Prodigal pain

Raising kids up and into adulthood can be one of the most rewarding and most painful experiences a parent will ever face.

Those of us with adult kids (over 18) know exactly what I’m referring to here. Those of you who don’t yet.. bear with me a little on this post.

We can faithfully serve, model and demonstrate our faith to our kids year after year and still find ourselves nauseous with the gut wrenching turmoil of watching one of our own “bail” on everything we tried to teach. Authentic and faithful are all we can be. After that, it’s up to the Holy Spirit and free will.

I recently had to watch a 22-year-old son in the faith, flat-out walk away from the truth he had embraced only months before. The culprit, infatuation and months of deceit with a healthy dose of behavior modification to smooth things over.

In the end, the truth came out and he decided to leave the confines of our Christian home and seek his fortunes elsewhere…on his own terms. He left his faith, the truth of the scripture and the divine blue-print God gives us for a healthy life all behind as he made his escape.

Broke my heart.

If you’ve ever experienced that for yourself, you know how much those three words contain. But it didn’t break my hope for him. I am trusting him to the same grace and goodness of the God who chased me down as a 30-year-old . I had hoped to help him avoid the many painful regrets of a life lived selfishly and to provide a healthy foundation for his life to be built on… but that it seems will have to wait.

In the interim, I can pray and wait and watch.

I’m praying for God to interfere with his plans and re-direct him back to the safety of his faith. I’m waiting expectantly for that to happen and confident that it’s not a matter of  “IF” but of “WHEN”… and I’m watching so I can rush to greet him when he surrenders it all to Christ and resumes the journey of life and faith we began together.

Jesus uses the parable of the prodigal for a reason. In one way or another we are ALL in that illustration of life. For some of us with adult children who are living outside of the will of God, it’s an obvious and poignant reminder of the truth.

For others it’s a reminder to trust God to be faithful for our kids at any age, believing that their eternal security is riding on more than just our ability to be “good” parents. It’s riding on the complete and absolute willingness of God our Father to do whatever it takes to win their hearts.

Let’s hang tight to our confidence and trust our kids (adult or tween) to the loving Father who saved us when we were lost too, after all it’s only a matter of time.

Peace and Grace -Pastor B.

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Luke 15:11-32 (ESV) – Source Biblegateway.com

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[b] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his servants,[d] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

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