rebelling against low expectations

Parents Do Hard Things Too (And Four Ways Teens Can Pray For Them)


It started with two teenagers and a vision to see young people take a stand against low expectations.

Then a blog was born. The rebelutionary movement caught fire, the blog turned into a book, and an army of young rebels raised their hands eager to do hard things one faithful step at a time.

But the movement hasn’t survived on its own. We’ve been joined and rallied around by another army on the rise. They’re taking on the rebelutionary challenge.

And right now, just like us, they’re in the middle of a war.

Who are they?


Raising people who follow Jesus and change the world.

Raising kids is hard. There’s no doubt about it. But raising rebelutionaries—that’s the task of a warrior.

Parents are bombarded with questions that previous generations didn’t see coming.

They’re told to back down and keep quiet and hand their kids a free pass to live self-focused and irresponsible lives. The reality is sad, and yet, so true.

If there was ever a time for parents to do hard things, it would be now.

Let’s pray for parents.

We know the Enemy is after us. We’re the fate of the next generation. But let’s not forget:

He’s after parents, too.

Because if parents don’t rise up with courage and raise their children to take up their cross and follow Jesus, who will?

The enemy is after rendering parents useless and ineffective. He’s after their time. He’s after their godly influence. He’s after using anything—whether it’s distractions or laziness or failure—to keep parents far away from their God-given position.

What can we do?

We can pray hard.

Christian teenagers’ praying for their Christian parents isn’t common. We assume, they know it all. They’re wise. They’re strong believers.

Maybe so. But this doesn’t disregard the fact that they, like you, battle the daily enemy of sin. Romans 3:23 (ESV): “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And as weird as it sounds, your parents—if they are believers, are your brother and sister in Christ, too. Yes, they are still your authority and disciplinarians, but they’re also individuals. They have an identity beyond Mom and Dad.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Paul isn’t directing this specifically to teenagers and their parents, but the concept applies. In fact, the end of Ephesians 6 takes us into a battle-ground mindset:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10 NIV)

Calling up parents and teenagers.

The battle cry rings.

This isn’t the time to back down. God is calling up parents. He’s calling up teens. We’re ushered into the battle field, but we hold the stance of warriors and we fight as victors of Christ.

The gifts and assignments God has given parents and teens may vary, but we’re both created for more than a life underestimated and defined by low expectations. We’re both called to do hard things.

The enemy is after this generation. So together, let’s fight.

Practice the battle-field mindset: pray for your parents.

The big question I’ve had, and I’m sure you’ve struggled with too, is how can I pray for my parents?

Here are four practical ways that we can put the battle-field mindset into practice and pray for our rebelutionary-raising parents:

1. Pray for wisdom.

Parents make a lot of decisions. From technology limits to paying the bills to everyday choices, they know firsthand the challenges of making good, God-honoring decisions from their family.

Pray that God would…

  • Give them the wisdom to discern the right choices every day.
  • Help them to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s lead and attentive to God’s word in their own relationship with Christ.
  • Bring friends and mentors into their life to speak his wisdom and truth over them.
  • Guide them in his wisdom as they speak into your life and prepare to launch you into the world.

2. Pray for rest.

It’s easy to be swept up into the business of life and forget about the rest our soul needs. Parents, especially. They’re always on the move. The demands are constant: fix dinner, drive this kid here, talk to this kid, help this kid.

Let’s pray that our parents would find rest at the feet of Jesus in the rewarding yet often exhausting daily grind of parenting.

3. Pray for the fruits of the Spirit.

What’s the fruit of the Spirit have to do with our parents? More than we might think. Galatians 5:22-24: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Us, our parents—every believer wrestles with the desires of the flesh. Let’s pray that our parents would stand strong in Jesus; grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

4. Pray for courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear, intimidation, adversity or pain, but the choice to act brave and bold despite it. Let’s pray that God would arm our parents with the courage to do hard things and follow Jesus no matter what.

Because courageous parents who do hard things raise courageous kids who do hard things. And these kids grow into true men and women of God.

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About the author

Katelyn Brown

Katelyn Brown is a follower of Jesus, writer, and college student pursuing a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology. With a passion for apologetics, she aspires to help Christian students thrive in our uncertain world with courage and clarity of thought. If you‘d like to support her writing, you can sign up for her email list and connect with her Instagram.

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By Katelyn Brown
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →