Teri and I have been sharing what we believe God’s Word teaches on how to avoid having rebellious children. In our pastor’s sermon recently, he touched on another cause that I had not considered before. I wish it weren’t so, but all that we have shared points back to the father, and this one is no exception.
It is a very heavy matter to lay so much responsibility on the back of the father, but I believe that is where Scripture puts it. As God would have it, we should each do our own study and prayerfully come to our own conclusions. So I encourage you to open your heart and your Bible, and see if this is another warning about rebellion.
Colossians 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
Most would say they are familiar with that verse as a part of being a good husband. However, our dear pastor developed the point that an unloved wife’s bitterness will lead the children into rebellion. It is true, men–unfortunate, but true!
In Proverbs 30:21-23 we read, “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.” An unloved wife who does not forgive will become bitter.
I still remember a woman I met roughly ten years ago who had been mistreated and left by her husband. Acrid bitterness dripped from every word she spoke. It had eaten her up and was etched into her jagged-lined face. The encounter was most unpleasant, and it moved me to compassion and sorrow for the pain she was putting herself through.
This woman was an extreme example. However, an unloved wife who has not received God’s grace to forgive her husband for the wrongs he has committed will be bitter toward her husband. Just like the woman I mentioned, bitterness toward a husband cannot be hidden, and those around will sense it. Even worse, it will also infect her children with bitterness toward their father, and that could turn into rebellion.
1 Samuel 20:30 says, “Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?”
Have you noticed that Jonathan had a rebellious attitude toward his father? Saul felt that Jonathan’s mother had hard feelings toward him. Now he is accusing Jonathan of it as well. Look at 1 Samuel 14:29 where Jonathan said, “. . . My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.”
The correct response would have been repentance, but Jonathan had a rebellious attitude toward his father, and it came out here. This rebellion wasn’t so severe that Jonathan abandoned his father, but it was there. Jonathan was a “good kid” in many ways, because generally he complied with his father’s orders. However, he did not respect Saul and demonstrated a rebellious attitude.
We are called to love the wife God has given us. If we don’t, we can be sure there will be consequences.