Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, November 22, 2014

6 of 12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child

12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child by Abraham Piper:Parenting 

Many parents are brokenhearted and completely baffled by their unbelieving son or daughter. They have no clue why the child they raised well is making such awful, destructive decisions. 

I’ve never been one of these parents, but I have been one of these sons. Reflecting back on that experience, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child.

1. Point them to Christ.

Your rebellious child’s real problem is not drugs or sex or cigarettes or pornography or laziness or crime or cussing or slovenliness or homosexuality or being in a punk rock band. The real problem is that they don’t see Jesus clearly. The best thing you can do for them—and the only reason to do any of the following suggestions—is to show them CHRIST. 

It is not a simple or immediate process, but the sins in their life that distress you and destroy them will only begin to fade away when they see JESUS more like HE actually is.

2. Pray

Only GOD can save your son or daughter, so keep on asking that HE will display HIMSELF to them in a way they can’t resist worshiping HIM for.

3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.

If your daughter rejects Jesus, don’t pretend everything is fine.
For every unbelieving child, the details will be different. Each one will require parents to reach out in unique ways. Never acceptable, however, is not reaching out at all. If your child is an unbeliever, don’t ignore it. Holidays might be easier, but eternity won’t be.

4. Don’t expect them to be Christ-like.

If your son is not a Christian, he’s not going to act like one.
You know that he has forsaken the faith, so don’t expect him to live by the standards you raised him with. For example, you might be tempted to say, “I know you’re struggling with believing in Jesus, but can’t you at least admit that getting wasted every day is sin?”

If he’s struggling to believe in Jesus, then there is very little significance in admitting that drunkenness is wrong. You want to protect him, yes. But his unbelief is the most dangerous problem—not partying. No matter how your child’s unbelief exemplifies itself in his behavior, always be sure to focus more on the heart’s sickness than its symptoms.

5. Welcome them home.

Because the deepest concern is not your child’s actions, but his heart, don’t create too many requirements for coming home. If he has any inkling to be with you, it is God giving you a chance to love him back to Jesus. Obviously there are some instances in which parents must give ultimatums: “Don’t come to this house if you are...” But these will be rare. Don’t lessen the likelihood of an opportunity to be with your child by too many rules.

If your daughter smells like weed or an ashtray, spray her jacket with Febreze and change the sheets when she leaves, but let her come home. If you find out she’s pregnant, then buy her folic acid, take her to her twenty-week ultrasound, protect her from Planned Parenthood, and by all means let her come home. 

If your son is broke because he spent all the money you lent him on loose women and ritzy liquor, then forgive his debt as you’ve been forgiven, don’t give him any more money, and let him come home. If he hasn’t been around for a week and a half because he’s been staying at his girlfriend’s—or boyfriend’s—apartment, plead with him not to go back, and let him come home.

6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.

Be gentle in your disappointment.
What really concerns you is that your child is destroying herself, not that she’s breaking rules. Treat her in a way that makes this clear. She probably knows—especially if she was raised as a Christian—that what she’s doing is wrong. And she definitely knows you think it is. 

So she doesn’t need this pointed out. She needs to see how you are going to react to her evil. Your gentle forbearance and sorrowful hope will show her that you really do trust Jesus.

Her conscience can condemn her by itself. Parents ought to stand kindly and firmly, always living in the hope that they want their child to return to.

Six of 12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child by Abraham Piper:Parenting

Shared by Christine Wyrtzen of Daughters of Promise Ministries in the USA.

(Be sure to check tomorrow's post of the next 7 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child)

Pray with me:

ther, help me remember that the
best thing I can do, is to love my child,
and to point them to Christ.

nly YOU can save our sons or daughters, so I will keep on asking that You will display Yourself to them in a way they can’t resist worshiping You for.

   Help me remember that if he/she has any inkling to be with me, it is YOU giving me a chance to love him/her back to Jesus.

   May I always stand kindly and firmly, always living in the hope that my child will return to You.

   I ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Job 6:24 "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred."

Today’s quote: Max Lucado – “Wait for the Lord, and He will make things right. Judgment is God’s job. To assume otherwise is to assume God can’t do it. God has not asked us to settle the score or get even. Ever!”

Some thoughts today: We are to represent Jesus. Pray and bless to overcome evil. Return evil and anger with love and good.

- God is not an angry God, but He can get angry. (Mark 3:5)

- Sometimes it takes a long time to make changes. There will always be folks to aggravate you. God orchestrates such, at times, to bring out what's in you, to reveal your need.

23rd- Sunday evening’s post: 7 of 12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child  Abraham Piper

25th- Tuesday's post:  #19 The Real Battle
C. Peter Wagner

27th- Thursday's post:
#20 Learning About the Battle
C. Peter Wagner

29th- Saturday's post: Our Friends
Jean Oathout

A popular post: Taking Hold Together
Dutch Sheets shares with us:

 "In situations where we’re experiencing an inability to get results, the Holy Spirit not only wants to direct our prayers precisely, causing them to light up on correctly, but He also wants to take hold of the situation together with us, adding His strength to ours.

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