good girl, and at age 18 went to a large state university where she got involved with a very bad group of students who were involved in excessive drinking and sexual promiscuity. This was in the fall of 2009. She lied to her father and me about what she was doing until January 2010 when all of the lies fell apart. She promised she would be a different girl when she went back to the university for spring semester, but things got much much worse — excess drinking, continual lying. At the end of the spring semester my husband and I told her that she was going to come home and be a commuter student, which is what she is now, but this was basically forced on her because her grades in spring 2010 were so bad due to lack of focus on her studies. This whole past year has been hell with this daughter, our only daughter. Every day there is conflict. She is very rude to my husband and me. She states that all she wants to do is move out, which she cannot do now because she has no money. She expresses no love in our family, only hate. She doesn’t want to communicate with anyone in our family any longer. She sits in her bedroom alone most of each day unless she is taking courses at the university. This is not the way she was before the fall of 2009. My husband says that we have to keep her at home because she would be too self-destructive if we arranged for her to live elsewhere. She is now 19, will be 20 in early May. So that’s our story. Is there hope that she will become a good girl again, the sweet daughter we had before she went away to college?

  11. Hi Marilyn,

    I am so sorry to hear of your incredible pain.

    You can be sure that there is hope. God turns lives around all the time.

    As you know, that doesn’t mean there are guarantees. But there are many stories like those of Franklin Graham where God completely turned a life around.

    I pray in your daughter’s case that the Lord will work in incredible ways. Pray, pray, pray.

    And, be sure to be in a Bible believing local church where the Word is preached and God’s people can know you and pray for you.


  12. Dear Marilyn,
    You are in my prayers along with your daughter and husband. Try your best to take your focus off of your daughters attitude and give it to God. Faith and Trust are key. Once we put our focus on God and how big He is, our problems seem much smaller. He can and will speak to her heart on your behalf, I pray she will listen to Him. Pray without ceasing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Read the Psalms for encouragement also.

  13. Thanks for your messages of hope. I have been beating up on myself because my daughter is so angry at me. Yesterday I asked my husband if I had done anything wrong in how I have dealt with our daughter. My husband said I had done one thing wrong — called her a swear word — and last night I apologized to her for this and told her that it was disrespectful for me to call her that and that I would never do that again. But my husband said that everything else I have done (and it has been significant — various ways I have caught her in her lies to us), everything I have done has been the right thing to do. This was very important for me to hear from my husband, because our daughter has been and is communicating to me/us that we are doing everything wrong.

    I read on another website regarding young adult rebellion that it is important for our rebellious young adult children to know that we love them and to praise them. My husband and I talked last night that we are going to tell our daughter we love her every day and that we are going to find something to praise about her every day. But we will still have to confront her with the realities of how she is self-destructing as well.

    So thanks to everyone who is contributing to this blog. I appreciate your prayers.

  14. Dear Marilyn,
    I’m still praying and I encourage you to get into the Bible. God will speak to you in ways you can only imagine through His Living Word. Your daughter will see things in a better perspective when you are focused on Him. God is so much better at handling our issues for us and what is so amazing is that He wants to. He wants us to depend on Him. As long as we try and take matters into our own hands, He will allow us to, but when we come to Him broken and ask for His help and wisdom, He is always willing to come to our aid and guide us in the ways we need to go. When children rebel, young and old alike, they know us well enough to find ways to manipulate us. We need God speaking to us to buffer the thoughts that the enemy likes to put in our heads concerning the way we raise our children. I pray you lean on Him completely through all this and that you find Joy and Peace.

  15. Dan and Louise Kramer December 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Dear Marilyn,

    I understand all too well the struggles and the heartache you are enduring at this time. My husband and I walked through that for over 5 years. I am glad and relieved to say, it has come to an end…a blessing and a wonderful thing has happened the last two months. This year…we will be all together for Christmas…our Christmas miracle!

    I read, prayed..I should say…WE read the Word, prayed..cried..mourned…and when that season of great sorrow, darkness, and walking-the-floors finally ended…we are all amazed at it all! Our daughter is reunited with the family, with the husband in tow…silence is broken, the not knowing where she was, the drugs, the drinking…all that came to a screaching halt! They both said it was the Holy Spirit that overtook them months back..and conviction came to them…and they are now both active in a church. Our daughter who teaches in another state, whom she has not spoken with in 5 years, saw her for the first itme and they hugged in their church! Tears of joy from all of us! And our oldest daughter said. “Mom, Dad, it is as if nothing had ever happened…no time lapses…we are as we were prior to her running!”

    You really need to be encouraged! I wonder if you listen to worship music…that is uplifting..Helps you put your focus on Him. I also find the Word is so healing..and helps me to focus as well. I have the “audio Bible”, both on tape…and you can access it on-line..www.audiobible.com or google it!
    Those days, those hard, heavy days…He is still there. He never leaves you, nor forsakes you…nor does He leave our lost children, nor will He forsake them! He is not a throw-away God! He is compassionate, He is all knowing, all powerfull, He is everywhere..and He desires they come back into the fold! And, through this experience, we have learned the heart of our Heavenly Father!
    God Bless you, Marilyn…and our family is praying for you!
    Thank-you, Chris, again for this wonderful site!
    God Bless all fo you!

