Perhaps you’re reading this because you or someone you know is struggling…Or because you have been a prodigal, or have come through the storm of parenting a prodigal.
There’s not a Biblical checklist for every parenting situation, but take hold of God’s promises and know that you can trust Him on this journey. His word reminds us to look to Him, for when the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul (Psalm 94:9). And He will never leave you nor forsake you. Therefore, seek Him and His Word for wisdom and comfort. Then pray that He will give you the grace needed to best love your son or daughter where they are.
Lament With Hope
It’s okay to be sad and grieve. Pour out your heart before the Lord! Yet, at the same time, do it with hope! God’s story for you and your family is still unfolding for good, even though you may not be able to see it right now.
As a parent, this is also where you must admit that you have no power to save your child. You may still have the ability to give them consequences for their actions (seek counsel as needed), but only God has the power to rescue, change hearts, and bring repentance and healing. And He alone can give you the grace needed to persevere. It’s time to let them go, and trust them to your Heavenly Father, while fervently praying for them, pursuing them with love, speaking truth in love as opportunities arise, and expectantly waiting…waiting on God.
Model Admitting When You’re Wrong and Seeking Forgiveness
When parenting a prodigal you will have moments where you struggle to control your emotions during difficult conversations, and this only adds to the strain. Try to keep the problem, the problem and not to let your own hurt and disappointment be the focus. It’s an issue of the child’s heart. Mom and dad, you need to help each other. Pray for each other, pray together, and look for opportunities to encourage one another. This is an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord, and each other, or it may give root to anxiety and bitterness and push you further away. (If you’re a single parent, seek help from someone to come alongside you). And when you mess up, admit it, and seek forgiveness from your son or daughter, and any others affected. We all need a Savior…
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, (and) self-control…Galatians 5:22-23