How to Accept Prodigal Children (Without Enabling Them)

“Rebellious children can break the hearts of their parents…But when they wake up and turn back, your love needs to be standing at the door with arms wide open.”  –The Love Dare for Parents, Day 36

You might know the story of the prodigal son.  The son that wanted his inheritance before it was time.  He wasted it all on empty pursuits and then eventually decided to go back home and see if he could get a job from his father.

What do you notice about the timing of when the prodigal son decided to come back home (Luke 15:14-16)?  It was when, and only when, he had hit rock bottom.

In an attempt to “save” their children, do you think parents could ever enable their children to further disobedience?  If so, how?

How do you differentiate between forgiving your child and enabling your child?

The balance is very tricky.  We want to forgive our children when they mess up, but we don’t want to allow the guilty to go unpunished so much that they don’t understand the nature of consequences.

While our Heavenly Father is gracious, He is also wise enough to know that if He doesn’t discipline His children, it will allow for further disobedience (Heb. 12:7-11).  Sometimes, we have to accept our children must hit rock bottom before they long for a better place (Luke 15:16).

Would you be willing for your child to hit rock bottom in order to save him or her in the long run?

“…the real question is how you will respond if or when your children fail.  Love, the Bible says, ‘bears all things’ (1 Cor. 13:7).  It endures.  Even if the choices made by your kids cause you deep pain and disappointment.”  –The Love Dare for Parents, Day 36