I have a 17-year-old son who is challenging me a lot.  I forgive.  He talks back.  I forgive again.  He is disrespectful again. I forgive again and again.  It is hard.  Help!

I say this to those who are in relationships in which one needs to maintain the relationship: Forgiveness under this circumstance becomes more difficult, but all the more necessary.  As you forgive, and your anger lessens, at that point try approaching your son and talk gently (as well as firmly) about his disrespectful behavior to you.  Also, and this is very important, try to uncover any anger your child may be carrying inside his heart that he needs to examine.  He may need to forgive people who have hurt him.  He may be displacing that anger onto you.  If you focus only on changing his behavior from disrespectful to respectful, you might miss his damaged heart in need of forgiving those who broke his heart.

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