Raising kids is HARD. And mine are not even in middle school yet. 😩#prayformeplease. One of the reasons I ask for prayer is because it is like a highlight reel begins playing in my head of myself as a preteen, teen and 20s-thought-I-was-an-adult-child. Aannnd I shudder. (Then, I hear stories about my husband and we think… what were we thinking??) Thank goodness for Jesus. 

The highlight reel looks so much different when I am in the role of Mom. And I wish I knew then what I know now. I hope that I would have shut up and been more grateful and realized the meaning behind the discipline. I didn’t know the why behind the rules. Not saying I would have changed my mind…if I am being honest and transparent. I was extremely passionate when I thought I was right, lol! And stubborn. (Hence the prayer request. 😉) I never could have known this without becoming a mom. That is honestly what it took for me. Unfortunately. Sorry, Mom! 😂 I know that my parents prayed for me more than I can ever imagine. Thank you, Mom and Dad. ❤

I thought maybe someone else might be on either side of the child or parent who is far from God and us. I write this as a reformed prodigal that tends to wander. Warning: It’s About to Get Real.

To the Parent of a Prodigal and A Prodigal,

I cannot even imagine how heartbreaking this is for you. The Parent/Child relationship is tricky to navigate on both sides. The hurts can run deep and defenses can be strong. Criticism kills relationships. It does. There is a difference in criticism and parenting. Make sure love is your basis for everything. And this means speaking love in the Parent or Child’s individual love language. That shows we care about them. Even when they don’t speak our love language. Even when we cannot agree. Even when we may NEVER see eye to eye. I believe God is a God of forgiveness and reconciliation. I believe it because He did it in me and I NEVER would have believed it would happen if you would have told me this during the most difficult and lowest times in my life. 

We have an enemy and it’s not each other. He wants to isolate us so he can feed lies and hate into our minds about each other so it grows in our souls and manifests in our emotions. 

First, do we believe the Bible is true? Always? Is this our own personal standard of truth? Because if we can’t believe this:

…then we have other things we need to decide. (It ain’t called a Come to Jesus Moment for nothing. Just saying.) 

We can only decide this for ourselves. We cannot force it upon anyone else. We are the only ones we can change. And we have to let Jesus do it in us. If we can come to this conclusion, we can examine how to properly fight the true enemy.

Suit up. Next step:

That is how we deal with being a Prodigal, loving a Prodigal and parenting a Prodigal. Last thing.

Ask for a loving heart if you feel you cannot muster that emotion. I speak out of being there myself and doing this. It is HARD and it HURTS. But it’s WORTH it. Because Jesus called us to do it in a capacity that we are not capable of doing without Him in our hearts. He gave us a commandment to do what He gives us the capacity and capability to live out through Himself. 

This is His standard for love. He died so we could live and love like He did. Any life worth living involves other imperfect human beings in it. Relationships are messy and raw and vulnerable. Identify your real enemy. Suit up and fight Him with Truth in your mind and your heart. Priscilla Shirer leads an excellent study called “Armor of God.” She walks you through each piece and identifies the need for each one. Then pray for strength, for love, for wisdom, for discernment and for peace. You are promised all of these things in your relationship with Christ. It’s like the bonus extended warranty that you never realize you have until you study and realize you are okay and it will all be okay. Why should we do this as quickly as possible?

We are never promised another day. There are plenty of parents and children who wish they had another chance to hear their loved one’s voice or hug him or her one more time. Jesus loves us and He wants us to love each other. He said He would help us do it. Don’t waste earthly time making temporary bargains for selfishness and stubbornness. We never know how much we have left. 


A Reformed Prodigal Who Is Prone to Wandering. ❤

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