Prodigal Pain


Raising kids up and into adulthood can be one of the most rewarding and most painful experiences a parent will ever face.

Raising kids up and into adulthood can be one of the most rewarding and most painful experiences a parent will ever face.

Those of us with adult kids (over 18) know exactly what I’m referring to here. Those of you who don’t yet... bear with me a little on this post.

We can faithfully serve, model and demonstrate our faith to our kids year after year and still find ourselves nauseous with the gut wrenching turmoil of watching one of our own “bail” on everything we tried to teach. Authentic and faithful are all we can be. After that, it’s up to the Holy Spirit and free will.

I recently had to watch a 22-year-old son in the faith, flat-out walk away from the truth he had embraced only months before. The culprit, infatuation and months of deceit with a healthy dose of behavior modification to smooth things over.

In the end, the truth came out and he decided to leave the confines of our Christian home and seek his fortunes elsewhere…on his own terms. He left his faith, the truth of the scripture and the divine blue-print God gives us for a healthy life all behind as he made his escape.

Broke my heart.

If you’ve ever experienced that for yourself, you know how much those three words contain. But it didn’t break my hope for him. I am trusting him to the same grace and goodness of the God who chased me down as a 30-year-old. I had hoped to help him avoid the many painful regrets of a life lived selfishly and to provide a healthy foundation for his life to be built on… but that it seems will have to wait.

In the interim, I can pray and wait and watch.

I’m praying for God to interfere with his plans and re-direct him back to the safety of his faith. I’m waiting expectantly for that to happen and confident that it’s not a matter of “IF” but of “WHEN”… and I’m watching so I can rush to greet him when he surrenders it all to Christ and resumes the journey of life and faith we began together.

Jesus uses the parable of the prodigal for a reason. In one way or another we are ALL in that illustration of life. For some of us with adult children who are living outside of the will of God, it’s an obvious and poignant reminder of the truth.

For others it’s a reminder to trust God to be faithful for our kids at any age, believing that their eternal security is riding on more than just our ability to be “good” parents. It’s riding on the complete and absolute willingness of God our Father to do whatever it takes to win their hearts.

Let’s hang tight to our confidence and trust our kids (adult or tween) to the loving Father who saved us when we were lost too, after all it’s only a matter of time.

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