Though I have learned to speak with grace and don’t yell at my young people like I used to, my changes are empty if I don’t have enough love to be gentle with a rebellious and erring young adult.
And though I can explain with biblical reasoning why his choices will only lead to sorrow, and though I have the life experience to back it up; if I still fall into fear and anxiety about his course of action, my counsel means nothing.
And though I gave up the accumulated dollars of twenty years income to become a homeschooling mom, but can’t communicate to her that I love her more than the cost of her bad choices, the salary I sacrificed is wasted.
Love suffers with the prodigal as the natural consequences of their rebellion bears fruit.
Love is kind and does not say, “I told you so,” when they meet disappointment.
Love does not resent the pain it carries because their bad choices affect me personally.
Love does not nag the prodigal to try to get them to see the error of their ways.
Love does not respond in anger when the prodigal blames me for all his problems.
It rejects the thought, “after all we have done for her, this is how she repays us?”
Rather love’s concern is in supporting the prodigal so she can get past this season of life with as little collateral damage to herself as possible.
Love keeps calm under duress.
It does not get lost in the drama of loving a wild child. Instead, it seeks happiness outside of the volatile relationship.
Love is not blind to the reckless choices the prodigal makes.
It is not complicit in his folly.
Rather, love gently speaks the truth about the rebellion, while still rejoicing in the good things about her child.
Love shoulders the prospect of watching a son lose everything,
Still, it believes that God can save him.
It hopes in complete restoration.
Love recognizes that sometimes the prodigal will remain broken;
and while living according to conviction, it reshapes boundaries to be able to maintain contact with her rebellious child.
Love doesn’t quit when all looks hopeless.
Pleading with the prodigal will fail.
Rationalization will be futile.
We may not know how to help them,
But when their story is played out, they will hopefully have learned something.
When my child was born, I wrapped him in hopes and expectations; but as he grew I had to put those away.
Right now her future is dark to me. But someday this will all be explained.
Then I will see how God worked His grace in our family.
But until then I abide in…
Faith for God’s saving promises…
Hope of His providential power…
Love for my wayward child.
1 Corinthians Paraphrase Originally Published February 2017Share This: