Often (who am I kidding--always!), when we love a Prodigal, it feels like there is simply nothing we can do to help them. We are told to practice "tough love"--to let them hit rock bottom--that it's the only way they will learn. I don't know about you, but as a mother, it is nearly impossible to DO nothing. It was hard for me to learn that although I was able to help my son as a little boy when he scuffed his knees, tumbled off his skateboard, or lost his favorite bat; as an adult child, I am no longer able to kiss him and make it all better. Hard, this was devastating. What was once was a cherished interaction with my son, was now being called enmeshment. By trying to make my son's life better, I was crossing all boundaries and was challenged to release that controlling nature. Controlling? I thought I was helping!
It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do: surrender my desire for my son's well-being. That is, until I remembered where or who I could surrender that desire to.
When a mother prays for her wayward son,
No words can make clear the vivid reality of her supplications…
She does not really think that she is persuading God to be good to her son,
For the courage of her prayer is due to her certain faith
That God also must wish that boy to be recovered from his sin.
She rather is taking on her heart the same burden that God has on his;
Is joining her demand with the divine desire.
In this system of personal life which makes up the moral universe,
She is taking her place alongside God
In an urgent, creative outpouring of sacrificial love.
Her intercession is the utterance of her life
It is love on its knees.
--Harry Emerson Fosdick
When a child is a Prodigal--we don't have to stop loving them to avoid enmeshment issues; we simply must love them differently. It is a higher calling. To withhold what comes naturally, to surrender our child's future to their Creator, to let go of our maternal instincts and have faith in our God who shares in our love for our children--is sacrificial love. I sacrifice my human nature--that I have the answers, that I have control over my child's decisions, that I must intervene. Conversely, it is when I intercede for my son that I practice real love....love on its knees.
Join me today as we get busy and DO nothing! This do-ing nothing takes courage! It requires great love but more importantly it simply requires what your already have: faith! Faith in our loving Heavenly Father....the one who understands our pain; after all, He understands Prodigals--he's got a whole world of prodigals! Join Him...in His desire for each one. Give your child to Him--once again, over again, yet again, forever again.
Can't wait for the banquet...can you?