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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Prodigal Daughter

Little Lukas was dedicated in church this morning and to honour fathers on Fathers Day the pastor preached out of Luke 15...the prodigal son.  So there I was..."snot en trane"(crying) the whole service. A few things in the sermon caught my attention.
  •  The son left without the blessing of his family...in the Jewish culture that is tantamount to cutting off the person that leaves.
  • The son wanted to lead a lifestyle that was not in keeping with his roots.
  • The father did not go looking for the son.
  • It took a pigsty for the son to come to his senses.
  • He repented stating that he sinned against God and against his father.
  • The father made a statement....my son was dead and he is alive again.
  • The father must have prayed for his son and stood looking for when he will come back...because he saw him coming from afar.
  • The son had to come back on his own, he was not brought back.

    The pastor said today that if a son/daughter should run away, the parents should not continue to finance that son/daughter as it licenses their rebellion.  That you will make it too easy for them and they need to face difficulty in order to come to repentance and mend their ways.  What do you think?  Do we continue to pay her pocket money into her account...or do we stop?

    22 comments:

    1. phew Lynette! I really don't know!Logic says yes - she has left and therefore needs to support herself. But the heart will always say no. As parents, i think cutting your child off must be impossible!
      Sorry - no real advice my friend. just lots of hugs, prayers and thoughts x-x-x

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    2. Oh Lynette that is such a difficult one as I know its easy to say STOP...but its cause our hearts are not involved like yours is.
      I know that the heart is such a strong force when it involves our children.
      I know you will be guided via prayer what to do.
      I wish you the best in this situation.
      I know what its like to be a mother of a child in trouble..they still our children and we love them.

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    3. As Kirsty says, no-one can answer this for you. My feeling, sitting on the outside, would be to stop supporting her financially.

      Sjoe, whether I could do it in practise I do not know but I feel it would be the right thing in these circumstances.

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    4. My head says STOP, but my heart is screaming, NO DON"T DO THAT!! I don't know, actually I do know that stopping it would be the right thing to do, but I know for a fact that I would not be able to do that. I am enabling my own children by not letting them take responsability for their choices.

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    5. Hi Lynette

      At our Father's Day service this weekend , the main theme was mercy - being merciful , showing mercy especially in difficult situations.

      He also shared this story of a church member telling him how he nearly tried to commit suicide by throwing himself on the train tracks. However he was stopped from doing that - it was like there were some invisible hands physically holding him back.

      The pastor said how easy it would have been to go TSk ! Tsk ! and tell this guy - you know if you commit suicide it could cost one their salvation etc etc and go with righteous judgement etc.

      The pastor said he wept with this guy and simply reminded him that he now had a second chance at life and urged him to live his life now for the glory of God.

      Now this eg is in no way close to a parent-child relationship of course. But I think it would beget the question for me - to err on the side of mercy or to err on the side of righteous judgement.

      Let our God of mercy,love, light and truth guide us even as we exercise all our wisdom, common sense, judgement in very difficult situations ...

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    6. Goodness, that is a difficult one. I have to say that my initial reaction was also to say stop. the fact that she has left your house and her home without a word shows disrespect, even amidst the turmoil she may be feeling, yet at the same time, one doesnt want make the issue worse by stopping the pocket money in case of turning the situation into a worser one on her side. That is just my thought, but as most have said already, only you can decide and know what is the right thing to do. Take it to God and lay it before him, just as you have done with everything else.
      Prayers and strength to you.

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    7. wow lynette - things are really difficult for you. i can only pray God's grace and peace over your life.

      hugs
      Betty

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    8. Oh gosh, so difficult. I would say stop, but then you start worrying how she actually lives and eats.

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    9. I'm with Mel on this - may I just add - not paying her pocket money shouldn't be seen as punishment, judgement or casting her off.

      Rather it should be seen as an act of mercy: part of a rescue mission.

      Financing her would, after all, help her to stay away longer, wouldn't it?

      A bit like God's putting the angel at the Garden of Eden to stop Adam and Eve getting to the tree of life - it looked like a punishment.
      It wasn't; it was mercy.
      It was protection.
      It was love.

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    10. I would NEVER be able to cut her off emotionally. She has a too large part of my heart.

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    11. Hello my friend,

      My advice is to stop the pocket money. By continuing it you 'supporting' her chosen lifestyle - if she wants to live that way then she needs to be responsible for it. She is old enough to understand this and to accept responsibility for the decision she has made.

      God has told you what you must do - the sermon yesterday says it all. He cannot make it any clearer than he has already.

      Having said this I can understand the turmoil and anguish you are feeling right now. Who said parenting was ever going to be easy?

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    12. I think Shayne (above) was able to put everything I was thinking into words perfectly.

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    13. Lynette - I'm so sorry you're going through this horrible situation with your daughter. Only God can help you and your daughter. If you reference the prodigal son, you will know that the father gave his son his full share of his inheritance which he proceeded to waste as the story goes. I dont think I could live with myself if my child didn't have a backup of some money when she needed it. She has allowed evil to access her life through some teenage foolishness and I believe this happens to a lot of teenagers. I dont believe your daughter is herself at the moment. I dont think providing her with money is going to promote this demonic invasion of her life but it will show her that you are still there for her. She will come back to you. You have shown her the right way. Now you must be faithful in prayer and belief. This can happen in any family.

