Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Deut. 21:18-21—Stone a Stubborn and Rebellious Son
Children were to honor their parents as God's earthly representatives. To rebel against these representatives was equal to rebelling against God. In practice, obedience to parents (a command strictly qualified by "in the Lord") could then be transferred as obedience to God, for the parents taught the children the law of God. Parents were to impress the commandments of God on their children's hearts, while sitting together at home, walking along the road or getting up (Deut 6:6-7).
What happened when a serious case of juvenile delinquency appeared in the community? Should the family strike out in wrath to rid themselves of this embarrassment?
Deuteronomy 21:19-21 limits the power of the family. Parents were restricted to chastening and disciplining their children. They were never given power to kill or to abort life. Only under Roman law, as R. J. Rushdoony points out, was the parent the source and lord of life. In Scripture, God is the source and Lord over life.
Thus, when anyone in the extended family rebelled and refused to obey his or her parents (son does not restrict this law to sons, for it also included daughters and, by extension, all relatives), the rest of the family was to align themselves with God's law and not with the recalcitrant family member.
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), p. 93