LEAVE THE LIGHT ON
No matter how hurt you might be your child’s actions, never forget that the Lord entrusted him or her to you! While you should not permit yourself to be abused, try to remember the state you were in when the Lord saved you! Even though you may have changed after becoming a Christian, you still need God’s grace now and again. We are all on a journey to become what God wants us to be. Believe that your child is on that journey.
A loved one who has broken our heart can wound us like no other. But as Christ-follower, do your best to show the love of Christ, even when the child is ungrateful or unkind. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.”
In the 8th chapter of John’s gospel we read the story of how Jesus dealt with a young woman who had just been caught in adultery. In Jesus’ time this was a capital offense, punishable by death. The woman was only moments away from paying for this mistake with her life when Jesus entered the scene and stopped a group of men from passing judgment on her. Jesus turned to her and told her that, like the men whom he gently persuaded to leave, he also did not condemn her. But he ended their conversation by advising her to choose a different path from now on. Perhaps because he was so forgiving and not judgmental, she may have changed her life from that moment on.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 2:4-8), Paul tries to help this group of believers understand that because of God’s kindness we have the opportunity to be eternally saved and because of His kindness we desire to follow Him. Just like we were drawn to the kindness of God, perhaps our kindness toward our lost child will one day win them to the Lord. Kindness does not mean being a doormat or being taken advantage of, it means speaking blessings over your child through every circumstance. If there is not an opportunity to do it in person, then send you blessings heavenward every day.
The most famous story you can ever read about an estrangement from a child is found in the Bible – in the book of Luke (Luke 15:11–32). In the famous story of the prodigal son, the younger son of a prosperous man takes his inheritance and squanders it on irresponsible living. When he finds himself destitute and alone, he “comes to himself” and returns to his father, repentant and desiring to be restored. The Bible tells us that the father was looking in the direction the son might return from on the day of his return. The father doesn’t seem to have neglected his work or his other son while he was waiting, but the text leads us to believe that he never gave up hope and truly believed his son would return down that road upon which he gazed. If this is Jesus’ most famous word on prodigals, we can trust that He spoke it to give us peace and confidence that He will put light on their path and bring our sons and daughters home. God is capable of helping them “come to themselves” without our help or intervention. Put your hope in God’s goodness, power and love, and we believe you will see the answer you long for.