I trust that the thoughts about the "Potholes On The Marital Highway" have been very productive for you. This Marital Moment will continue to focus on the Potholes by looking at The Wayward Child. Jacob's children were certainly way-ward in their behavior. In Genesis 34:2 Jacob's daughter, Dinah, had pre-marital sex with a young man in a nearby city. In Genesis 34:25 his sons, Levi and Sim-eon, murdered all the men of that city. In Genesis 35:22 Reuben, his firstborn son, had sexual relationships with one of Jacob's wives. In Genesis 37 eleven of his sons conspire against their brother, Joseph, and sell him into slavery. To say that Jacob's home was dysfunctional is an understatement. His children disappointed him many times by their lewd behavior and blatant disobedience. Sadly, many parents can sympathize with Jacob over the rebellion and conduct of their children. Many Moms and Dads have wept themselves to sleep over the callused and cruel way their children have broken their hearts. This generation of young people have many things in which they can engage themselves into to the detriment of their own life. Drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, trouble with the law, teenage preg-nancy, wrong friends, and many other problems all combine to destroy the lives of today's youth. How do parents cope with wayward children? (1) Loving But Firm Discipline. Discipline must be started early. You can bend a young tender tree but the giant oak will break before it bends. You must have consistent bound-aries that are true all the time. There cannot be inconsistencies in either your rules or your enforcement of them. Discipline must be administered in a steadfast loving manner or it can become abusive and vindictive. (2) Focus On The Big Things Of Life. Some things are not worth fighting over. Save your energy for the maj-or battles of life. (3) Don't Say No If You Can Possible Say Yes. A constant "no" breeds resentment in the lives of young people. They are searching for their own identity in life. They are exploring new ideals and horizons. They are learn-ing to be and become their own person in life. A consistent and constant barrage of no, no, no may drive them away from you rather than to you. If possible, say yes especially if their request is not morally wrong or if it doesn't go against the established, consistent rules in your home. Make certain the rule is important. I read once that a father grounded his daughter two weeks for overlooking two sprigs of crab grass in the yard. That rule is unfair and unjust. (4) Spent Time With Them. As much as possible be with them at their ball games, schools plays, and Church functions. Talk often with them about their lives, their goals, and their dreams. Make your home a safe place for both them and their friends. It is much easier to have them in your house than it is to worry about them whenever they are somewhere else. (5) Express Your Love, Admiration, and Apprecia-tion For Them As Often As You Can. Instead of constant criticism why not show your love and support for them. Be honest and sincere in your compli-ments. (6) Pray For Them. Spend time on your knees talking to God on their behalf. Have consistent family devotions. Let them hear you praying for them. James 4:16 says that, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much ". Remember, if your prayers are to be meaningful to both them and God you must live a dedicated, holy, and godly life before them. Otherwise your prayers are meaningless. Please don't be a hypocrite in front of them. Perhaps your children are rebellious to you because you are rebellious to your heavenly Father. Consider carefully your own life and if you need to repent then do so. Why should you expect your children to do any better than yourself? You should so live before them that they readily see a godly example out of your life. You must say as did Paul in I Corinthians 11:1, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ". Your children will follow your example more that what you say.