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Offering God’s Hope to Families With Prodigals (Part 2 of 2)

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Offering God’s Hope to Families With Prodigals (Part 2 of 2)

Representing three generations of prodigals, Pastor Bill Putman and his son, Pastor Jim Putman, candidly discuss the difficult challenges they and their families have experienced, and offer practical advice and encouragement to families with prodigals. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: July 30, 2019
Hope for the Prodigal

Hope for the Prodigal

Receive the book Hope for the Prodigal for your donation of any amount!

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Hope for the Prodigal

Hope for the Prodigal

Receive the book Hope for the Prodigal for your donation of any amount!

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Episode Summary

Representing three generations of prodigals, Pastor Bill Putman and his son, Pastor Jim Putman, candidly discuss the difficult challenges they and their families have experienced, and offer practical advice and encouragement to families with prodigals. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: July 30, 2019

Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Jim Putman: …The guy I’d hurt the most was the only one left standing. And the only reason he was left standing is because he didn’t allow me to pull him off the rock, so to speak. When he started working on himself and his relationship with God and Mom, there was a stability that he had that everyone else I knew out there in the world didn’t have. And as I started to live that life, I was drowning. But the one guy I’d hurt the most was still on a rock, still on – had a relationship with Jesus or something real about that that I couldn’t deny. And even though he should not love me after everything I had done, the humiliation – a lot of times I did it on purpose – he was still the one who showed up.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Jim Putman describing his own prodigal journey, and how he eventually came back to his childhood faith because of the relentless love of his father, Bill. Jim and Bill are both back with us today on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, the Parable of the Prodigal Son is in Luke 15. And it’s one of the most iconic stories of the Bible. Um, it’s very comforting to all of us because if you have a child or you were the child who strayed or maybe the rule follower, the older brother who maybe didn’t love his father – and I think some have certainly suggested that’s the other part of that parable. Yesterday Jim, our guest, said that. And others have written about it, like Tim Keller. That’s another prodigal style, that you are only there because you’re following the rules and you want the reward. You want the payoff, but when you’re living in that story in your own family, it’s a whole different matter. If your child is wandering far from God and away from what you know to be best for that child’s life, it’s hard to find comfort. You know the pain they’re going through and you want to – I think sometimes – overcorrect and do so much more. You want to play the role of God and try to help them through this.

And we’re going to continue our discussion today on Focus on the Family to help you as a parent. That’s our goal. That’s why these two gentlemen are here. Both Bill and Jim have gone through it. And we want their story to give you guidance.

John: Yeah, there’s no secret formula. There is a lot of struggle as a parent. And if you are dealing with some challenging circumstances with your children, particularly as they get into the adult years, please know that we have a great number of resources for you. We have our counseling team here. You can call and arrange a consultation with one of our Christian counselors when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459.

Jim D.: Hey, John, I’d also mentioned to those who didn’t catch last time, get it through download. You can listen on the podcast. Or contact Focus and we’ll get you to the link. But it’s really good and important stuff.

John: Uh-hm, yeah, there was a lot of hope in the message that our guests brought. Bill Putman and Jim Putman are both pastors. They’re a father-son team. They’ve each written books. And they have one together called Hope For The Prodigal: Bringing The Lost, Wandering And Rebellious Home. Of course we’ve got copies of that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Body:

Jim D.: Hey, Bill and Jim, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Jim P.: It’s good to be here.

Bill Putman: Thank you.

Jim D.: It’s good to have you. I so appreciated your vulnerability. And, Bill, you and I talked a bit about that, the importance for us as Christians to be vulnerable and to – to show that it’s not perfect and there is pain in this life, even for believers, maybe especially for believers. So thank you for that honesty last time. You covered a lot of ground about your past and your upbringing.

I want to get going today and talk about those practical applications because I’m so mindful – having an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old in my home – my two boys – we’re living right there in that spot where we’re trying to make the faith real for them. We’re trying to do the right things as parents. I know, John, you and Dena are in that same spot. All of us are that have teenagers. And half the time we’re pulling out our hair thinking, do we have it right? Is it moving in the right direction? We’re not seeing, maybe, the vibrancy that we would want to see, yet God is working in their hearts.

And sometimes it’s fair to say they slip through our fingers. They go off the path that you would hope that they would walk. And the research is proving that. Uh, thankfully, many come back at some point in their late 20s or 30s or 40s. But this is probably the greatest pain in a parent’s heart. And, uh, I just want people to hear solutions. So let’s start there, Bill – as the father and Jim as the son. You urge parents to attack the root and not the symptom. What do you mean by attacking the root problem?

