Leaving The Porchlight On For Our Prodigal Children

porchlight

TheDiscipleMD

Several years ago there was a special program put on by the children at our church. As I surveyed the congregation I was delighted to see at least seven young adults in attendance who prior to the day had not chosen the path of their church going parents. Perhaps they were there for just that day, but I was reminded that if parents are loving, prayerful, and continue to exercise faith in the Lord, He will continue to touch the hearts of their children. I was particularly moved watching one young mother, who long ago strayed from the faith of her parents, cry as her young daughter sang her part. I remarked to my wife later that day that it was interesting to me how clear it was, that she wanted the gospel for her child, much like her mother had wanted it for her. Parents seem to inherently know what is good or bad for their kids. I’ve always known that the gospel would bring greater joy and happiness to my children’s lives.

Years have gone by, and now those young teenagers who rejected the message and heritage of their parents seem to understand that the gospel is the “good news” and they want their children to have what they had been offered. Now, with more mature eyes they seem to understand more fully the message of the redemption. James Faust gave a talk in 2003 entitled, “Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered”. In it he said:

” Who are good parents? They are those who have lovingly, prayerfully, and earnestly tried to teach their children by example and precept “to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” This is true even though some of their children are disobedient or worldly. Children come into this world with their own distinct spirits and personality traits. Some children “would challenge any set of parents under any set of circumstances. … Perhaps there are others who would bless the lives of, and be a joy to, almost any father or mother.” Successful parents are those who have sacrificed and struggled to do the best they can in their own family circumstances.”

As parents we need to continually remind our children, “that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.” (Helaman 5:9) But may we always leave the porch light on and the door to our home unlocked for our wayward children. Late one evening, as we are knelt by the bedside offering prayers on their behalf,  perhaps we will hear our front door open and find our prodigal child standing in the darkness of the night. May we be humble enough to extend our arms and let the light of Christ chase away the ugly shadows of the past.

 

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