How to Deal with Rebellion and Stubbornness in the Home
DATE: Sept 18, 2005 AM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Deut 9:24) “Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.”
A. What a statement by Moses about the children of Israel – after 40 years of leading them and their children now through the wilderness to the edge of the Promised Land. Moses said the entire nation was just one big rebellious mob!
B. Yet God loves to take stubborn, rebellious, stiffnecked, homes, and clean them up, straighten them out, fix them up, and get them through the impossible situations, and make them heaven on earth – all for His glory and praise!
C. There are no perfect marriages, or perfect homes or perfect parents, or perfect teenagers, or perfect children, or perfect church members, or perfect bosses, or perfect employees!
D. But there IS a perfect Saviour – a faithful high priest who can straighten out the crooked, who can soften the hard-hearted, who can save the lost, who can repair the broken, and can encourage the discouraged, and who can abundantly restore all that has been lost in your life!
E. This month we are looking at the Home-Life of our Lord – How God sees the family, and How He dealt with problems there!
F. We would all agree that our homes need some serious work – some spiritual transfusion of heart and love and maturity
G. We all need something big enough to revolutionize our view of the home and make the changes necessary to not only survive but thrive in this very wicked day and hour! It is only going to come from studying and learning from the home-life of the Lord Jesus Christ! It is there for us, if we would just take it!
H. Goals this month is for all of us to…
1. Learn God’s Design for the Family – conform our homes to His pattern, His shape and form of such a wondrous thing – get last week’s tape!
2. Have Love and Forbearance for Each Other – last week!
3. Effectively Deal with Rebellion and Stubbornness in the family – rough stuff ahead!!! Jesus dealt with it in His own earthly home!
4. Lastly, Develop and Enjoy Protective Boundaries for our Homes
I. Let me show you the BEST way to face down a hard, stubborn, and rebellious hearts in the home
II. Background – The Particular Problem of Stubbornness and Rebellion
A. Just how wicked is Stubbornness and Rebellion (1Sam 15:23)
1. What is Rebellion and Stubbornness?
a. Rebellion is “Open resistance to lawful authority.” The breaking away from what you are supposed to be doing
b. Stubbornness is an unreasonable inflexibility – never wanting to bend, or change – another Bible word is, “stiffnecked”
c. These two attitudes go hand in hand – mentioned together a lot
2. God calls both attitudes wicked and evil, and sinful
a. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft – the worship of Satan
b. And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry – worship of Satan
c. Both are acts of worship of another authority over your life – Satan!!!
3. God judges a person on how they judge Him
a. “Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
b. Did you get that? God treats a person based upon how they treat Him!
c. Listen to these Scriptures about pride and stubbornness and rebellion
1) Pr 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention [fights in the home].
2) Pr 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
3) Pr 16:18 ¶ Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
4) Ex 33:5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people [stubborn, rebellious, unwilling to change]: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments [fancy fashions] from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
d. Everybody must understand that stubbornness, pride and rebellion is not only so wicked and wrong, but also very dangerous and deadly!
B. Just how wide-spread is stubbornness and rebellion in our homes? Are you kidding? It’s like a cancer eating away at life in our homes – and it was in Jesus’ home! Not in Jesus, but in His half-brothers and sisters (Jn 7:1-5)
1. Every year, everyone that was a Jew was supposed to remember the event that freed God’s people from Egypt’s grasp – the power of the blood of an innocent lamb – the Passover Lamb
2. It was the time for everyone to go to Jerusalem to celebrate that event
3. And Jesus’ half-brothers and half-sisters saw how that Jesus had made quite a lot of enemies lately (they were personally delighted):
a. The Pharisees – nobody really liked them anyway
b. The Romans – Herod was suspicious of Jesus
c. The Rulers of the Jews – had become offended at how hard following Jesus had become
d. Even most of Jesus’ disciples – they had decided to stop following Him because He just wasn’t “meeting their needs” anymore
4. So, Jesus’ family begins to rebel against Him, and resist His leadership – He WAS the firstborn in the home and was supposed to lead the home since Joseph was now dead. He was the head of the home
5. But His home did NOT want to follow Him!
a. They wanted Jesus to go at their bidding and to face all His enemies, and finally “get what is coming to Him”
b. That “perfect kid” that never seemed to get into trouble, and who never seemed to do anything wrong, and never had a bad day and never got depressed – oh they hated the fact that Jesus always had peace and joy and courage and confidence while they were miserable
c. They wanted Jesus humiliated – hurt – in trouble just like the rest of them seemed to always be in!
