Prodigal: “a person who leaves home to pursue a reckless, wasteful lifestyle” Webster’s New World Dictionary
Do you have a loved one who is a prodigal? Whether a family member or close friend, this person’s decision to pursue a reckless life and turn from the people and God who love them can throw us into a living nightmare. What should we do? How can we help them?
Don’t Blame Yourself (Luke 15:11-32)
The prodigal chose his/her path; it was not forced upon them (Jas. 4:17). When we blame ourselves, invalid guilt hinders us from hearing God, our source of wisdom. Psalm 1 says those who listen to the Lord, instead of to invalid feelings or thoughts, will succeed in all they do.
Don’t Be a Stumbling Block to Your Prodigal (Rom. 14:13, 1 Cor. 8:9)
Though we aren’t responsible for another person’s directions, we can make it easier or harder for them to make healthy choices. Unnecessary burdens make them susceptible to temptations.
A young woman who became promiscuous said she’d been Daddy’s girl until she reached adolescence. Her father, unclear on how to parent a teenage girl, withdrew from her. Feeling rejected, she sought to fill the hole her emotionally absent father left by seeking affection from other men. His distance created an unintended stumbling block.
We’ve all made mistakes, yet when we become aware of how we’re needlessly burdening others we must make changes. Prodigals don’t want to return to an unsafe relationship or setting. Stumbling blocks are unsafe.
Be Gentle when You Speak to Your Prodigal (2 Tim. 2:24-26)
The Greek definition of gentleness includes consideration and patience. Jesus describes Himself as gentle. God often uses gentle speech to break through spiritual deception and bondage.
In my college days of waywardness, I can’t remember my parents’ words, but I remember their tone. They were gentle.In my college days of waywardness, I can’t remember my parents’ words, but I remember their tone. They were gentle. #Prodigals #RefreshingFaith Click To Tweet
I pray you will make a difference with the prodigal in your life. Your help will be noticed and applauded by God (Pro. 24:11, 12). If we can help you with this or another relationship challenge, please contact us.
Join the conversation here.
This past year shook us in many ways. The men and women of the Bible also faced challenges—and they experienced a big God. Let Debbie’s Big God books show you how to live strong and finish well. Enjoy 40% off for a limited time. Use code LWBG40 at LeafwoodPublishers.com.
- Young adults are returning to Christ
- Children without fathers are discovering their heavenly Father
- Women are finding God’s dignity after being dominated and discouraged