Never stop loving. Let go, but never give up. That is our new internal control for our thoughts, our words, and our behavior with our prodigal daughter.
It has not always been so. She was not always a prodigal and we have not always demonstrated loving behaviors with her during this time.
If you have a child who has grown up in your home, loving God and allowing Him to conform her into the likeness of Christ, you understand the panic that sets in when they choose another way for their life.
It’s been five years now since she chose to walk away from her faith, her life.
There is a long back-story with lots of details. There is a husband involved. Five children are sitting on the sidelines and watching while living with the chaos of her choices.
Suffice it to say, “It has been heartbreaking for her family and for her dad and I.”
Initially as this came to light, we listened. At her and her husband’s request, we advised. We offered a place of refuge and rest so she could work it through. She accepted, but lived with continued deceit to do so.
Verbal confrontations followed. Confrontations filled with harsh words and disrespect between her and her husband, between her and us. There was escalating anger, from everyone. In time, she filed for divorce. Then she left the church. She withdrew from her family of origin. She no longer engaged in relationship with her brother or sisters. She made bad choice after bad choice while her life spiraled out of control.
As her parents, as our daughter and her husband’s extended family, we were desperate. Personal prayer and special prayer meetings were called among our own families and our forever family around the world.
Still she chose her own way. She chose the prodigal way: to live carelessly and wastefully with her faith, her relationships, her time, her energy and her finances.
Luke 15 (NIV) tells the story of a prodigal. Jesus tells us in the account, “A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.”
If you are familiar with the story you know the younger son gathers his belongings and leaves to a far off land. There he begins to live his life totally by his choices. The Bible stays, “He squanders his wealth in wild living.”
As the story continues, we see the young man; having squandered his wealth has no means to care for himself, not even provide himself with any food. He begins to work for a pig farmer. His job is to feed the pigs. He is so hungry in those times, he considers eating the food of the pigs.
After some time, he begins to come to his senses and reasons that even the slaves in his father’s home have more than he does. So he decides to return home.
One of the most delightful passages in scripture is this one: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
The son overwhelmed with the guilt of his sin, and the sorrow of his heart over his sin, spills it, sharing it with his father.
The father calls for the fattened calf to be prepared to eat. He requests the best robe; ring and sandals are brought and put on the son. A feast with celebration for the son who was lost but is now found is held. A story with a happy ending.
T.D. Jakes has said concerning having a prodigal child, “if love doesn’t tie a cord, there is no cord.”
Our time of celebration has not yet begun for our prodigal daughter. We believe it will. As the father of the prodigal son in the bible did, we have tied our cord of love into a knot. It is a knot of faith, hope and love. We are ever trusting God for His work in her life. We stand ever waiting, ever hoping and always loving her.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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