Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Ministering to the Prodigal Son (or Daughter)

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Mom and young adult daughter sitting, holding hands, and having heart-to-heart talk
How do you parent in the face of some interesting (and possibly foolish) decisions on the part of your child?

During the early years, you changed a lot of dirty diapers, picked up a lot of messes and sacrificially stomached mashed peas in an attempt to set a good example. Seemingly overnight, job duties evolved from potty training and bandaging boo-boo’s, to helping with homework, baking cupcakes for the class party and giving driving lessons. While you certainly struggled with how to parent in some situations, at least your child was nearby while the task was at hand.

Now, she’s left home, and the term “parenting” may seem more abstract. How do you parent a child who’s largely grown? How do you parent from afar? And most dauntingly, how do you parent in the face of some interesting (and possibly foolish) decisions on the part of your child?

In Luke 15, we find a father facing the same dilemma. He had two sons, both old enough to go-it on their own, or at least old enough to believe they could. The younger demanded his inheritance pre-mortem (talk about a slap in the face!) and, soon after, “set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (v. 13).

Maybe this is a story you can relate to, at least in part. While you might not have given your child his inheritance, considering the college bills you’re footing, you may feel like you have. Maybe you preferred that your child attend an in-state college, only to have him announce at dinner that he will be attending the furthest institution away from home. Or maybe you were pleased with your child’s choice of educational institutions, but later disappointed to learn that he had squandered your wealth, his wealth or the borrowed-wealth of a major credit card company. Maybe this story is your worst fears put to paper.

Most of us know the ending to Christ’s parable. The son realizes the error of his ways, returns home expecting slavery but is greeted by an elated, gracious, generous father who welcomes him home with favor and open arms.

What did this father do right, and how can you continue to parent your almost-grown kid who has ventured out on his own?

  • Accept the fact that your ministry to your child has changed. For you, this is a difficult time of transition from teacher to advisor. We don’t know exactly what conversation ensued after the younger son prematurely (and senselessly) demanded his inheritance. But the father realized that some lessons can only truly be learned by experience. He let his son make a mistake, then sat back and waited. I’m sure he did a lot of praying as well.
  • Welcome your child back with open arms. After going broke, selling himself into slavery and even longing to fill his stomach with pig grub, it dawned on the son that even his dad’s hired men had more than enough to survive on. It would have been a knee-jerk reaction for the father to yell, “Duh! I’ve been telling you this all along! And it took you all this time, and all this money, to figure it out?”

    But verse 20 tells us that, “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.”

    Whether or not your child has made a grave mistake (or a whole heap of them!), welcome him back with grace. Applaud the wise decisions he made, even if the only one was asking for help.

  • Acknowledge your own status as a “prodigal son.” It may be easy to become so wrapped up in this story (and how strikingly familiar it sounds to our children’s stories) that we forget each of us has also been a prodigal son – all figuratively, and some literally.

    “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8b). He didn’t cease to love us, or prepare good things for us, until we had come to our senses. Rather, He anticipated our homecoming and made preparations so that, like the father in the parable, He could welcome us home with all the best.


Helping families thrive with the support of friends like you.


Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Parent looking at photo of prodigal child
Adult Children

Hope For Parents of Prodigal Children

If you’re experiencing the loss of a prodigal son or daughter who isn’t currently in touch with you, you probably feel helpless. Here are some ways to understand a prodigal child and find hope if you have a prodigal child.

Dad trying to hang in there as he carries two kids
Encouragement

Hang In There, Parents!

2020 was a challenging year for all of you parents out there. But look at all of the obstacles you’ve bravely overcome.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!