Mama, does your heart ache for an adult child who has wandered off and chosen not to follow the Lord?
I am offering words of hope today, not as an empathetic mom, but from one who was the source of such grief for many years. How I deeply regret the choices that caused my parents to fear, to hurt and to worry.
Here are four things that helped me (even when I didn’t want them to) in those lost years.
I remembered –The verses, truths and standards I was taught stayed with me. I remembered them when they were least convenient. He would not leave me.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
I knew – No matter the decision I made, I always knew the difference between right and wrong. The wrong choices wove a cloak of shame and guilt around my shoulders. It was such a heavy burden to bear.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life - is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15,16
I heard – My parents spoke hard truths even when I shut them down. But I still heard. Our children can become an idol when they are elevated to the place that only belongs to the Lord. Looking back, it was vitally important that I knew they loved me, but would not compromise their faith for me. They lived out the greatest commandment by fearing and loving God more. And as a parent now, I can truly appreciate how difficult that must have been for them.
“The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.“ Luke 15:12,13
I have carefully considered these two verses lately. The father could have said no. He probably knew, or at the very least suspected, what his son was planning to do. Why did he say yes? Was the fail necessary for the save? Are we trusting in our own abilities to make a way for our children instead of His?
The Still, Small Voice – Our Father loves our prodigals. He calls His own and they hear Him. One day, He gently called this little wanderer out of the pigpen, “I created you for more”. Isn’t there such beauty in the simplicity of that moment where He began to change my heart?
Precious mama, He’s waiting for them too. Never stop praying, never stop trusting His timing. Never lose hope and never give up on them. Always be prepared for the celebration feast, with arms wide open! I pray that those arms are filled by your returning prodigals - and soon!
In 2012, after more than fifteen wayward years, this prodigal surrendered her life to Jesus. In November of 2019, I was baptized. Recently, these verses made sense in a way they never had before.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Luke 7:41-43
Jesus removed the cloak of shame from around my neck and replaced it with a robe of righteousness. Forgiveness set me free and what remains is love, awe and gratitude for all He has done for me.
For those who need to hear it, He has not forgotten you, nor has He lost sight of your lost one.
Heavenly Father, we know that you love our prodigals even more than we do. Help us to be patient while you do the work in them. Help us to remain faithful. Help us to know how to best love them where they are at. We thank you for your mercy and grace. How deep your love for us. Draw them nearer to you, Father, and please bring them home. We know that only you can do this so we ask it in the precious name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.