As a mother, watching your children make choices or decisions that aren’t in alignment with all you’ve taught them or who you raised them to be can bring such heart ache. On a recent episode of Your Hope Filled Perspective, I chatted with Lori Wildenberg about how to maintain hope as a parent when you have a prodigal [Hope for Parents of Prodigal Children – Episode 126]. Lori has so graciously agreed to share more of what she’s learned here regarding 10 hope-filled responses when you love a prodigal.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
10 Hope-filled Responses When You Love a Prodigal
by Lori Wildenberg
In reading through scripture, it strikes me that all our Biblical heroes have strayed or missed the mark at one time or another. Some prior to knowing the Lord and others who knew Him. There is hope for the prodigal because we have all been a wanderer at one time or another. Our kids are no different.
It breaks our parental heart when our kids step off that expected path, yet perhaps it is part of their spiritual journey. The Israelites wandered for 40 years as a part of their journey. They needed to learn to trust God and to rely on Him for their protection, provision, and direction. Our kiddos are not so different. And… neither are we.
When we do have a child who has stepped off the expected path there are some hope-filled things we can do.
10 hope-filled responses when you love a prodigal
- find a trusted friend to talk with and pray with.
- adjust our focus so we are not consumed with prodigal pain.
- define the difference between acceptance and agreement.
- set aside the desire to lecture and listen instead.
- ask our child for forgiveness if we have wronged them.
- give respect and expect respect.
- determine our own boundaries.
- build a relational bridge with our loved one.
- get professional help.
- be a prayer warrior rather than a worrier.
I love the story of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. He was an invalid for 38 years (John 5:5). His malady was physical and spiritual. He was unable to walk, and he trusted his healing to the water.
Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Jesus told him to, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). First the man needed to want to be healed. Then He had to cooperate and rise. Next, he had to pick up his mat, so he was prepared to not return. Lastly, Jesus told him to walk. The man made his plan before he stepped forward on his new journey.
Let’s pray our prodigals desire to be healed: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And that they will take their mat and leave their side of the pool.
As we wait, we can trust God in the prodigal times. It is His heart’s desire to draw your child back to Himself. He loves your kiddo even more than you do.
God is with your child.
God is with you. You are not alone.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
If you found this post helpful and would like more encouragement, you may want to read, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.
What are other hope-filled responses we might have toward the prodigals in our life? We’d love to hear your perspective in the comments below.
About Lori Wildenberg:
Helping families create connections that last a lifetime is Lori Wildenberg’s passion. Lori, wife to Tom, mom of 4, and Mimi to 1, shares her stories of failures and successes, in her books and talks, to encourage and equip parents. As a licensed parent and family educator, she leads the Moms Together Facebook group and page and co-hosts the Moms Together Podcast. The Wildenberg home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Hope for Parents of Prodigal Children – Episode 126, Lori Wildenberg is giving away a free copy of her book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you’ve learned about how to respond when your child is a prodigal and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, September 20, 2021. Continental United States only.