  16. Dan and Louise Kramer December 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Also, Merry Christmas to everyone! I know it is a hard and difficult time…you will make it through. He sees us through it all! He is an amazing Father!
    Also, Marilyn, the peace that passes ALL understanding came when I finally came to the end of myself! When I could no longer pace those floors, when the last tear was shed…that is when I sensed Him taking the entire thing into His hands. I could not carry it anymore!
    He does a much better job than I do!

  17. I haven’t tried posting in a while because of my problems posting, so I’m going to keep this short, in case it doesn’t go through.

    First, I continue to pray for you all.

    Second, it’s still a rollercoaster with my daughter, but the lows are definitely not as low as they used to be, praise God.

    Third, what a wonderful surprise it was to read about your daughter and her new attitude, Louise! I had to reread to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood.

    And last, I’ve prayed for your situation, Marilyn, and will continue to. I’m so sorry for what you are going through…you’ve come to the right blog for support and prayers.

    God bless you all, and Merry Christmas.


  18. Amy,

    I think I realized what was going on previously. So, if there are problems in the future let me know. This post seemed to work.

    God bless you all and Merry Christmas!


  19. I see, Chris, that you think the problems with posting have been fixed. Thanks…I’m hoping this will get through. The past couple of weeks my daughter has seemed different — in a good way. Then today, things went horribly wrong again. I would appreciate continued prayer.

    Thank you all,

  20. Amy,

    Yes, it did see to work.

    I am sorry to hear that things took a turn for the worse with your daughter. I pray that you will be greatly encouraged through Christ and His Word and the fellowship of the Body.


  21. Hi I am a mother of two daughters 17 and 21.
    There father and I are no longer together and have remarried.
    My burden I have with my children is that they do not respect me. My oldest just the other day said when I left her dad I left her and she didn’t respect me and I was not invited to her wedding. My youngest is a good kid she just doesn’t want to do the simple things I require of her.
    I have always been a very involved mother. I have loved and did so many things for my children. My husband now is amazing to them. He is a very giving man. The comments my girls say to me are. “Dad doesn’t have any money, so he deserves a break, you(mom)don’t.” I hear this all the time. I keep doing and it gets me no where. We have paid college, car and now my oldest has the audacity to spout off in such a hurtful way. I need help in what to do. She is living with me this summer and I think I am going to stroke out. She is just using us again and I don’t know if I am to let her or what. The tension is unbearable. I need to know how to handle my girls and let this tension go. It is ruining the life I have. Yes, I know divorce is wrong I have asked for forgiveness and want to move on with them. I surely can’t have this held over my head forever. They say I interfere in their lives. Well what parent should just let things go when they see a potential mistake. I am an aggressive parent, their dad is very passive. So I am always the bad person and he shines in their eyes. Please help me this has been a long 3 years. I want peace, acceptance, respect as a parent and gratitude.
    Thanks, Cheryl

  22. Cheryl, I am so concerned for you. I have dealt with other people in your situation. First I would ask – – where are you in terms of your faith journey? Do you believe in God? Are you a Christian? That may not seem immediately related, but foundations are of utmost importance. You can build from there.

  23. Hello Cheryl, I have a daughter about the same age as your daughters and have had similar struggles. My daughter has pushed me and my husband to the limit, been very demanding, but I have stood my ground and not allowed her to manipulate me. She’s tried to play her father against me, but we have let her know in no uncertain terms that we are one and she cannot divide us. You need to understand that your daughters are in a very self-centered stage of life. They care only about themselves. Just like toddlers are completely self-focused, so are most teenagers and young adults in their 20’s. It’s more difficult to accept from people who are supposed to be adults, however. But they will eventually outgrow their self-centeredness just like toddlers do. One thing I have learned recently is that if I enable my daughter to do what she wants, despite my fear that she will be used or exploited or harmed, that is not love. So, in my case, my daughter wanted her father and me to give her the financial wherewithal to move out of our house, but we told her that until she had our blessing to move out, we weren’t going to give her any financial assistance. She struggled with this and gave us unbelievable grief and spoke very harshly to us, but in the end, she came to peace with our decision and accepted that she was still our dependent, thus, still under our control at least financially. Older teenaged girls and girls in their 20’s are very influenced by hormones, as well, and this causes drastic mood fluctuations. The hormones calm down in the 30’s and even more in the 40’s, so we can have hope that in a decade or two, our daughters’ explosive outbursts due to hormones will have eased.

  24. Dear Cheryl,
    I found that the more I focused on each detail and hurtful situation with my daughter, the bigger it seemed to get. I felt like I was in a pit of dispair. When I let go and gave it to God, I felt such a relief and joy returned to me. God healed me in an unbelievable way which caused me to trust Him even more than I ever had before. Even now, when I encounter hurtful words or such from my children, I pray about it and have peace. It’s strange, but I believe God is able to speak to their hearts on my behalf in a way I am not able to do and they seem to come around and say just what I need to hear. God is good and He loves to intervene for us. Let Him and you will be pleased.