"Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee" (Deuteronomy 5:16a).

Disrespectful actions of children, no matter their age, are abhorred by God, and there's no place that's worse to see the disrespectful actions of children than in a homeschooling family. This serious offense robs parents of their authority to teach and destroys the family unit. Repeatedly, God warns children to honor their parents with loving hearts of obedience (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2). Mouthy and sarcastic children who demean or belittle their parents' leadership and decision making are clearly on a path to destruction.

King David's son, Absalom, is one such example in the Bible. The tragic story of this young man's disrespect toward his father is recorded in 2 Samuel 15-18. Absalom not only disrespected his father by defying him, but he also attempted to usurp David's reign as king. Secretly, he won the hearts of the people and eventually drove David from Jerusalem in fear of his life. The total defiance of Absalom toward his father culminated in the public act of sexually violating his father's wives on a rooftop. Fortunately, King David had enough loyal followers to stop his foolish son, but it came at the cost of his son's life.

What about your children? Do they know the boundaries between respectfully disagreeing and disrespect? Because homeschooling families interact 24/7, we have even more opportunity to let this problem begin in our relationships. As parents, God wants us to deal with this form of rebellion in our children as soon as it arises. After all, if children cannot learn to respect their parents, chances are they will also have difficulty respecting the Lord.

Father, sometimes it seems easier to look the other way or laugh it off when my children fail to respect me. Help me to realize the importance You place on correcting this problem when my children challenge me in ways that are inappropriate. In Jesus' name, Amen.