WHY CHRISTIAN KIDS REBEL
Dr. Tim Kimmel
W Publishing Group
October 20, 2004
As Christians, we know that a daily reading of Scripture is a must. We know that His word offers strength in times of weakness, advice in times of need, and hope in times of uncertainty. Yet, God did not intend for His children to mature spiritually in a vacuum; hence, He implemented the church, Christ’s body, that would serve the disciples to encourage, strengthen, and admonish one another daily. Some disciples have taken to writing out their encouragements/admonitions, and as Christian parents we must avail ourselves of any and all resources God gives us, which will help us to raise Godly children. Even the wisest parent will eventually run into a dead end and needs help in finding a way out. Christian parenting books are such helps, yet we must be cautious not to use them “instead of” but “in addition to” the Scripture.
Who Is Tim Kimmel And Why Does He Write Parenting Books?
According to Dr. Kimmel’s website, he comes from a family of six (!) siblings, and is, since 1972, a happily married man. He earned a Masters Degree in Theology, and in 1982 he founded Family Matters™. Continuing his education, he earned a Doctorate from Western Seminary in 1995. At this time, he has four children, and one grandchild. His curriculum vitae further states that: “Along with speaking, writing and hosting a radio show, Tim has also been a featured guest on radio and television programs such as Dr. James Dobson's "Focus on the Family", "The 700 Club", Moody Broadcasting's "Prime Time", "The Art of Family Living", Rich Buhler's "Talk from the Heart", and was the television voice for Promise Keepers "Stand in the Gap" sacred assembly of men, October 4, 1997.“ (1)
Why Christian Kids Rebel: Trading Heartache for Hope
Keeping in step with my firm belief that there are no parenting experts, I do agree and acknowledge that there are definitely those who “have been through it”, “have seen it all”, and have kept the faith through it all. In my opinion, Dr. Kimmel fits the bill. “WHY CHRISTIAN KIDS REBEL” is Dr. Tim Kimmel’s 251-page Christian teen parenting book published by W Publishing Group in 2004.
Sadly, a Christian upbringing is no guarantee for a trouble-free childhood/adolescence. Case in point are the stories of Adam & Eve’s offspring, or Eli’s sons...the children were aware of God, and their parents spoke with God regularly, yet they caused their parents much heartbreak. Did the parents make mistakes? Probably. Do you, as a Christian parent, make mistakes? Bet on it! Will your child rebel? Only God knows, but the odds are good that there will be some rebellion in your home.
You may wonder if you will be able to forestall such rebellion, and to a certain degree you should be successful; however, you will be wise to remember that while you want to shape the will, you most definitely do not want to break the spirit! Thus, heavy-handed parenting as a preventive measure to rebellion is discouraged.
Does this mean you are stuck with a foul-mouthed, rude, ill-mannered teenager? Will you have to live with the nightly sound of motorcycles revving loudly and rap music playing at a decibel level that threatens to make your teeth shatter? Worse, will your child come home with dyed black hair, a safety pin through the nose, and a “date” in tow? Are the Sisters of Mercy no longer a charitable organization in your vocabulary, but instead a goth-industrial band that sings about “This Corrosion” and “The Temple Of Love”? Are anonymous friends leaving leaflets for military school in far away states on your door step? Do the Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer come to your door? Is the truancy van a regular sight on your street?
And here you are, the Christian parent, who tried to do everything right. You worked so hard to teach your child by word and deed, you attended church, your child was a happy member of the Sunday School, s/he made crafts and sang “Jesus Loves The Little Children” and “I am A C”. You still have the letter s/he wrote to Jesus, saying s/he could hardly wait to be a Christian, just like mommy and daddy.
So there you are, with a heavy heart, tears in your eyes, and no answers, and you all but shake an angry fist at God and demand to know: What happened? Why? How?
So What’s A Christian Parent To Do?
There are the obvious answers, of course: pray more, pray harder, fast, seek counseling for yourself and/or your child(ren), examine your life and doctrine for mismatches, do whatever it takes to reestablish communication... There are also the not so obvious answers, and they may be found in Dr. Kimmel’s book.
Christian parents are most likely familiar with the plethora of teen parenting books recommended by the churches, youth-groups, etc. Thus, Christian parents are also well aware that many of these books speak in generalities, platitudes, and overall seek to market common sense more than they actually offer new insights.
Dr. Kimmel’s book, however, is refreshingly different. You will search in vain for fillers, platitudes and common sense that has you smacking your head. Instead, you will find that he does not pull any punches. On the contrary!
Dr. Kimmel holds the church, and as such the members (for what is the church, if not the body of Christ, comprised of its members?) responsible for not meeting the needs of the children in their care. Additionally, he cautions Christian parents to not give way to their fears and worries, thus cloistering their children in an unrealistic environment, only to rob them of the opportunity to learn how to deal with the temptations when (not if) they come.
Employing flawless logic and refusing to call sin by any other name, Dr. Kimmel concludes:
“If you are not interested in utilizing God’s grace when it comes to dealing with your errant child, not to mention dealing with yourself, there is little help I (or anybody else) can offer you.”
He continues in this vein throughout the book. Do not think him callous or harsh, instead, appreciate the reality check he offers! This book is a treasure trove of observations about why Christian children rebel. Further, the parent who chooses to make Dr. Kimmel’s book a prominent tool in her/his parenting tool-chest, will become acquainted with the four styles of parenting (“clueless“, “EMT”, “Special Forces”, and “Grace-Based”) as well as the various forms of “Christianity” (and the effects each has on the family unit in general and the child in particular).
Dr. Kimmel also offers hope. He is not content with pointing out the flaws, but instead offers ingenious insights and suggestions, knowing that with time, parental effort, diligence, and parental submission to Godly advice, a rebellious child will be able to safely return to God.
In closing, if you are a Christian parent and you do not read this book, you will do yourself and your child(ren) a disservice. Even if your child is not (yet) rebellious, do not be lulled into doing nothing to prepare for the eventualities Satan may choose to put in your way!
WHY CHRISTIAN KIDS REBEL is a Christian teen parenting book that squarely puts the responsibility to help an errant child on the shoulders of those whom God appointed to deal with it: the parents. Don’t be caught unawares!
Portions of this article was previously published at Suite101’s Christian Parenting Topic.