At what point does a child’s misbehavior disqualify his father from being an elder or pastor?

  1. Once a child is independent of his parents, he’s outside his parents’ authority as it relates to Paul’s remarks in Titus. When a kid is on his own, he’s on his own. No amount of good parenting can guarantee that someone will profess Christ and live accordingly once the child has grown and left the home.
  2. If a child is still under his parents’ authority, his behavior would disqualify his father from being an elder if it is (a) openly insubordinate and publicly harmful to the man’s reputation, and so the reputation of the church and Christ; (b) causes people to question whether or not the man can give oversight to the church.
  3. All children disobey their parents. Most children can be wild and unruly at times. The point is not that an elder’s children never disobey him; the point is that the father leads his home through consistent, godly instruction, and discipline which leads to children who generally obey and submit to him.

(This material has been adapted from Matt Schmucker’s article, “Unbelief in an Elder’s Children — Practice”)

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