Today’s reading was Luke 15:11-32 The Parable of the Lost Son. I’ve read this passage a million times. I’ve heard it ministered a million and one times and I’ve been the prodigal a million and two times. So I was rather uninspired to blog on this passage because I’ve seen the morale of this parable in my own walk and I’ve grown because of the powerful message in it. So what was the purpose in today’s reading?
As I was sitting on the bus this afternoon I began to think about times in my walk where I stepped away from the work of the ministry. I vividly remember an exchange I had with my Pastor a year ago that led me to resign from ministry responsibilities. I thought today’s blog was going to be a telling of what I experienced within that year and how it tied into the parable of the lost son, but that’s not what the spirit of the Lord is leading me to share. Maybe in another blog, but for now the Lord is leading me to talk about the real “star” of this parable-The Father!
Personal growth in your spiritual walk shouldn’t be limited to you not drinking, or smoking or fornicating or lying or stealing or gossiping or a host of other acts you once delved into and have since been delivered. When you’re growing spiritually it looks just like it does in the natural. You start off as a babe in Christ and you need milk to survive and as you mature so do your needs. You’re able to eat meat and you don’t need to be taught the elementary things of spiritual discipline. You actually have now become one who gives milk and meat to those who are growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
To see how much I’ve grown in my walk in Christ is amazing to me and it’s humbling. I desired Him and He was gracious enough to give of Himself to me. He is teaching me about the character and view of a spiritual parent. What an awesome responsibility and this parable speaks volumes about the Father. This is what I see when I read the parable:
- A father with provisions
- A father who is just and fair
- A father willing to let his child go
- A father with standards and is revered
- A father who has vision
- A father full of compassion and unconditional love
- A father who had an ear to hear the heart of his child
- A father who did not pass judgment
- A father with authority
- A father exercising wisdom
- A father displaying joy
- A father having a word in season for his children
I am blessed to be the parent of two beautiful children. I’ve watched them grow into extraordinary people. I’ve made mistakes along the way and I’m still learning how to be a better spiritual parent but I’m so grateful to God to have had the privilege to sow the Word into their lives. The hardest hurdle I’ve had to cross is that of letting them go and allowing that Word to either live in their heart and produce fruit of righteousness or die and watch them struggle. The joy you feel when the doctor hands them to you at birth versus the pain you experience when they error and choose a path that was not designed for them and all the stuff in between is what makes up parenting. It is the hardest job in the world because your children are a reflection of you and not always the saved you.
The attributes of the father in this parable exhibited a man of great wisdom and knowledge, yet he wasn’t able to keep his son from making bad decisions and living outside of God’s will for his life. Thank God the son came to himself, but more importantly thank God for the Father’s response to his son throughout all of it. This was a great lesson for me as I’m getting closer to becoming an empty-nester. My children won’t always be at arm’s length so I can get my hands on them, but I’m confident in what I’ve taught them. As they begin to navigate this world, I’m hear to listen, to show compassion and unconditional love and to not pass judgment. I’m going to continue to study so the wisdom of His word can be expressed to them when we have occasion to be in one another’s company. I’m going to be just and fair and Lord help me to be willing to let them go…oh this is so hard but I want to be like the Father in all that I do. May I stay humble in all things and committed in my relationship with the Lord so my walk is revered by my children and the authority I possess respected by them. May this next level of my journey as a parent be joyous and full of glory as I aim to be just like my Father.