A Wandering Child and a Broken-Hearted Parent

“Mom, Dad.  We need to talk.  I’m …

  • pregnant.”
  • not sure the God you’ve taught me about all my life is real.”
  • quitting college and moving in with my boyfriend.”
  • leaving home.  I’m tired of all your rules.”

Many, many Christian parents who thought they were doing the right thing with their child for all their growing up years have had to hear hard words like these.  The parents’ hearts are torn apart.  I’m not sure if there is any pain as difficult for a mother or father to endure than when their heart is breaking over their child who has gone astray. 

What is a parent to do?  Do you become more lenient in hopes that the child will change their mind?  Do you beg and plead or try to convince them how wrong their thinking is?  I certainly don’t have the answers, but I know God’s Word does. 

In Luke 15 as we read about the prodigal son asking his father for his portion of his inheritance.  The father gives it to him.  He let him go.  He knew that no talking would change his son; he needed to learn the hard way.  We know that in the end of this story, the son does return home after enduring some difficult circumstances.  “When he came to himself” (Luke 15:17, 18) he realized that he needed to return home.  There was much time, I’m sure before the father saw his son return.  While the son was gone, the father was, no doubt, praying for his prodigal.  What did he pray?

A dear friend of mine recently shared how she has been praying for her wandering son.  She asked that the Lord would do whatever was necessary for God to get his attention – even to the point of physical injury.  Then as she pondered her prayer she was afraid the Lord would harm her younger child in order to get to the prodigal, and she became terrified at what could happen. 

When we get so desperate for God to work, it’s easy to forget that we don’t have to figure things out.  God isn’t waiting for us to tell Him what to do.  What He’s really wanting is to allow this trial in our child’s life to draw us closer to Him.  We must realize that we need this trial!  It makes us depend on God in a way we’ve never had to before. While we’re pouring out our heart for our prodigal, it’s drawing us nearer to the heart of our God.  We must pray, remembering that God will act out of His goodness, His mercy, and His love.  Pray and trust – don’t worry. 

Let me end by reminding you of some truths that you may have forgotten right now:

  • You are not alone in this difficulty.
  • God hears you when you pray, even though you don’t see the fruit of your prayers right now.  Keep praying.
  • God loves your child more than you do.  Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
  • God will do what is best for your child and you can trust Him.
  • Hold the line biblically.  Don’t back down in order to win your child.  Let God do His work in their heart.
  • Let your husband lead you.  Women are often too emotionally attached and need their husband’s wise leadership.  Don’t try to take over.
  • Don’t be so ashamed that you can’t ask other believers to pray for your child.  Prayer is what they need most. 
  • Saturate your heart in the Word daily – it’s what you need most! Read and memorize Scripture!

 Because I care,

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