Loving Our Prodigal
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…
Have you ever felt like the Father did in Isaiah 1? Listen to some of the things He says (from the NLT):
The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me (v.2)
My people don’t recognize my care for them (v.3)
They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. (v.4)
Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? (v.5)
Your head is injured and your heart is sick (v.5)
You are battered from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—without any soothing ointments or bandages. (v.6)
Have you ever said any of these kinds of things about your own prodigal? Being a parent of a prodigal is not easy. We love them, but get so discouraged that they keep going the wrong direction. God continued to love Israel throughout all their rebelliousness and refusal to return. How do we show our prodigals love when sometimes they don’t even want to hear you say it? What are some ways that they will not refuse?
I was talking to one of the ladies in our group before I was going to Arizona to see my boys. She just happened to mention that boys always appreciate a stocked refrigerator. I had taken them out to eat before but not grocery shopping. Neither of my boys refused when I offered to take them. I’ve now been able to do this twice. It’s fun and a definite way to show love.
I was reading an article from a radio program Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss from 8/15/08 with Fern Nichols and Marlae Gritter. Fern Nichols is the president of Moms in Prayer, the group we have recently started within our Prodigal group. In the course of their conversation, a few interesting ideas were given. I’d like to share them.
IDEA #1 Fern’s daughter was in college. She wasn’t following the Lord at that time. The Moms in Prayer group would periodically send care packages to each of the college students. They would send the package with a note that each mom had written in. Fern’s daughter knew she was being prayed for by a group of women and each time she received a package, she was excited. Even her friends were excited because they were being prayed for also.
IDEA #2 Look for little ways to say “I Love You” without using words i.e. Marlae felt prompted by the Lord to every morning, in the winter, scrape her daughter’s windshield and start her car. It was something her daughter was going to have to do anyways.
IDEA # 3 Let them know the verse you prayed for them. Write it down and send it to them (or as Marlae did…she put it on her daughter’s pillow) Later she found out that this daughter cried herself to sleep every time she received a verse because she knew her mom still loved her.
IDEA #4 Another idea for a note is from Fern for her son, Ty. Rather than a verse, just a note that said, “Ty, I am so blessed that you are our firstborn son.” Or “Ty, did you know how wonderful it is to have you in our family?” Once, she put a $5 bill with it. He never said anything until much later when he told her she would never know how much those notes meant.
Maybe you have some of your own ideas that you could share with the group. Love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) and when God prompts you in a specific way, You can know His power will be behind it.
Don’t wait until you feel like it. Marlae said not once did she feel like scraping her daughter’s windshield. It’s not about us. It’s about how love changes things. God wants to use us to show His love. He loves our prodigals and has creative ways for you to show love that He wants you to know about.
And of course praying for our prodigals is the most important thing we can do. It is an act of love. And should cover and surround everything else we do.