prodigal (ˈprä-di-gəl) adj 1: exceedingly or recklessly wasteful. Before I share where our youngest son, our prodigal is today, I want you to join me as I remember where we've been; soberly view where we are now; and with great hope, share where we're headed. From the day we found out God blessed us with each son; beautiful gifts of life growing inside of me, we sang songs of worship and read Scriptures to our boys so their lives (as much as it was up to us) would be saturated with God's grace, peace and love. Every moment was beautiful, even the hard moments when we nearly lost both of them. Our oldest son was born with a rare condition called pyloric stenosis. If this developed, it usually happened two months after birth, but Michael was born with it; so by the time he was only two weeks old, he required emergency surgery so he wouldn't die from starvation. He's now a very healthy and robust 21 year old young man and we are grateful to the Lord!
In short...no. We'd like the answer to be yes, but in reality, we can't control another person's heart, mind or will—only God can...and does. It's easier to parent our children with the euphoric expectation that if we follow all the rules and train them up "right" that we are guaranteed perfect results...or at least the results we always hoped and dreamed for. While this nice and neat image of a family does happens to some, it doesn't happen to all. I wasn't raised in a Christian home, but was saved when I was four, and remained the only Christian in my household throughout my entire childhood. I rode the bus to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. I held tightly to God's Word and His standard of living. Were there challenges? Yes. Did I behave perfectly? No. But no matter the persecution from others or my own personal failings, I always ran back to my Lord, who alone could then (and now) provide me with
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." ~Jesus the Christ (Matthew 7:12, ESV) Few in this world understand this concept and even fewer live by it. Too many harm others as harm has come to them. Or they withhold good from others as it's been withheld from them. Sadly, we've often heard parents say to their children, " I can't help it! I yelled, hit, scared, etc. you because that's what was done to me!" or "Well, I did without love and affection from my parents and I turned out fine. So don't expect to get love and affection from me." But it should not be so with the Christian. A Christian is saved from merely reacting to our environment and empowered from on high to respond to all things with the love, grace and the righteousness of Christ. Unlike the world, we're not enslaved or overpowered by our sinful flesh; rather, we've been emancipated by