Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dealing With Prodigal Children

If you have a prodigal child, you know what it is to suffer. We always want the best for our children, but sometimes our children choose the worst. Sometimes they can be so earnest in their pursuit of evil, that to be around them is to court disaster.

It's never easy to let go of a child. Even when they're grown it is only natural to want a relationship with them, to care what happens to them. We don't stop wanting to cuddle and love them just because they're old enough to care for themselves.

Most children realize this. They know we care, and how far we'd go to see to their needs. That can lead to them seeking to take unreasonable advantage. What we need to remember is what God's word says about erring children.

And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. Exo 21:15

And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exo 21:17

Now, clearly, we do not live in Old Testament times. No one is going to kill their child, nor should they. However, continuing with an erring child, especially an older child, who has shown a willingness to abuse their parents, is not something we should do, either. I know it's hard. No one wants to be separated from their children. However, if we truly love them, and they behave in such a manner, it is more loving to walk away from them than it would be to continue with them.

Why? Because if they are willing to curse, and physically abuse a parent, they have already crossed the line. (Please note: I am only speaking here of older children, that is grown children. The pre-adult child should be appropriately disciplined.) The problem is continuing the relationship will more likely cause them to sin even more, and there is only so much God will tolerate. (Seriously, folks, God's hand on us has never ceased. He still judges, and removes people daily.)

I'm just saying, there's a kindness in walking away from such a child. If you don't want them judged, let them go their own way, and leave them to it in every way except prayer. (I don't think I have to tell parents they should continue to pray for their children; rather, I'm just acknowledging that this is so.) This way they have the opportunity to recognize their mistake and turn back.

Remember the Prodigal Son parable. (Luk 15:11-32) The father did not go chasing after the son who walked away. No, he let him go. Even if they choose to never return, at least you'll know you did not encourage them to sin even more. It's a bitter pill, filled with anguish, regret, and sorrow; but it is still the best medicine for the disease.

No comments:

Post a Comment