Bill: Well, if – if they’re not a Christian, they don’t have the Holy Spirit in ’em. And the Holy Spirit isn’t producing the fruits of the Spirit in them. And so what you’re – you’re looking – you need to look at them not as a – one who knew the Lord and walked away, but one who doesn’t know the Lord. And I have much more grace for those who – who don’t know how wonderful He is. And they’re – I think they’re easier to reach…

Jim D.: Huh.

Bill: …Than those who pretend to know who He is and they don’t really know Him.

Jim D.: Yeah.

Bill: Uh…

Jim D.: That’s a great point. Jim, I’m assuming you would say “amen” to that.

Jim P.: Yeah. Um, when you focus on, uh – in current culture – homosexuality or whatever the sin is – immorality of any kind – and you start attacking that as if, um, they’re a Christian who knows better, who’s just choosing to sin rather than they’re – they’re a person who doesn’t know what they believe, and you start attacking that, versus going, “You know, I’m gonna love you,” which is gonna keep the bridge going, the communication going. And I’m gonna look for opportunities to  deal with the issue of, who is Jesus? And what authority is He gonna have in your life? And – and did He make you because He loved you? Is  everything He’s ever done and said to do or not do to promote or protect the relationship. There’s a disconnect between Jesus and the behavior. And we attack the behavior.

Jim D.: Yeah. In that regard, though, it’s so easy. I would say it’s pretty human, as parents, to begin to attack the behavior. And you’re trying to straighten them out, and you’re trying to put more rules on top of them because they’re not following the ones you’ve already set! And if they don’t get this right, it’s gonna go bad, and this frustration,  creeps in. It affects your marriage to where that’s all you’re talking about – is whether the kids are in the right place or the wrong place?

But go further in terms of attacking that symptom. What are some of the things that you need to do? Um, one of the things I remember in the book is, “Don’t go it alone.” I mean, how do you open up to people you can trust?

Jim P.: Um – well, let me say this. When their kids are young, you have to attack the behavior. I’m talking about when they’re older.

Jim D.: Right.

Jim P.: Uh, when they’re young, there’s certain things they can or they can’t do in the home.

Jim D.: Right. Those are normal rule-setting.

Jim P.: Yep. And…

Jim D.: But now that they’re 16, 17…?

Jim P.: Yeah, they’re starting to go their own way. They’re starting to manifest their own sin based on their own sinful nature that – people that they’re around. All those things matter. And, um – and so then what you do is you start – you know, you go to war. And sometimes, you know, we fight spiritual battles with physical tools. And you can’t win a spiritual battle with a physical tool.

Jim D.: To help the listener, give me an example of that so it becomes concrete…

Jim P.: Yeah.

Jim D.: …For me. Tell me…

Jim P.: So back to what – what my dad had said earlier – are you abiding in Christ? Are you praying? Uh, rather than formulating a plan, are you going to the Lord and saying, “God” – or you stand on that rock yourself. Do you have people in your life that you’re, um, spending time with that are encouraging you, reminding you what is God’s part, what is their part? Because so often, we as parents react out of fear or anger. And rather than – than spending time with Jesus and having people that you’re working through this stuff, we’re just reacting all the time. And – and then that just creates more distance. We say things we don’t mean. We – we don’t – you know, to try to save a kid, we enable ’em. And we’re not – we’re not stepping out of the battle to have a team of people – wise people – seek wise counsel. Jesus says, “If you don’t abide in me or remain in me, you can’t bear fruit.” But – but we’re also the body of Christ.

Jim D.: Yeah.

Jim P.: And so to abide in Christ means that we abide with the body of Christ. We have people in our life that we’re being honest and open about what’s happening, even the mistakes that we make. And you’re getting wise counsel. So you’re just focusing on what part you can play and – and – and having people – ’cause you – this gets blurry. What is the part I’m supposed to play? What is God’s part? What is my part? What is their part? ‘Cause I can’t see it. I’m too uh, frustrated. For me, when my dad moved over, I had a guy who I could – he’s watching what’s going on. He could build relationships with my son. I wasn’t going it alone. Relationships are like ropes. If I’m leading my family correctly, there’s other people that my son’s had relationship with that could say things to them that I couldn’t. I pushed forward with them having relationships. They knew adults. People took time to go hunting and camping and stuff with – uh, so other people could. I had people that I could go and talk to and – and do life with that could help me unpack my situation, uh, give me wise counsel. And so there’s this ongoing relationship for you in the family of God. But – that also – half of what brought my son back to the Lord is what other people said to him that I couldn’t say.

