When Parents Hurt, What to Do (2)

The parable of the prodigal son describes the response of a parent suffering the pain of raising a child who rejects his early training and goes his own way.

  • Entrust the future to God: God is the God of a second chance. God has a timetable different from mine. God is working continually. God has all the resources He needs to accomplish His purposes. “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
  • Acknowledge your need for the Lord: I admit I am brokenhearted over my child. I cannot carry the pain on my own. I see this breaking as an act of God’s love, drawing me into deeper dependence on Him. I will look to Christ, who is in me, to be my sustaining source of strength. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
  • Seek to build a new relationship with your child: Stop trying to change your child – start changing yourself. Stop judging – start respecting. Stop criticising – start complimenting. Stop talking – start listening. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
  • Exchange your pain for God’s peace: Choose to trust in God’s goodness. Choose to rely on God’s faithfulness. Choose to believe in God’s involvement. Choose to live in God’s presence. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3–4)

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy.’ ”

(Jeremiah 31:16)