In reading through scripture, it strikes me that all our Biblical Heroes have strayed or missed the mark at one time or another. Some prior to knowing the Lord and others who knew Him. There is hope for the prodigal because we have all been a wanderer at one time or another. Our kids are no different.
It breaks our parental heart when our kids step off that expected path, yet perhaps it is part of their spiritual journey. The Israelites wandered for 40 years as a part of their journey. They needed to learn to trust God and to rely on Him for their protection, provision, and direction. Our kiddos are not so different. And.. neither are we.
When we do have a child who has stepped off the expected path there are some hope-filled things we can do.
~ find a trusted friend to talk with and pray with.
~adjust our focus so we are not consumed with prodigal pain.
~ define the difference between acceptance and agreement.
~ set aside the desire to lecture and listen instead.
~ ask our child for forgiveness if we have wronged them.
~give respect and expect respect.
~determine our own boundaries.
~ build a relational bridge with our loved one.
~ get professional help.
~be a prayer warrior rather than a worrier.
I love the story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. He was an invalid for 38 years (John 5:5). His malady was physical and spiritual. He was unable to walk and he trusted his healing to the water.
Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Jesus told him to, ““Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). First the man needed to want to be healed. Then He had to cooperate and rise. Next he had to pick up his mat, so he was prepared to not return. Lastly, Jesus told him to walk. The man made his plan before he stepped forward on his new journey.
Let’s pray our prodigals desire to be healed: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And that they will take their mat and leave their side of the pool.
As we wait, we can trust God in the prodigal times. It is His heart’s desire to draw your child back to Himself. He loves your kiddo even more than you do.
God is with your child.
God is with you. You are not alone.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
If you found this post helpful and would like more encouragement, you may want to read , Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.