Jim D.: Well, we haven’t even introduced that aspect of the story yet, really, that you – you had as a prodigal son yourself and then becoming committed to Christ and following Christ. You also had a prodigal son.

Jim P.: Yeah. Uh, it’s interesting because I thought, all right. My dad did such a great job in some aspects. He swung the pendulum to the love side, away from the authoritarian side. And I had always thought if he would have – just would have been tough enough to stop me, I would have stopped.

Jim P.: So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna keep the love side, but I’m gonna bring back the authoritarian side. And I’m gonna do the – I’m gonna bring it to the middle. And if I do it right, then my kid’s not gonna deal with everything that I…

Jim D.: So you had the formula.

Jim P.: I had the formula.

Jim D.: (Laughing) And what happened?

Jim P.: Yeah. And – and, uh, at a very young age, um, some things that happened in my son’s life – he was molested by a female babysitter.

Jim D.: Oh, my goodness!

Jim P.: And, uh – you know, ’cause I would never let my – my sons be, you know, with men or with – you know, I was so protective. We did everything right. Well, things got in that I knew – I didn’t know anything about. And pretty soon, he’s dabbling. I actually protected what he – I moved him to a school where a Christian friend was there, but I didn’t know the Christian friend introduced drugs to him.

Jim D.: Oh, my goodness!

Jim P.: And so all these things that I had done – again, you can’t fight – fight spiritual battles with physical tools. The devil – we make our formulas, but we forget the devil is crafty. He’s maneuvering. He’s sneaking in behind you. And, uh – and he did. And so my son started to do drugs at about 14. And the drugs that – that they did today – do today are different than the ones they did back then…

Jim D.: Yeah.

Jim P.: …When I was growing up. They – they’ll catch ya. And they’re on ya, and – and they’ll hook ya.

And then there were people that were like, “Hey, you know, your – your dad is, you know – big church in the area, well known. We’re gonna give you the pastor’s son discount.” And so they started feeding my son drugs at a very early age. And so after two rehabs and finally living in a homeless shelter, talking to the trees…

Jim D.: Oh, my goodness.

Jim P.: …On drugs, you know, in the middle of the winter with no shoes and no shirt – lost his mind. You know, and my wife have to let him live in a homeless shelter. That’s where he decided it was time for him.

Uh, but what I – what – what I had learned and the help I got was, you know – I had wise counsel. I had my dad. I had all these people speaking in my life that I could be real with. And again, I would say what we did, we did right, other than there were times where I would get so frustrated and angry that I made wrong choices. But there was quick turnaround. But it didn’t matter.

Jim P.: You can do your part. God’s gonna do his part. If they won’t do their part, then you’re gonna end up in this place where, eventually, they have to choose that.

Jim D.: What were those wrong choices – to help the listener – because again, in part, what we’re doing here is being vulnerable to – to kinda educate and help others understand a better way. So what were those wrong choices?

Jim P.: Well, the one that stands out to me the most that I regret the most, uh, was, uh – he’s 17. He – he didn’t graduate from high school. He’s – but he’s, uh, supposed to be doing finals. He’s doing drugs. He doesn’t show up overnight. He comes to the house, and we confront him. And he – he says some things to me, which I was used to. But then he – he got vicious with my wife, and I lost it.

John: Verbally or physically?

Jim P.: Verbally. Verbally, yeah. And I said some things, and I knocked him out cold.

Jim D.: Huh.

Jim P.: Um, you know – I hadn’t struck anyone in violence in 25 years.

Jim D.: It was just that trigger.

Jim P.: Yeah. When he said that to my wife – and it was a buildup of all this stuff – all the shame, all the stuff with the police, all the – you know, you feel shame. You feel guilt. You feel frustration. You know, all that – the battle between me and my wife – that’s one of the big battles that we talk about in the book – is, uh, we had to get on the same page, my wife and I. And one of the hardest things up to that point is we could not get on the same page.

Jim D.: What – what created that opportunity for you?

Jim P.: Well, what – when I – I – it was a Saturday night, and I’m preaching on the family.

Bill: Yeah!