6. So, let’s see how Jesus shows us how to deal with this kind of stubbornness and rebellion in our homes!!!
A. Crumble Before God (1Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time”)
1. One of the most important things about the life of the Lord Jesus was that he was “not his own man” but was completely surrendered to God’s will
2. Here was “GOD in the flesh” and yet he would spend all night in prayer, and would rise early before dawn to pray, and would plead with His disciples to pray with Him, and seek God’s strength and wisdom
3. Why? So he could show us how WE are to do the same – we are to pray and fast and seek God’s strength and wisdom, and power, and guidance
4. Don’t be so surprised, but Jesus’ home life wasn’t perfect!
a. His Mother and step-father weren’t sinless (Lk 1:46,47)
b. His half-brothers and half-sisters (Mt 13:55-56) were no angels as we see here in John 7 - they HATED Him – wanted Him in trouble!
c. Even His cousin, John the Baptist got discouraged with Jesus at times
5. So, Jesus Christ shows us how to live a “crumbled-life” - a lowly life. If anyone had some things to be proud of, it would be Jesus
a. HE made the entire universe
b. He cause LIFE to spring up all over this planet
c. At that very moment Jesus was walking with His disciples, HE was holding all the atoms, and molecules and planets and stars AND GALAXIES in their places – perfectly, and beautifully!
d. He’s pretty awesome, and yet He was not proud!
e. He was completely under the mighty hand of God His Father!
6. This is the first step to dealing with rebellion and stubbornness in your home – and it starts with the spiritually aware person
a. You don’t have to be a rocket-scientist to learn this
b. You don’t have to be a well trained theologian and scholar
c. You just need to look to Jesus, and follow His example
7. It is called, “Moving the battle into the right realm!”
a. Most of our fights are fought in the flesh (2Cor 10:3,4)
b. But a battle with stubbornness and rebellion needs to be moved into the spiritual realm where it originated, and where God can fight for us
c. This is so that we can confidently and victoriously wrestle and win against our REAL enemies – which by-the-way are not our rebellious teenagers, or our stubborn husbands, or our bitter wives!
8. Another great example of “crumbling” is found in how Moses dealt with the rebellion and stubbornness in Israel
a. While Moses was up on Mt Sinai, the people were stripping down naked and dancing to rock music and worshipping an idol – a golden COW of all things!
b. And instead of Moses wishing he could call down fire from heaven (which would have been yours and my initial reaction), he falls on his face and crumbles, completely crumbles before God, begging Him for wisdom, for mercy and for help in fixing the situation! Good man!
9. You better start THERE or the situation will ONLY go worse!
10. If you don’t crumble folks, your family will! Remember that!
B. Confess Your Weaknesses and Sins (Mt 7:3-5)
1. Now Jesus did NOT have to do this step, but every one of us MUST, and I will show you why!
2. If there is a problem with rebellion in the home, and stubbornness in the hearts of people in the home, it will NOT be corrected by anyone that already has hardness and rebellion in themselves!
a. Can you imagine a doctor having a very bad flu trying to help someone get rid of a very bad flu? Sneezing coughing-up germs!
b. Same thing with correcting the sins of rebellion and stubbornness
c. Somebody says, “Fight fire with fire!” Well that may work well with fire, but unless you want to torch a lot of your home and heart, I would recommend another way – a much better way
3. Can you imagine what a hell-hole a home would be with EVERYONE demanding of the other to submit to THEM? Domination Damnation!
4. Folks, someone has to realize they are at fault somewhere and begin the process of cleansing through confession and repentance – it starts something only a Christian can grasp
a. A cleansing starts spreading
b. A peace starts taking over instead of a fight
c. Restoration of the dominance of the Holy Spirit instead of your spirit
d. And it begins when we humble ourselves, confess our sinfulness to God, and allow the precious Holy Spirit of God to start to work again
5. Great Principle to Learn: Allow a problem in your home to cause you to examine your own heart and your own relationship with God – it might reveal that the external problem or fight is a picture of what is wrong between you and God!
6. Don’t you think for a moment that you have no faults in a fight! Maybe someone else is MORE the problem, but the Lord Jesus said, “He that is without sin…. Well, let THAT PERSON cast the first stone of judgment!”