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    14. I agree with the pastor. I know it have to be hard because as parents we have to protect and provide but I thing you cant provide when the other person is only using it for their self destruction.

      I Been having you in my prayers and Hope soon things get better.

      HUGS!

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    15. Lynette, thanks, only got the invitation to your blog today!! I was sitting crying, while i was reading this to my husband. My goodness!! What you are going through my friend,must be so hard, but this could happen to any of us!! So don't blame yourself! You have done your part. She is a grown lady, and YES, I think you should stop the money and when she comes back,open your heart! I am sure by the Mercy of our Lord He will bring her back. I will pray for you as hard as I can. Seeing that I am late, has she come back yet? Have you heard from her?

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    16. Lynette I am not a parent so not at all experienced in the parenting department but I would also stop paying her pocket money.

      Bianca has left without even having the courtesy to leave you a note or anything so why should she still enjoy the benefits?

      It would be a whole different story if she had left the house with your blessing but she has not. :)

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    17. Lynette, I kind of agree with the pastor. The reason why is that my parents were kind of in similar situation like you. My brother was always in trouble and my parents were always afraid to WHAT IF's so every time they keep backing him up. My brother didn't learn to stand on his own and didn't learn of any consequences of his actions. Now, he's struggling big time because no one there to back him up anymore, my dad passed away and my mom is here with me.

      I know that you love your daughter so much and I know she knows that too. I'll continue to keep you guys in my prayers.

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    18. Our prayers are constantly with you all & I believe in the power of prayer. Your decision must be heart breaking but just "you" have to do what you think/know is the best for Bianca. Not much help but you will walk in peace & Bianca will walk in the light. God's time isn't always the same as ours though so just know there are so many people lifting you all up.

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    19. This is such a hard decision. I would say to stop financing her. Giving her money does not dictate how much you love her. The pastor's message seems to have been an answer to your prayers of what to do.

      I'm glad your family was able to have a celebration to rejoice in during all of this.

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    20. I need to be totally honest with *who I am* and *my beliefs* in order for you to understand where my comment is coming from, and you may of course do with it what you will after you've read it.

      I am not a religious person. All religion to me is man-made, I have been a palm frond waving, liturgical dancing fundamentalist so at the very least I think I understand your view point. It does not mean that I am not a spiritual person, though, I just choose not to follow religious dogma.

      However, I am a mother. With or without religion I am a mother. With or without God, My Beliefs or anything else, I brought two children into the world, and that for me, supersedes ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that I am.

      I would never and could never stop supporting my child, particularly if they were in need. Who knows what she could be forced into if you cut off financial support? What if this is her only link with you? Anything you deposit into her account could also be your only message system to her as well. You know when you make a deposit you can make a reference? What if everytime you made a deposit you left a little note? LuvU4eva etc.

      She may not believe that she has a way out of her situation, at the very least her behaviour before leaving showed that she believed she had no way out.

      Do not let your religious teachings come between your most natural instinct as a mother.

      Of course whatever you decide to do is up to you, and anyone who wants to differ with me on this is most welcome to their viewpoint.

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    21. Sorry I'm so late on this...can't even begin to read all these comments to see the general consensus but immediately I thought NO...I would definitely NOT continue any type of allowance as that would be enabling & rewarding undesireable behaviour & taking away any incentive to return. Easier said than done perhaps but I do think that that is what I would do if the situation were to happen between Chelsea & I. I know that that would send a very clear message to her that I wanted her back & that I was not going to play any part in any other option. Hope everyone's input helps you reach your decision...I can't begin to imagine your anguish & my heart goes out to you...

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    22. Very difficult decision indeed. One that my sister has had to make one to many times in the last couple of years. She finally left it all in Gods hands about one year ago. Surrendered her daughter to the lord. She gave her nothing. Only promise. My dear sister promised my niece, tat no matter the circumstances, she would always love her. But materials things, she was cut off, on her own. My niece is Bianca's age. She will be 21 in a few weeks. She is currently back at home, this has been the longest in the last year without leaving again.(2 months) Before that, she would just up and leave, no word from her for weeks. One day last year she was found 3 hours from home.left in the street by her so called friends. Overdosed.We wondered if she would live long enough to realize that life could be all she wanted it to be.
      Today, she appears to be sober. She is attending church with my sister again. She appears to be tired of the lifestyle she led for the last 4 years. We pray that she is home for good. We pray that this is not another act. But when my sister cut her off from all monetary means last year, she just surrendered her to God. And although it should have been the easiest thing to do, it was the most difficult.
      Dear Lynette, I have never walked in yours, or my sisters shoes. I cannot give you the advise you long to hear. But I will tell you, your God is a strong God, and listen to him. Pray to him. I pray that he listens soon, and you will get your answer. I am sending you prayers on Angels wings.
      {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}
      Lisa

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