Jim P.: And, uh, I call the guy, and I say, “I just knocked out my” – called my elders, and I called, uh, one of my staff. And I said, “You gotta – you gotta take over. I can’t preach.”

And what had happened was is my wife was enabling, and I was – I was trapped in my own house. She would not let me kick him out. And we were not on the same page. And – and I felt trapped. No excuses – I knocked him out. And, uh, I just told the guys, “I’m done.” And I wrote my resignation letter, and I wrote it – brought it in on Monday to the elders. And they said, “What are you talking about?” ‘Cause I had shared with them, every step of the way, all the stuff, you know? I’d sold my house to pay for rehab, and he’s sober for a while. He has a kid out of wedlock – all the things that go – go on in all this.

And, uh – and I just felt, um, trapped. I didn’t feel worthy. I – and I had counsel. I’m so grateful I had my dad and everybody else. But I – they said, “We’re not taking your resignation.”

Jim D.: Right.

Jim P.: “We’re gonna help. You’re gonna step back.” And I said, I’m – I can’t get on the same page with my wife. So they actually sent me and my wife to a week-long, um, uh, counseling thing that finally got me and my wife – my wife was finally able to understand me. And I was finally understand – able to understand why she would not draw the line, even though this was starting to affect my younger kids. My younger kids – their brother was their hero. I’m not – I’m not only losing my oldest son right now. I’m potentially losing my younger sons.

Jim D.: Right.

Jim P.: And – and that got us on the same page.

Jim D.: What did that page look like?

Jim P.: It looked like, uh – that my wife and I were going to draw some lines.

Jim D.: You were going to.

Jim P.: We were – that my wife was going to say, uh, “Jim, you’re gonna lead this. I’m gonna trust you, even though this kills me” ’cause, you know, we – she kept trying to rescue. And I kept trying to say, “No, it’s time. It’s time. He has to go. It’s 17 – but he’s gotta be out. We can’t lose our other kids.” And she said, “OK. I’m gonna trust you in that.” And she had to work through her own issues – uh, the real reasons that I did not understand why she did not wanna draw that line. And so we did that together. We came back with a plan. And it was interesting because my son was an expert at dividing. He was an expert.

Jim D.: It’s amazing that talent they develop.

Jim P.: Oh, my goodness, he knew how to set one against the other to become – to start a fight so he could step back and not be the issue anymore. And  so he was brilliant at it.

Well, we finally came together and said, “All right, this is what it looks like to be together in this. This is what we’re gonna do.” And we finally said, “All right, we’re going to take you to another rehab that’s free because we don’t have any money left. And if you don’t make it in this, that’s your decision.” And they kicked him out of the rehab in two days.

Jim D.: And in that context – I don’t know if the timing is right, if I remember the story correctly – but he ended up in a homeless shelter?

Jim P.: Yep, that’s right.

Jim D.: And how did that discussion go between you and your wife?

Jim P.: It was interesting because what I was trying to do at the same time was – Christian had taken – my oldest son had taken all of our time. And our other kids, I mean, were so exhausted.

Jim D.: You’re right. They got nothing.

Jim P.: They got nothing. So I’m taking my sons on missions trips. And I’m trying to do different things with my other sons and really investing in them.

Jim P.: And at the time I was so spent. I’m so exhausted. But you just put your head down and you do it because it’s right. Because my dad had said, “Listen, I spent so much time on you the other girls got ignored.” So I’m like, OK, OK. But I was just spent. Well, I’d taken my son on a missions trip. And my wife and I had said – we had just dropped him off – my wife and I said, “If he gets booted out of this one while I’m gone, you cannot go pick him up.” It was about 10 hours away. You can’t.

And so I’m – sure enough, I’m away on the missions trip. He gets booted out of this thing. And he starts calling, “Come get me, come get me, come get me.” And my wife said, “I can’t talk to you on the phone, son. And – because I will, and I’m not going to. You have to decide. We’ve done everything we can.

John: Yeah.

Jim P.: You have to live there. You have to come up with your own plan.” And she said, “I’m not going to talk to you till your dad gets back.” And so she called our life group. And she said, “Come get my keys because if you don’t take my keys…

John: Wow.

Jim P.: …I’m going to get him.” And – and so I found out three days into our missions trip that he was in the homeless shelter. I call him up at the homeless shelter. And, uh, he said, “Dad, these people are crazy.” And I said, “Son, those are the people are the ones we’ve been dealing with you. And if you don’t get this straight in your life, you’re gonna be living under the bridge with them. We’ve done everything we can. It’s on you.” And I’ll just tell you, for four months he was there.

