Do you have a “prodigal”? Jesus gave us the parable of The Prodigal Son so most of us know what a prodigal is: a person who has left the faith or rejected in some way the beliefs or ideas they were taught.
I know of that personally. Our adult son doesn’t go to church. He shows no spiritual interest, that we know of. And he doesn’t keep in touch with us very much. When we are together, we have a great time. But those times aren’t as often as we’d like.
Of course, what concerns us the most is his spiritual condition. We long for him to seek the Lord and know God’s love for him through which he can be forgiven and live an abundant life. It is heart-breaking to know that he is “on his own,” with no help from the Lord. We reach out as we can and we pray constantly for him. Our trust in God’s love for him is what keeps us from despair. But at times, worry and fear nibble at my brain and heart. I was at that point when I saw that Carol Barnier had sent me a copy of her book to review. It’s entitled, Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope (Moody Publishers).
As I read Carol’s wisdom and encouragement, I was at peace again. I needed to hear her insights and her story. Because she was a Prodigal! In fact, she was a card-holding atheist. She belonged to American Atheists and even met Madelyn Murray O’Hair. And she grew up in a pastor’s home and was very active in church. But she turned away from the Lord for almost two decades. What a wonderful, hope-inspired story.
The ideas Carol shares in her book can be powerful for parents of teen or adult children. She covers myths like, “It’s my fault” and “If I just say the perfect thing, she’ll change.” She also gives practical “dos and don’ts” like knowing whether you’re advising or badgering; and focusing on boundaries, not behavior.
And there are many more wise and useful ideas and principles that will encourage your heart to know you’re doing a better job than you think; yet there are responses that can be improved.
Reading Carol’s book re-set my heart on trusting God for our son and not trying to pressure myself to be what only God can be in his life, and to not do what only God can do in his life. I highly recommend this book.
- How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On To Learning,
- If I’m Diapering A Watermelon, Then Where’d I Leave the Baby?
- The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Style.
Can you tell she’s a humorist also?
I’m so excited to make a copy of this book available free in a raffle. Please leave a comment on my blog or email me at kathyspeak @ aol.com (omit spaces) indicating you want your name put in the drawing. I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013.