By   •   January 28, 2019   •   Topics: , ,


Our friends have two teenagers with severe behavioral problems and claim that it is due to mental illness, but neither child has been diagnosed with any particular disorder. Having been close with this family through the years, the problem to me seems simple—the parents don't discipline them and lets them have their own way. Doesn't this seem dangerous that their children will never be able to appropriately assimilate into society?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Mental illness is a general term used to cover a wide range of psycho-neurological disorders. There are those who are truly ill, suffering some type of malfunction due to a brain injury, an inherited illness, or a glandular or chemical imbalance. Such cases should be referred to appropriate trained professionals.

However, many behaviors often classified as mental illness are simply the result of unresolved sinful attitudes or conduct. Those affected may display the symptoms of illness, but many times these symptoms are spiritual. In the case of children, it is the parents’ duty to bring a child up in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). In the case of non-Christian moms and dads, we need to pray that God will open their hearts to His truth. This is where trusted family members, a local church and godly neighbors and friends can help.

There are always sensitivities in this area because most parents believe their children to be “good” while they are young and are often shocked to find rebellious attitudes when they are older. Prayer is the key to relationships. When problems present themselves, immediately take them to the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving that we might have the opportunity to impart the Word of God as a help and encouragement to those around us.

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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