Recently I came across an excellent, excellent article by Abraham Piper (John Piper’s son), Prodigals: ‘Let Them Come Home’ (When I was 19, I decided I’d be honest and stop saying I was a Christian). This article is must reading for every Christian parent, especially for those who have prodigal children. Below is the introduction to the article and Abraham’s 12 suggestions for reaching out to prodigal children.
At first I pretended that my reasoning was
high-minded and philosophical. But really I just wanted to drink
gallons of cheap sangria and sleep around. Four years of this and I was
strung out, stupefied and generally pretty low. Especially when I was
sober or alone.
parents, who are strong believers and who raised their kids as well as
any parents I’ve ever seen, were brokenhearted and baffled. I’m sure they were wondering why the child they
tried to raise right was such a ridiculous screw-up now. But God was in
One Tuesday morning, before 8 o’clock, I went to the
library to check my e-mail. I had a message from a girl I’d met a few
weeks before, and her e-mail mentioned a verse in Romans. I went down
to the Circle K and bought a 40-ounce can of Miller High Life for
$1.29. Then I went back to where I was staying, rolled a few
cigarettes, cracked open my drink, and started reading Romans. I wanted
to read the verse from the e-mail, but I couldn’t remember what it was,
so I started at the beginning of the book. By the time I got to chapter
10, the beer was gone, the ashtray needed emptying and I was a
The best way I know to describe what happened to me
that morning is that God made it possible for me to love Jesus. When He
makes this possible and at the same time gives you a glimpse of the
true wonder of Jesus, it is impossible to resist His call.
back on my years of rejecting Christ, I offer these suggestions to help
you reach out to your wayward child so that they, too, would wake up to
Christ’s amazing power to save even the worst of us.
1. Point them to Christ.
3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.
4. Don’t expect them to be Christlike.
5. Welcome them home.
6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.
7. Connect them to other believers.
8. Respect their friends.
9. E-mail them.
10. Take them to lunch.
11. Take an interest in their pursuits.
12. Point them to Christ.
Click the link above to get the full article and read Abraham’s thoughtful explanation of these 12 parenting suggestions.