7. It would be good for every person in this room to crumble under the mighty hand of God and start confessing just how much of the problems in your home are because of YOU!!!
8. You ought to read about how Daniel confessed that God was right to judge the nation of Israel in sending them (including himself) off into captivity and slavery in Babylon
9. You ought to read about how Nehemiah confessed to God that not only had the previous generation of Jews had sinned against God, but that he himself was just as guilty – no self-righteousness
10. Folks, let’s settle that we can’t change our home’s destructive atmosphere until we get cleansing started – like an avalanche
11. Let me also say this – if you are first able to apologize to God for some things, then you can go and apologize to the other persons in your home as well – if not, you are worse off that the other person – because NOW YOU KNOW BETTER!
C. Cling to the Lord – Rely on the Lord and His ways of doing things instead of your own (Act 11:23, “Who, when he came [Barnabas], and had seen the grace of God [at the new church which had started in Antioch], was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord”)
1. Once you have crumbled, and confessed your own faults and failures, you are ready to do things God’s way – as Christ would do them
2. If you try to do things God’s way without removing your self and your own evil imagination from the equation, you will quickly return to your old ways and make the problem in the home worse! Did you get that?
3. To cling to the Lord, is to “cleave” to Him, and hold on to Him as He moves into the problem situation in the home
a. You want GOD to fix the problem don’t you?
b. Or do you really think you are smart enough and strong enough and loving enough and patient enough to handle it on your own your own way? Don’t kid yourself! You can’t fool me!
4. In other words, don’t hold onto your old ways of attacking the problem
5. The Lord Jesus did everything His Father’s way. He drew upon the strength of the Holy Spirit for every step He took
6. So, Ask God to do the following:
a. To Intervene – enter into your world, your home, your words, and your actions – to intervene, and take over!
b. To speak against the devil in the situation – the Lord rebuke thee! Ask God to kick the devil OUT of the situation – give him no place in the arguments, and in the relationship
c. To melt the heart of the person in rebellion against you and against God – God CAN do that you know – not always, but most of the time
d. To change both you and the one in rebellion Remember to ask for that
e. To help you Yield all revenge over to God – all of your right to revenge yourself
1) If the other person has hurt you (and I am sure they would have if they are in rebellion and are stubborn), then let GOD deal with them about it, and not allow you to fight back any more!
2) Before you go into the next step, you cannot have any desire for revenge or any desire to hurt them back
3) YOU KNOW THE SCRIPTURES FORBID IT! So STOP! Turn around from facing your problem head-on, and fall to the ground and face the cross, and confess your mess-up of the situation (by handling it on your own) and then cling to the cross until you are ready to face the problem like Jesus would!
7. THAT’S when you will be ready to confront the offender!
D. Confront and Correct in Love (John 7:6-8)
1. God does not call any of us to ignore sin – especially the sins of rebellion, pride, and stubbornness in our homes – serious sins!
2. Those things are the strongholds of the devil in our communities
a. Being fed by the rock music of today – the power of rebellion
b. Being fed by the kind of friends we naturally gravitate to
c. AND being fed by the worldly ways of dealing with them – heavy handed, full of anger and hurting each other in kind, etc!
3. Jesus firmly confronted his family members – look at how He does it: He first Instructed them, then Warned them, then Rebuked them, and finally Released them!
a. Instructed them (7:6,7) – Maybe your wife, your kids, husband don’t know that the devil is behind all the fighting and rebellion in your home? Show them the examples in the Bible how it was happening
b. Warned them (7:6) – life is unpredictable – death even more!
c. Rebuked them (7:7) for siding with the world and hating their own brother! Rebuking people is not a sin! Rebuking people in a proud or haughty or self-righteous attitude IS though!
d. Released them (7:8) He told them to go on like they had planned.
1) They should have waited for Him to take them down, and followed Him, but He let them go on without Him
2) Did you know the Lord will let you go on alone if you want?
3) He wants to lead, but waits for us to let Him lead us
4) Didn’t keep hammering them – told them what they were doing wrong, and then stopped! Didn’t repeat it over and over!
5) Didn’t want to hurt them as much as they had hurt Him - mercy
4. Remember, these are not the words of a bitter wife, or an angry husband, or a hurt teenager – these are the carefully measured words of our Saviour to help us respond in like manner when we are attacked and hurt
5. I can imagine, every one of Jesus’ family looking back at this awful day in their memories of how they disbelieved who Jesus was, and tried to tear Him down, and tried to force Him to do things their way, and then weeping because they could look back and know that their half-brother, the Lord Jesus loved them with every word he spoke to them – never ONCE hated them and never once wanted to hurt them back!
