When Children Are Prodigals

I am not going to rehash the parable Jesus spoke regarding the prodigal son.   My focus is what do we do when our own children become a prodigal? We can blame others, situations, circumstances and even blame ourselves but blaming is not the answer. Why? Because blaming means you accept something the way it looks.

When God led Israel out of bondage in Egypt and Israel got to the Red Sea, people started blaming Moses when they saw Pharoah and his army come. When you have done your best, with your children, and they choose to become a prodigal, don’t blame anyone or anything. Take a stand on God’s promises, God’s word, just like Moses stood with God when things  “looked ” bleak.

A modern day example? You are saved, born again and living for God the best you know how. You truly live for the Lord. You have children and your son loves learning the scriptures,  loves going to church, gets saved at a very young age and at 12 years old, while you are helping in the music ministry in church, you see your son come forward to pray at the alter at the end of the service.

On your way home your son tells you that he has dedicated his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You are beaming and praising God. Two years later your son starts rebelling against your parental authority. You seek godly counsel from God’s word and others. Others tell you the boy is having hormone changes and is coming into those difficult “teen years”.  You see your son start to wear black, all black, all the time.

Clearly, something or someone is influencing your son but you can find nothing. You do all you can think of – prayer, counsel, take him to the pastor for counseling, try a different pastor, nothing gets better. Actually, things get worse. You don’t know what happened. He has been home-schooled. His friends are all church kids. Then two months before your son turns 16 he tells you he is leaving. What do you mean leaving? I’m otta here he tells you. And if you try to stop me, I will leave when you least expect it he tells you.

So what do you do? You believe God and stand on his word. How do I know? Because this story is true. The son is my son. So I prayed and told God I did not know how to handle this. I said put the answer on my brother’s heart and I called my brother and explained what was going on.  My brother said, let him go. You raised him right, just let him go.

I said Lord I would rather know he is okay and he stays in touch with me than for him to run away and I know nothing about where he is or if he is okay. So I told my son, I will not stop you. He didn’t believe me.

A day or two later, this green Jeep shows up at the gate. I called one of my siblings and asked them to get the tag number. My son took his favorite possessions, said good bye and walked down the driveway. He got in the Jeep and left. We discovered the Jeep was stolen. About a week later I received a text message, I am fine.

After about a month my son realized I was not going to stop him. My son explained where he was and he was happy. He said he needed food for everyone. So we took a bunch of food to him 2 states away. When I saw him, he had dyed his blonde hair black, had on black nail polish and eye makeup. I can not describe my shock and broken heart.

Friends, I do not accept what my son is doing but I love him. I know God is truth and so is God’s word. Just because my son “looks” one way now, I know he belongs to God. Even though things look bleak, stand on God’s word, his promises like Moses did.

Proverbs 11:21 KJV. “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”

Proverbs 22:6 KJV. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

When I spoke with my son later, he told me I did nothing wrong. He just changed his mind on a few things. My son will be 23 soon and I am still praying and standing on God’s promises.

When you know you did your best and your children appear to go a different path, know that God is in control, not you and not them. Love them, pray for them and do not compromise your convictions, stand on God and his word. And when your family asks you how you could help that son by taking him food  – just say, unconditional love just like Jesus has for you and me, unconditional love.

Until next time.

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