Parenting a Prodigal

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From the moment we feel our child stir within our womb we are overwhelmed with delight, envisioning the adventures that lie ahead. Never before have our hearts been occupied with such an uncontainable amount of joy; joy that is immeasurable, inexplicable, implausible.

We’re curious if this blessing is a little girl that will enjoy dressing like a princess. Or a rambunctious boy that fervently sprints across the lawn to make the winning touchdown. We wonder if she’ll have our creative side and possess a love for art.  Or will he inherit his father’s charm, donning a countenance that radiates a room.

Our minds are flooded with visions of their future. From the first day of school, to the day they pledge their love to another. These are milestones that seem so far away, but will be experienced before we know it.

But what if our hopes are destroyed? Our cherished ideas of what our children were to become are now non-existent. Our dreams shattered beyond the ability to put the pieces back together. Can we manage the pain in our hearts that once contained all the love?

Being a parent in today’s society can be overwhelming. We juggle an array of responsibilities that leave us feeling weary. At times we become so consumed with the struggles that the promise of a new day seems so far out of reach.

As we raise our children, the world has such an influence on them that it tends to choke the morals that we have tried to instill. We teach abstinence while the world preaches sexual exploration. We teach modesty while the world preaches flamboyancy.  We teach the sanctity of marriage while the world encourages same sex unions. Our children’s minds are impressionable, so our voices must be louder than those of society.  Will our values be evident in our children’s lives? Or will they conform to the ways of the world?

Teenage pregnancy is commonplace. Children are engaging in activities that were taboo just a few years ago. Instead of it being a stigma, having multiple partners is now an accomplishment to be highly esteemed. Where has all the shame gone? Why are these children desensitized?

Many people accredit this to the families who set a less than appropriate example for their children. But even God fearing Christian homes face these issues. We take our children to church every time the doors are open. We cultivate their interests in the bible and participation of church camps. We raise them up in the instruction and admonition of the Lord starting from birth.

When these were just toddlers they would dance and sing to the Lord. Their attention was fixed on Him. Now as adolescents they ignore the voice of God; they pretend He doesn’t see. Lewd images now occupy their mind which once inhabited the Lord.

 The children that we love so much are on a downward spiral. We correct, discipline, and reprimand. We prohibit their involvement in activities so that they would not gain access to the very things that are causing their demise. We pursue them when they flee from our grasp. And we spend countless hours on our knees lifting them up in prayer.

There are certain things that only the Lord can restore. We desperately want transformation for our own prodigal, but this can come only from the Lord Almighty. He is in complete control of these that are so precious to us. He sees, protects, and pursues them.  He will bring about deliverance in His perfect timing.

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