The Prodigal Christian Faith

13 Mar

Once there was a boy who had it all and then realized he had to work for it all as he got older. He had rights and an inheritance with a promise coming his way. He had an older brother in the same position, but they chose two different paths. This is the story of the younger brother, who chose the path of early inheritance and “wild living” only to end up with the pigs. Here is a small portion of the scripture from Jesus if you are not familiar with it:

 “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.  “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living” Luke 15:11-13

There is a lot to be said about the Prodigal son, so many roles within this short parable of Jesus. More really than our simple finite minds can comprehend.

But as a parent, I have recently come to the conclusion that even well-raised children can choose the same road as the Prodigal son. Although Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  It is not a promise from God, but a proverb of wisdom meaning that it often comes true.   If you read the father’s response to his return, it appears that “dear-old dad” did everything right, but the son had to establish his own faith.

The older son who is at first obedient and sticks with his father, complains about the celebration.  However the father is focused on the younger son’s redemption and decision to return.

Some of you might know a prodigal.  Some of you are the parents of a prodigal.  A prodigal that keeps us up at night.  A prodigal that you want to confine to their room regardless of their age. The child who isn’t interested in where the gas money comes from, but complains when the tank is not full. A prodigal who loves the idea of being Christian, but is learning their own faith.

The tough reality for parents is that sometimes children go prodigal.   There are times when my children get a little prodigal. Maybe it is just hormones, friends, or defiance, but maybe it is God working in their lives.

In the good and bad, can you celebrate the prodigal?  The father never ceased in his love for the prodigal.  It was a love that was unconditional.

Celebrate the prodigal, and remember, if you love something, set it free.

God loves us, and yet sets us free.

brandon pacheyBrandon Pachey is the husband of an amazing wife and father of three awesome kids, hoping to adopt for the first time soon. He has lived all over the United States in six different states and Germany. He has worked in Youth Ministry as a volunteer for 13 years (3 as a full time volunteer youth pastor) and done ministry in Germany with military students and US Military Men’s Ministry. He looks periodically at the funny things the church does and faith in day to day life on For the Love of God Too. He also has a passion for off-roading as a family sport.

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