Parenting toward the 30%, this is one of our largest aims as Christian parents. That our children would have a faith of their own, a faith that would last, long after leaving the nest. So we strive and we pray and try our best, but what happens when this is not the case. When our 7 year old, 13 year old, 19 year old, 40 year old child denounces their faith that they seemed to once have? When they join the 70% of Christian-raised young adults who walk away from their faith after they graduate high school? When we have a prodigal?
I was once a prodigal child. I went to church, was in choir, memorized scripture, was heavily involved in my youth and children’s groups and activities, but Christ just wasn’t real in my heart, he wasn’t my savior, he wasn’t my Lord. It was the cultural norm to say I believed in God. It was the cultural norm to be involved, what most everyone I knew did. During the summer before my sophomore year, God did a work on my heart. He showed me the depravity and trajectory of destruction of my sin, and called me to himself, enlightening my heart that it is not my efforts that hold any weight, but only his effort, what Jesus did for me on the cross. I was never the same.
Some of you may still be prodigals. You may be going to church, involved, even serving, but merely out of custom, out of culture, out of ‘normalcy’. Christ would call you out. Out of ritual, dry, religion, and into full, satisfying, soul replenishing freedom and love in Him. This is where you would have to begin before you could start to help your prodigal in any real, lasting way.
Abraham Piper was a prodigal. Son of renowned pastor, John Piper, Abraham writes of his own journey through rebellion and conversion. He reflects on his experience and gives his advice to Christian parents of prodigals. Read it here.