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How many parents ask this question:
“Will my child come back to Jesus?”
Is there an answer? Many people will take a certain verse from the book of Proverbs and quote it to the parent. I’ve had my share of prodigal children and for every hurting parent can I please tell you,
“Don’t quote that verse to the parent of a prodigal.”
Don’t quote that verse, because what you’re saying to them when you do is “this is your fault.” Seriously, they have enough guilt and self-hatred without you adding to their burden, even though you mean well. Also, it’s not a promise!
We’re told in the book of Proverbs that if we train up a child in the “way he should go, even when he’s old he will not depart from it.” Many of us think that’s a promise. We don’t realize that the book of Proverbs isn’t a book of promises, but general truths. There are actually proverbs throughout the Bible. Taking them as promises instead of general truths can lead to faulty theology, as in the case of Job’s friends who viewed his tragedy as punishment for sin.
“As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.” Job 4:8
Job’s friends took this proverb and misapplied it to Job’s situation-accusing that righteous man of being the cause of all his tragic pain. It’s generally true that those who “sow trouble” reap the same, but if you’ve lived any length of time on this earth you know there are loads of trouble-making, workers of “iniquity” who are reaping rewards for their evil-doing.
If we don’t interact with Scripture correctly, we can be just like Job’s friends and place more burdens on hurting people by misusing Scripture. I’ve had it happen to me, and I’m sure I’ve unintentionally done the same to others. We want to make sense of things.
So what’s the answer to the question, “Will My Child Come Back to Jesus?”
I don’t know.
Here’s what I do know. Hold on to your faith in Jesus. Keep praying for your prodigal child. Trust the promises that are made in Scripture:
- Be confident that the Lord will complete the good work He began in your child. (Philippians 1:6)
- God will give you wisdom in your relationship with your child if you just ask Him. (James 1:5)
- Our prayers and God’s Word are effective and powerful. (James 5: 16; Isaiah 55:11)
You may have failed in your responsibilities as a parent. God is greater than your failures and His grace is more than able to cover your sins. He is able to “restore the years the locusts have eaten.” You may have faithfully fulfilled your role as a Christian parent. It may break your heart to see your child turn away from the Savior you love. God is greater than your child and He is neither confused or dismayed by your prodigal.
I have seen two prodigal sons come back to Jesus in the last year after many years of tears, heartbreak, and prayer. God used their waywardness to teach me many lessons about my identity, about prayer and truth, and most of all about a Savior who is faithful and true no matter what my outward circumstances are.
“Come Alive (Dry Bones) by Lauren Daigle has been the anthem for my prodigals:
“God of endless mercy
God of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter
Bring us back the wayward son
And By your spirit breathe upon them
Show the world that you alone can save
You alone can save”
You can’t save your children, but you know the One who can! Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and trust Him for the answer to your question, “Will my child come back to Jesus?”