Every day it was me and my wife coming together to die just a little bit but do it together because to leave him there was agonizing. It was the hardest decision I have ever made, day after day, hour after hour. But – but until he decided that he was going to change, until he felt the full ramifications of his choices and hit the bottom, there was never going to be a change. And we didn’t know. We kept expecting through the whole time – the only time we ever felt peace was when he was in a rehab or in jail because we thought he’d die any moment. And now – now he’s there. Is he going to live? Is he going to die? And to just trust God and to fight that fight personally every single day to leave him there was agonizing. But it was – that’s where the Lord found him.

John: Hm, our guests today on Focus on the Family are Jim Putman and Bill Putman. And they’ve written a book, Hope For The Prodigal. We’ve been hearing this story the past couple of days. And if you missed any of it, get our app, get the download, get the CD. You can get the resource as well, that book, Hope For The Prodigal: Bringing The Lost, Wandering And Rebellious Home. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Online we’re at  focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim D.: You know, guys, there is so much here. It’s impossible to cover it all, which is one of the reasons I think people need to get a copy of the book, John, because the stories and the advice that you give is so powerful. But, again, it’s just too much to cover in two 30 minute episodes.

Jim D.: How is your son today?

Jim P.: Christian is now the youth minister at one of our campuses in Post Falls, Idaho – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. And, um, he’s married. He has three kids, one before he was a believer and before he was married.

And, you know, in the book, um, the story of how all of this came to fruition, it starts with a Christmas Eve service where my dad, myself and my son do this message on passing on Christmas.

Jim P.: And  everybody was so blown away. And it was such a pivotal moment in our church’s life because I had shared as much as I could from the stage that I was in struggle and – and didn’t know what to do with my son. And I had to, I mean, you know, 10 percent of our community goes to our church, you know, thousands, and, you know, what he had done before was in the paper and everything else, but to have him up there as a part of that service. And so my dad passed off Christmas to me and what that meant. So it was like a light – passing on the light to me. And Christmas is about passing on in part your belief system and how that happens. And so then I took the light, and I passed it to Christian, my son. And then it ended with Christian calling his son from before he was a Christian up and passing off his candle to his 3-year-old.

Jim D.: Huh.

Jim P.: And for our church it was so meaningful because they were aware of the journey. You know, they were aware of the battle and the fight. And, you know, it led to a standing ovation, you know. And so my son now is – I’m just so proud of him. He still has ramifications and consequences from his actions. But God has redeemed him and is using him. And it’s a miracle story.

Jim D.: Well, that is so encouraging to hear, and isn’t it just like God to provide a wonderful book end like that to your family story, because you were faithful to Him and trusted Him with the outcome.21:33  And I wanna turn a corner right here and get to some practical help for families. We want to give parents the tools going forward like boundaries. Describe how boundaries should work in the context of a prodigal.

Bill: Oh I tell you, we made a contract before Jim could move back into the home.

Jim D.: So that was a boundary setting, yeah.

Bill: We threw the bum out, all right? And before he could come back we wrote a contract. I went down and made 50 copies because I knew – because he wasn’t a Christian – that he was going to say he didn’t sign that. And I had 49 other copies to show him that he had signed. That was one of the…

Jim D.: To leave no doubt, I guess.

Bill: …(Laughter) I had fun doing that!

Jim D.: (Laughter) So what – I mean, speak to the boundary issue because, again, you tend to have this pendulum swing in between the parents, mom and dad – maybe a single parent even has that swing – where you’re strong on the boundaries one day and weak on another, thinking OK, love is what will save my son or daughter. Talk about that vacillation and what consistent boundaries mean.

Jim P.: Well, I would say this – the Bible says this, wounds of a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Love is not what our culture defines it as. Love is to do what is best for your child, whether they agree with you or not. And so many times we think, um, you know, we want to be grace-filled. But part of – of a boundary has to do with here’s the parameters. And the parameters are for your good, my good and for everybody else’s good.

We threw the bum out, all right? And before he could come back we wrote a contract. I went down and made 50 copies because I knew – because he wasn’t a Christian – that he was going to say he didn’t sign that. And I had 49 other copies to show him that he had signed. That was one of the…

Jim D.: To leave no doubt, I guess.