E. Continue On (John 7:8-10)
1. Stay on track with what YOU are supposed to be doing. Why is that so hard? Because you are letting the other person get away with hurting you and not “making them pay for it!” And instead, you are focusing on YOU doing right, instead of the other person!
2. The issue is not justice at this point - the issue is, are you willing to still do God’s will, even when everyone around you seems to be trying to hinder or even stop you? Every attack is a ploy by the devil to get you OUT of God’s will, and off the track, and fighting people instead of him!
3. Our Lord had a life to live – a purpose, a path to follow (Lk 9:51). His family couldn’t sway Him from following the path His father had laid out
4. So, after everyone had left, when it was the right time, Jesus then went on to the Feast of the Passover
5. Here’s the point
a. When two siblings are fighting, Mom, Dad, you have to get in there and fix that fight, repair any damage, make things right between them
b. But when someone is fighting YOUR authority, and rebelling against YOU, and unyielding to what YOU need and what YOU want… stay on track with the Lord! Make sure you stay close to the Lord, and stay obedient to His word, and stay full of HIS Spirit, and not the spirit of the devil! Press on for God Christian, and no longer for self!
1) Wives, God told you to obey your husbands, love them, honour them, and reverence them
2) Husbands, God told you to love your wives like Jesus loved the church and sacrificed Himself for it, give honour unto your wife, treat her tenderly, and be patient with her
3) Children, God told you to obey your parents, honour them, obey the rules, love them for laying down protective rules
c. I have seen most of Christianity bail-out right here! They give up the old ship of Christianity because someone hurts them, and rebels against them, and is stubborn, and ornery, and hurtful, and mean, and so they quit on God! Can you imagine anything more childish – and yet is happens ALL THE TIME!
d. Folks – you can do this, and our families CAN be saved if we get our eyes on the heavenly Jerusalem, and not allow anyone or anything to divert us from doing what God says!!! AMEN!
IV. Concluding Principles
A. Our Lord shows us how to deal with some troublesome family members – how to deal with rebellion, and with stubbornness – how to move the struggle into the SPIRITUAL realm instead of fighting in only this physical realm!
1. Crumble Before God (1Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time”)
a. Move the battle into the right realm!
b. If you don’t crumble folks, your family will! Remember that!
2. Confess Your Weaknesses and Sins (Luke 6:41,42)
a. Folks, someone has to realize they are at fault somewhere and begin the process of cleansing through confession and repentance
b. We can’t change our home’s destructive atmosphere until we get cleansing started – like an avalanche
3. Cling to the Lord – Rely on the Lord and His ways of doing things instead of your own (Acts 11:23) Once you have crumbled, and confessed your own faults and failures, you are ready to do things God’s way – as Christ would do them. Ask God to do the following
a. To Intervene – enter into your world, your home, your words, and your actions – to intervene, and take over!
b. To Speak against the devil in the situation – Ask God to kick the devil OUT of the situation – give him no place
c. To Melt the heart of the person in rebellion against you and against God – God CAN do that you know – not always, but most of the time
d. To Change BOTH you and the one in rebellion
e. To help you Yield all revenge over to God
f. THAT’S when you will be ready to confront the offender!
4. Confront and Correct in Love (John 7:6-8)
a. Instruct them (7:6,7) – Maybe your wife, your kids, husband don’t know that the devil is behind all the fighting and rebellion in your home? Show them the examples in the Bible how it was happening
b. Warn them (7:6) – life is seriously short for us – we better be right
c. Rebuke them (7:7) – for any wrong doing
d. Release them (7:8) –confront them in love, and then let God finish the work. That’s how people get saved. That’s how families get saved too
5. Continue On (John 7:8-10) – stay close to the Lord, and doing what God told YOU to do
B. If you find all this impossible, then let me invite you to come this morning and take my hand and let me show you how to be born again – how to invite Jesus Christ into your heart and home so He can save it!
C. Christian? You know this is not impossible! You just are backslid and need to get soft again, and hungry again for God to do some miracles in your life and home. Let’s humble ourselves all the way down to the floor, and let God resurrect some homes today!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland