How to Deal With a Disrespectful Grown Child Biblically

Dealing with a disrespectful child is no easy feat. Even if we want our children to have a mind of their own, they still need to show respect toward the elderly and follow God’s word. So, if you have a disobedient grown child, some principles address how to deal with a disrespectful grown child biblically. They need to learn to deal with a situation consistent with God’s word.

Luckily, the Bible offers some helpful advice when dealing with such an adult child. Let’s have a look.

How to Deal With a Disrespectful Grown Child
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Christian Meaning: How to Deal With a Disrespectful Grown Child Biblically

It is well-known that children learn respect through discipline and by witnessing respectful behavior. Parents should treat each other respectfully and require their children to do the same. 

They also need to show respectful behavior toward their own parents. Moms and dads lovingly caring for their parents show their children the proper way to interact with others. If a child acts out in a disrespectful way, a wise parent should call attention to the error and swiftly correct it.

By its very nature, showing respect is a very humbling experience. To show respect means that we defer to someone else.

By showing respect, we extend honor to others. In the Bible, children are commanded to obey and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20). Only by showing respect toward their parents can children grow and nurture their current relationships.  

Ultimately, what we are trying to achieve in these situations is a restoration within our relationships founded on mutual love, respect, and understanding. It may seem like an overwhelming task to the parent, but if it’s approached from a biblical perspective, then patience and humility can go a long way in helping heal any rift between an adult child and a parent.

What Does the Bible Say About Dealing With a Disrespectful Grown Child?

If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you’ll hear something hurtful from your grown children.

The real problem with disrespectful grown children is that they don’t see Jesus clearly. The best thing you can do for them is to show them Christ through various courses of action. It will not be a simple or immediate process, but the sins in their life that distress you will begin to fade away when they see Jesus in all of his glory.

Never argue

Disrespectful children will protest and argue with authority figures if given a chance. It is their attempt to gain control of a situation, and if it works once, they’ll try it again. And it can be an emotional rollercoaster for parents that need to deal with such children.

Whatever the reason for their behavior, you need to try and make attempts for better communication. One way to do this is by putting yourself in their shoes and expecting compliance. This will help prevent a strained relationship from happening.

Approach your child with unconditional love and communicate openly. Teach respect through example while following the guidance of the Bible. Pray for God’s guidance and, if necessary, seek a pastor’s or a priest’s guidance.

Treat them with respect

Respecting a child does not imply a parent-friend relationship or that the child gets a vote in adult decisions. Parents should give careful attention to their children’s thoughts and opinions, and the children should know that they have been heard.

It’s important to remember that your children are adults, and they have a right to their own opinions.

Children will model what they’ve experienced. A parent who treats their child with respect can expect respect in return.

Showing your child that you respect them will be beneficial in the long run. If you do, the grown child will likely feel more comfortable talking to you about their problems.

Talk to them

Trying to figure out how to handle a disrespectful grown child can be a frustrating experience. 

Parents should seize teachable moments throughout the day and explain the difference between right and wrong to their children. When a child has a clear understanding of what its parents expect, obedience and good decision-making come more easily. 

This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to make sure that you and your children are on the same page.

If you’re having trouble communicating with your child, you can try understanding what’s going on in their mind. In addition, you can let them know that you’re still present and willing to help. Getting involved in church will also help you deal with these issues.

Set boundaries

The best way to set boundaries is to make sure you do it in a loving way. Make clear what the consequences are for violating those boundaries. It is also important to show your child that you care about their opinions.

However, if you establish a set of rules and boundaries, you’ll need to enforce them. As you can imagine, it is way more difficult to deal with a grown child than parenting a small child that is still in its development phase.

Bible Verses Referencing Disrespectful Children
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The Most Used Bible Verses Referencing Disrespectful Children

The Bible doesn’t specifically mention disrespectful grown children, but several Scriptures can help parents deal with this difficult situation. These verses show us that honor and respect for one’s parents should be a priority in life.

Firstly, God expects parents to discipline their children. The verses of Proverbs 13:24 state: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him”. This doesn’t mean that parents should physically abuse their children, but they should discipline them by spreading God’s word and through kind words and actions.

Another thing to remember is that we are all sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means that we should be patient with our children, even if they are disrespectful. 

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). This means that, ultimately, it is our responsibility as parents to raise our children in a way that pleases God.

Proverbs 22:6 states: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

Ephesians 6:1-3 says: “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your Father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Disrespecting one’s parents is a sin that God takes seriously. In the Bible, it says: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

Tension for a disrespectful grown child
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Bible say about children turning against their parents?

The Bible says that children are to obey and respect their parents. Ephesians 6:1-3 says that you should obey your parents and honor them. In this way, you may enjoy a longer and more fruitful life on Earth.

What does the Bible say about a disrespectful child?

The Bible says that children are born with an inherited sinful nature, meaning no child is naturally respectful. Therefore, they have to be diligently trained to behave in socially acceptable ways. 

What causes a child to be disrespectful?

Mainly, the poor problem-solving skills and a lack of communication and knowledge about respect could be the main reasons for a child’s disrespectful behavior.

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In summary, the Bible teaches parents to instill godly values in the children God entrusts to them, and respectful behavior is one of these values. So, how to deal with a disrespectful grown child biblically?

Parents should not tolerate disrespect but model what respect looks like and convey the importance of showing respect to others. 

By requiring respectful behavior from children, we position them to respond appropriately to God as they grow up. Respectful children become respectful adults, and the world always needs more of those.

Finally, parents should pray for their children. Prayer is a powerful tool that can help to strengthen the bond between parents and children. Prayer can also help guide parents through this difficult time. God loves all of his children and wants what’s best for them.


Greetings in faith! I'm Tracey, a devoted follower of the Word. This blog shares my passion for Christ, prayer, and biblical studies. I practice daily meditation, have visited sacred sites worldwide, and cherish my Holy Land pilgrimage. In my leisure, I craft prayer beads, spiritual artwork, and faith-inspiring handmade items. Join me as we explore the Bible's richness and the transformative power of faith.

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