Bill: …(Laughter) I had fun doing that!

Jim D.: (Laughter) So what – I mean, speak to the boundary issue because, again, you tend to have this pendulum swing in between the parents, mom and dad – maybe a single parent even has that swing – where you’re strong on the boundaries one day and weak on another, thinking OK, love is what will save my son or daughter. Talk about that vacillation and what consistent boundaries mean.

Jim P.: Well, I would say this – the Bible says this, wounds of a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Love is not what our culture defines it as. Love is to do what is best for your child, whether they agree with you or not. And so many times we think, um, you know, we want to be grace-filled. But part of – of a boundary has to do with here’s the parameters. And the parameters are for your good, my good and for everybody else’s good.

Jim D.: Yeah.

Jim P.: And- and boundaries look different based on the age of the kid. He’s talking about, you know, throwing me out when I was 18 years old. And – and before that there were boundaries in the house that I had to follow or I couldn’t stay. And, you know, that leads to – this is why you need wise counsel because that leads to all kinds of legal problems. You know, can you actually throw somebody out? I mean, I had to go and find out what can I do when he’s 16? Can I just kick him out when he’s 16? This is where you need to get right information. You need to get, you know, talk to wise counsel. What’s the right thing to do?

Uh, there are financial issues at stake in this. If you send him to a rehab, uh, you know, what about that? When they’re in legal issues, do you go in and bail ’em out? Do you not? There are all kinds of things when it comes to boundaries that you have to work through, depending on the age they are.

And so, you know, what it comes down to is, to be in relationship, to have a place in this home, this is what that has to look like for the good of everybody else. Do you understand it? Do you agree to it? I’m gonna do it this way. You’re gonna do it that way. And – and if you don’t, these are the consequences. And – and then you have to live up to ’em.

Jim D.: Yeah.

Jim P.: And – and the biggest thing is, you know – back to the analogy of, uh, hitting bottom – the problem with most people is they don’t hit bottom because we don’t let ’em. We hit bottom for them and expect that to – you know, for them to live vicariously through us hitting bottom. They have to hit the bottom. That – that meant, OK. You don’t get to be in sports. You didn’t – you know, you didn’t pass the grades. You didn’t do the work. And that was one of the hard ones for me. I kept trying to help him do the work ’cause wrestling or sports was gonna keep him in school. And it had to be for his good, you know? If we didn’t have this, we wouldn’t have anything. And I wouldn’t have anything to hold over him. And – and – and so trying to figure out how to do all this isn’t a one-size-fits-all. That’s why you need wise counsel.

Closing:

Jim D.: Well, that is a great place to end today. You’ve hit it.  I so appreciate your vulnerability and your willingness to share your stories. You opened up a lot of hearts because of your pain, and you let us see the tremendous love God has for the broken hearted. And the truth is, Jesus came for each one of us as prodigals. He uh, cares about you if you’ve walked away from your faith and feel like you’re far away from His love. It’s just not true. God is still here. He’s ready to bring you back into His family, and if you’re the parent of a prodigal, God cares about you as well. He wants to comfort you and sustain you through your pain. 25:44 Focus on the Family is here to help. We can connect you to one of our great counselor. They will listen to your story, pray with you, and if necessary point you to some counselors right in your local area. We also have lots of resources like the Putmans book, Hope for the Prodigal that are so beneficial. John: And you’ll find all of this help when you call 800-232-6459. 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to learn more.

Jim: And John, I can’t say enough about this wonderful book from Bill and Jim. Uh, hurting families need hope today, more than ever. That’s what you’ll find in Hope for the Prodigal. Maybe you’d like to get a copy for a friend or maybe for your church. We can send you a complimentary copy when you send a financial gift of any amount to help Focus on the Family. And don’t worry if you don’t have the money for it, we have many generous friends that I am believing will cover the cost for that. If you can partner with us financially, we really appreciate it. Just imagine what God can do to strengthen marriage, encourage hurting parents, and spread the good news of the Gospel which is job one when we work together on The Lord’s behalf.

John: We really can have a tremendous impact when we do that, so we invite you to donate at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or, when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.  And coming up next time, Deborah Pegues describes how to deal with confrontation and forgiveness with God’s grace.

Teaser:

Deborah Pegues: We need the Holy Spirit to spot us the minute these instances where the pain is so great. You can’t do this. We can’t live this life in our own strength.

End of Teaser

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