It seems like it was only yesterday that your child depended on your every decision for his better well-being. As a concerned parent, you did everything that you could have done to protect him from harm’s way! You’ve clothed him, washed him, fed him, and took him took school. During the entire time, you’ve often wondered if you were a good parent and even wondered if you provided him with the essential tools needed to become a responsible adult that holds true to the moral values that you hold dear.
Still, the time occurs when your once young child start making decisions that you may not be completely proud of, decisions that are no longer childlike in nature but quite serious and even dangerous. As a well concerned parent, you may even start questioning, “Where did I go wrong? What did I do for him to abandon the very moral values that I’ve tried so hard to instill in him? Was I good enough?”For some odd reason, it seems as if though parents identify their parenting skills based on either the right or wrong choices that their child makes in this life and soon forget that it is the Heavenly Father himself who steps in to present the young adolescent with an option to make: “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster” (Deuteronomy 30:15). Yes, well concerned parents may foresee an upcoming danger where a young adolescent person may not; but still, the time does come when the Heavenly Father wants your once young child to choose for himself whether or not he chooses to follows the ways of Elohim.
In Yeshua’s parable of The Prodigal Son (reference Luke 15:11-32), Messiah provides his disciples with a very valuable instruction that is still applicable to this very day; but prior to reviewing his advice, let’s first summarize the story in a way that most parents can relate.
A father once had two sons. Of the two sons that this father had, the youngest approached him asking for his fair share of the inheritance that he believed was due to him. Though the father foresaw that this was possibly a very bad decision, he still wanted his son to be happy in life; so, he reluctantly gave his youngest son what his young son wanted. So, the father did what he had to do in order to make his son happy.
Upon receiving the inheritance that he asked for, the son packed up all of his belongings and traveled some distance away from the environment that he was familiar with. It’s quite possible that this young adolescent didn’t want anyone with whom he grew up with to be judgmental for his actions or misdeeds, we just don’t know. We do know that he lived wildly and mismanaged all the money that his father gave him. Also, in accordance to this very same parable that Yeshua gave, this young adolescent lived in a manner that was quite contrary to the moral principles and values that his father instilled in him. So, would you reason that this father was wrong for his parenting skills or decision in giving his youngest son whatever it took to make him happy?
In time, the youngest son lost all that he had. He neither was wise enough to invest his newfound fortune nor had the life experience needed to foresee the dangers that his father foresaw. He simply grew hungry and started learn how to make the more appropriate decisions that were meaningful to him. Yeshua taught that this young person came to his senses with time: “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!” (Luke 15:17). It was then that he remembered all the valuable lessons that his father has taught him; it was then that he decided to return (i.e., repent from the errors of his ways). At that precise moment, he expressed “I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, […]” (Luke 15:18).
You might imagine that the Master failed to make mention of this father’s response, but he didn’t. On the contrary, Yeshua taught his disciples just exactly what this father did during the entire time that his youngest son acted inappropriately to all these wrong choices that he was presented with. This father could have easily rejected having any dealings with his youngest son for the lifestyle that he chose to exert; however, he didn’t. Instead, the father forgave all the pain and suffering that this young son caused: “Filled with love and compassion, the father ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20c). Then, the father celebrated a feast for his young son (reference Luke 15:20-4). What response did the father give his oldest son for celebrating? “We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!” (Luke 15:32).
With these few words, I’d like to conclude.
Parents will oftentimes be concerned with the wrong decisions that their children may make. Most good parents want nothing but the best in life for their children; still, it can be quite a challenge to cope with their wrong choices because the last thing that a true caring parent would ever want is to be excluded from their child’s life wondering about their whereabouts even when they’re doing wrong in accordance to the biblical principles we've laid out for them. During that entire time that your once loved baby does what he does, we can only hope and pray that he’ll soon come to his senses and repent from the sins that they may commit. At times, we offer our advice; at times, we silently listen, wait, and hope for the season of great harvest. Until then, take the example of the loving parent who waited for his son's return to Elohim.
© 2014 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Winslow, New Jersey, USA
All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
For more information, contact NehrHaOlam@gmail.com.
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