Prodigals and Parents in Pain
June 6, 1993 am
See Luke 15: 11-20
Introduction: Perhaps there is no pain in life like that of having a prodigal child. What do you do when your child is too stubborn to listen to your counsel? Too angry to reason with? Or too old to spank? This is a problem that is common in the society at large but magnified significantly within the context of the church community. The church is full of what Guy Greenfield calls wounded parents, Christians who have tried to raise their children in Christian homes but whose children have seriously rebelled or become self- destructive anyway. Greenfield estimates up to 20% of Baptist church members who once were active in church no longer are active because of some problem with a son or daughter.
In his excellent book Parents in Pain, John White states; "Parents are admonished to bring up children properly. Children are admonished to respond wisely to parental correction. If both play their part all will be well. But it takes a parent-child team working in harmony to produce this happy result. (p.44) Later he says; You cannot ever control another human being, even if that human being is your own child. (p.58)
As believers we must avoid being too simplistic in our use of Scripture verses and Biblical principles. God's Word is the light that guides our way, but it is not Aladdin's lamp. We can't rub it three times and- abracadabra! -Expect a genie to appear and grant us our wishes. Proverbs 22:6 is a good case in point: Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. This verse is given to us as a principle, not an absolute promise. Promises are invariably so; principles are usually so. Today we want to examine some Biblical truths that will offer help, advice, counsel, and encouragement.
A Biblical Perspective On Rebellion
• I Samuel 15:22-23 God rejected Saul as king because of his rebellion.
• I S ...
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