Reconcile. If your prodigal child returns, seek to build a new, closer relationship. Surrender your defenses and work diligently to rebuild trust. Learn to relax when you’re together. Pray for God to heal all the resentments that had stood between you in the past. Ask Him to help you communicate well now. Keep forgiving each other whenever you hurt each other. Help each other in times of trouble. Get to know each other better. Celebrate the gift of this new time you have together!

Adapted from The Hope of a Homecoming: Entrusting Your Prodigal to a Sovereign God, copyright 2003 by Brendan O’Rourke and DeEtte Sauer. Published by NavPress, Colorado Springs, Co.,

Brendan O’Rourke, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with twenty-five years of professional experience. She leads marriage and parenting seminars for businesses, schools, and churches. A popular speaker, Brendan has given more than a thousand presentations on such topics as effective communication, trauma resolution, grief and loss, suicide prevention, and stress management. Dr. O’Rourke is a member of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, a clinical member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and in the National Registry of Who’s Who 2000. As chief of the Pain Management Clinic, Veterans Affairs Medical Center Hospital, Houston, Dr. O’Rourke implemented innovative ideas, reorganizing a key psychological service to veterans. She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs as an expert guest. Married to Dan O’Rourke, a media producer and broadcast journalist, Dr. O’Rourke has four children and a grandson.

DeEtte Sauer walked out on a successful broadcasting career to follow the Lord into an independent study program in human behavior. She has worked in the addiction recovery field and helped establish a chemical abuse team for an organization that aids abused and neglected children. In addition, she taught behavior modification classes for large corporations such as Coca-Cola, Pennzoil, and Kelsey Seybold Health Clinics. A vital force in an inner-city mission and a local prison ministry, she has a heart for the disadvantaged. DeEtte and her husband, George, have two adult daughters and four grandchildren. She is a master’s swimmer, 200l Texas state champion in four events, and a bronze medalist in the 2001 National Senior Games.