Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prodigal Children

I was reading about the prodigal in Luke 15, and it seems as if the focus of this story is either on the prodigal himself and how he finally returns, or on the older brother who does not appreciate that his lost brother has come back.

I kept thinking about the Dad. How long did he have to wait? What did he do in between the time his son left and the time his son came back? How did he feel when he heard news about how his son was behaving?

I guess I was focusing on the Dad because my wife and I have a prodigal child.

We have been hurt more than you can imagine, and wonder how long this will go on. We continue to hear things that just break our hearts.

We pray. Everyday. Several times a day.

The prodigal son in the scriptures had to be reduced to living and eating with the pigs before he came to his senses and returned to his Father. I cannot help but wonder what this means when it comes to our child. Who will be the pigs? What form will the pigpen take?

And of course the most important question....when will our child come back?

We pray for our child to come back to the Lord. To return to the love they once had.

I have to be honest, that at times it feels as if our child will never return.

I have to remind myself, that I too was a prodigal. From the age of 15 to 25 I rebelled against the Lord and His ways. I did many things that I am ashamed of today. Somewhere along the way, I found myself in the pigpen, with the pigs. Oh, they didn't look like pigs, but you can dress a pig up in a tuxedo, and it's still a pig. You can spray all the lysol you want in the pigpen and it is still going to stink. It was not an easy road back, or an easy life since I have been back. When you spend time in the pigpen of life, there are consequences. Some of those consequences I have been paying for now for over 25 years. But I wouldn't trade my relationship with Jesus now for anything this world has to offer.

So I know there is hope.

So join me in prayer for my prodigal. Leave me a comment or send me an email about your prodigal story....and the next time you read Luke 15.....remember the Dad.

Time to go,
Pastor Dave


Anonymous said...

we too have a prodigal child and are pastors. I find that in a lot of the pastor circles we travel it is not that easy to share that you have a child who is not serving the Lord. First of all, they don't get it. And let's face it unless you've experienced the pain first hand, you DON'T get it. I think it's pretty sad when you are judged maybe not intentionally but it's there all the same. It's almost like when you are in the ministry and have a prodigal, you have an underground support group. Those of us brave enough to share can find support in each other. As many as I've found to support me, sadly I've found more who don't. This could be because of ignorance, fear or pride. For whatever the reason, I feel it adds more pain and we already have lots of that right? Parenting a prodigal is not contagious and yet sometimes it is treated as so. I am still a christian, I am still a pastor and you know what, I am still a good parent.

Pastor Dave said...

All parents make mistakes. I know I made mistakes with our prodigal child...but nothing that would bring about how she is...and if we hadn't made those mistakes, we would have just made different ones. Some children are just "bent" in that rebellious direction. I will never stop praying for her. Never. I'm sure you are a good parent...and the trial and pain of having a prodigal helps to make you a pastor that is aquainted with suffering on a level that many do not understand.