”When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” Luke 15:17-18 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Robert and Gayle, Christian leaders in their church, were dismayed to realize that their son Eric had fallen in with the wrong crowd and had developed a drinking problem. After visiting a Christian counselor, they told Eric that they loved him very much but that he would be expected to live by house rules: obeying curfew and not drinking alcohol in their home.
Eric decided he would rather leave home. Devastated, Robert and Gayle pondered their decision, but chose to follow the example of the prodigal son's father and let him go. They trusted God to bring Eric back and prayed for his safety.
Several months later, Eric returned home, desiring to change and ready for help. Suffering the consequences of his behavior had brought him to a point of repentance.
Although they loved him very much, Robert and Gayle had not enabled Eric. They had not lowered the standards of their home, nor had they tried to rescue Eric after he made the decision to leave home. As difficult as this was, they recognized it was the best way to help him.
Are you ready to show this kind of tough love? Every situation is different, but God will give you the wisdom to know what you should do. And he will give you the strength and courage you need.
Father, my loved one is walking in disobedience. Show me how I can help. If this means letting go and allowing the natural consequences to take place, give me the strength to allow this to happen—all the while trusting you to work in his life. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Understanding the Times by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. This book offers a wealth of biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Also ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture.
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