We all are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke Chapter 15. A man had two sons, one asks his father to divide up his portion of his inheritance. The young man took a journey and as the bible says “wasted his substance with riotous living.” After a while, due to a famine, and his lifestyle, the son lost all he had and started feeding pigs, sometimes eating what was thrown to them. After a while, he realized that his Father’s servants were better off than he, so he went to find his father. Once he arrived, his father ran towards him, and kissed him, and killed the fatted calf for a celebration.
Sometimes, parents of an addicted child feel like they have a modern-day prodigal son. They hope that the story will echo that of the one told in the bible, that their prodigal son or daughter will come to their senses and come back home. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
When your child is wayward, it is important to remember the following things.
It’s Not Your Fault
You need to accept that this is not your fault. Your child has made choices that have taken them down a path contrary to what you taught them, and it is not your fault. They are their own person, and they will make their own choices. There comes a point where all you can do is pray for your child, and hope that they change their life.
Love Them Anyway
The most amazing part of the story of the prodigal son is the way that the father reacted when his son came home. He didn’t chew him out for years of wayward living, tell him to get lost, or give him what he deserved he ran towards him, and hugged him. He let him come home. If your child has the humility to come home, let them in. If they don’t come home, try your best to keep in touch with them via Facebook and e-mail.
Take Care of Yourself
Your child may start to take advantage of you if you let them. There is a real difference between helping and enabling. If you shield your child from the consequences of their life, you never allow them to learn. While you may want to love your child with everything you have, truly loving them may mean that you let them go, and take care of yourself first, no matter what the consequences.
Point Them to Christ
Even though they won’t listen, try to point your child to Christ. At the end of the day, He is the only one who can truly help your child.