I continue to receive emails from parents asking about modern day prodigal children. Whether the prodigal is defying family rules, living an undesirable life style, or leaving to who-knows-where, it’s a heart wrenching experience for any parent. Parents have poured so much energy, time and love into their son or daughters life. I was prompted to blog on this subject after receiving an email from a Mom who was complaining that her son was getting drunk, staying out late, waking up the family at all hours and smoking weed to boot! Now get this, she is planning on sending him away to a private University next fall. Let me get this straight, you are going to spend 40K to send this kid to a private school and he is drunk and smoking weed all the time? What is wrong with this picture?
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go”
I realize that the prodigal son story is one of salvation. It’s really not a study in family relationships. But it does prove a good point– and that is, some people have to hit bottom and be put on their own, to realize that a new direction or path must be taken.
Here are a few suggestions if you are dealing with a modern day prodigal:
- If he/she has left the family, make no attempt to contact them. No, not even a birthday card, and certainly not a birthday card with money in it! Let all contacts be initiated by your son or daughter.
- Exercise patience, you might have you wait a while!
- If you prodigal lives with you, you need to find of way of saying (if they are 18 or older) “This isn’t working. We as parents are holding you back. We are too old fashioned for you. You need to go live life the way you think it oughta be lived.”
If you are going through this heartache right now, know that you are not alone. Other parents have dealt effectively with their prodigal. Yes, continue to pray for your son or daughter. Remember that God sometimes puts us through trials to make us stronger. Realize that this tough time on you might be a necessary step in your child’s faith journey and coming to the truth of what life is all about.
As always your comments are welcome! What say you?