We have shared much here on the blog about motherhood and the training of children and about long term vision but what do you do when you have a prodigal child?
Prodigal children can bring much grief to a family by turning their backs on the ones who love them most and their God and also by being foolish and rebellious.
Parents can feel helpless at this time but it is so important to not give up!
It can hurt deeply to not have a child walking with Him.
"Foolish children bring grief to their father and bitterness to the one who gave them birth." Proverbs 17:25
But thankfully God understands wayward children and the grief they bring"
"My wayward children, " says the Lord, "come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts." Jeremiah 3:22
The reality is that there are consequences to turning one's back on God.
"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for what one sow, that will he also reap." Galatians 6:7
And we know that the battle with the enemy who wants our children is ultimately God's. But here are a few things you should do along the way:
1. The prodigal child can bring pain to a family and that is why it is so important to keep your relationship with God strong and fresh. Do not lose your confidence in God and live out your faith to your child.
"Brothers and sister, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if ay of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who give to all generously and without reproach, and it will be give to him." James 1:2-5
2. Work at keeping a open relationship and keeping the lines of communication open.
"Love suffers long and is kind; does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoiced in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"My brothers, if anyone among you wander from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will have his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." James 5:19-20
3. Pray constantly for what the Lord wants to do in your child's life ( and not necessarily what you as a parent wants):
"For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord." 1 Samuel 127-8
4. Have hope and do not give up. God wants your child to be restored so have faith in Him.
"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
5. Seek wise counsel.
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22
6. Show consistent love--by spending time with them, showing affection and words that build them up.
"Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14
7. Guard your time with God so you do not get discouraged, defeated, depressed or self blame.
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:8
Do you have a prodigal child? What has helped you?
Please share in the comments below.