Since my son Nathan was a small boy, he has always had a heart for people--to play with them when little, to talk to them, to reach out to them and to love them.
As a high schooler, he had so many friends and was awash in those who needed to be rescued or loved. The Prodigal Story is one that captivates his heart and mine. Hope you will enjoy his article today!
The Prodigal Son: A story that undoubtedly strikes fear into the hearts of parents everywhere.
The Prodigal Son is the story of a wayward son who demands his inheritance early, and ends up leaving his home and squandering his money on everything from sex to gambling. The prodigal eventually finds himself broke and in the dirt, with memories of home running through his mind. It is then he decides to return home, to beg for forgiveness and maybe find a job as simply a servant in his father's household. But, upon his arrival home, instead of finding bowed heads of disappointment, he finds a feast and celebration in his honor and the loving embrace of his forgiving parent.
I think this story is one we can all relate to, whether you are the prodigal, OR the mother (or father) of a one. The Prodigal Son is a story that will speak to almost anyone living in this fallen world.
That being the case, over the years I have heard countless people dissect, teach and react differently to this story . Naturally different people focus on different aspects of the story as it pertains to them:
- As parents, I’m sure the immediate inclination is to ensure that it never becomes a reality for their children.
- As pastors and teachers, I’m sure there is a need to teach and show the detriment of selfish desires and sinful living.
- But as a son, who has been a prodigal once or twice in his life, my interest lies in something different.
What pulls the Prodigal home...
I want to see the voice that spoke inside of the prodigal-the voice, when the wayward son felt the most down and out, that called him home. I want to know why he listened to it. Why is the wayward son was suddenly willing to humble himself to the lowest position just for a chance to be back in his parent's care?
I think back and remember the times in my life when I found myself surrounded by the consequences of some poor choices and willful rebellion, trying to recall what it was that called me home.
As I ponder, I remember the sound of the song that guided my steps back home, into redemption and the grace--it all comes back to me. I start to remember, the thing that ended up pulling me home, the driving force to my return to the straight and narrow, wasn’t the instruction or admonishment about rebellious living I had heard a thousand times in church. It wasn’t the countless warnings of sin (then too late to be applied, anyway).
Instead, it was something so much more personal, real and tangible.
It was the song of my home that would play in my ears, as I would sit with my head in my hands, trying to find the light in a dark situation. It was remembering the warm embrace of a loving family and an inviting home. It was the grace with which my mistakes would always be met. It was the warm meals, good conversation and the personal connection I missed with the ones I loved. A place to belong, It was the beauty of what home was truly meant to be.
Essentially, my reason for choosing to leave my prodigal tendencies in the past, to return home to my loved ones... Was having loved ones and a home worth returning to.
There is a Biblical picture for this that God paints masterfully throughout the bible.
All of us, (you and me), in our sin, go our own way; and we are the prodigals in our heart every time we make our own selfish choices. We rebel against the way life was meant to be lived, and choose our own ways instead of God's. Yet, as Jesus told the story and shows God's heart, He decides that instead of just getting rid of us, He wants us to have a chance at redemption by forgiving us, taking us back as though we had never sinned. He eyes see us when we are lost, but looks for us until we are found.
But He doesn’t stop there. The way God redeems us and shows us forgiveness... Is giving us a chance to have a personal relationship with Him!
And finally, He writes His story more lovingly and creates place for us to come home to, a beautiful perfect place where there will be “No more tears”.
God looks down on you and me, after our display of rebellious independence, and calls us home to a loving embrace of a parent and a perfect vision of home...Heaven.
So as parents of us prodigals, the question I have for you, is NOT,
What are you doing to insure that your sons don't become prodigals...
What are you doing to create a home in which a prodigal would feel the need and freedom to return home?
Just as a heads up, all of us sons will fall short, we will rebel and we will, in at least some sense of the word, make our selves prodigals.
BUT if you are diligent in making a beautiful home, and a place that will call us back to who we are meant to be, the same song God sings to all of us. We will return to your loving arms of redemption, without fail.
Nathan, my actor, singer, songwriter, sparkling son!
Join Sarah Mae and me today as we start our online group study for our new book, Desperate!
Today we will start with the Introduction!