Prodigal Fathers

Have you ever considered the father figure in the Parable of the Prodigal to be the focus of that story, not the wayward son? After all, the word “father” is mentioned many more times than the word “son.”

A “prodigal” is defined as one who “spends extravagantly.” While the son spent his inheritance; it was the father who was the most extravagant, both with his money and with his love. It was the father who was the prodigal.

Whether or not Jesus’ parable was taken from a real life example, I imagine it wouldn’t be easy for any father to see his son live a sinful lifestyle and waste his inheritance. But there is no mention of the father bringing brute force or threats to bear to hold back his son or to bring him home, any more than God forces Himself on us. Continue reading “Prodigal Fathers”

Parenting Teens This Week

This week instead of my regular article, I thought I’d mention a few things that caught our attention over the past few days…

Parenting in the News…

TimeThis week’s Time Magazine cover story is titled, The Case Against Over-Parenting. The cover pictures a child as a puppet, with his actions manipulated through strings; presumably from a parent positioned above.  I especially like the section in the article about the unrealistic fear many parents have for their child’s safety and their future.  The article states, “Fear is a kind of parental fungus: invisible, insidious, perfectly designed to decompose your peace of mind. Fear of physical danger is at least subject to rational argument; fear of failure is harder to hose down. What could be more natural than worrying that your child might be trampled by the great, scary, globally competitive world into which she will one day be launched? It is this fear that inspires parents to demand homework in preschool…(and) continue to provide the morning wake-up call long after the he’s headed off to college.” Continue reading “Parenting Teens This Week”

The Adopted Teen’s Quest for Identity

adopted-boyAdoption is obviously a better alternative to a child languishing “in the system” – living in foster care or an orphanage. That’s why I have worked many years with national and international adoption organizations whose goal is to match needy kids with great parents. As I’ve experienced these adoptions first hand, I firmly believe that God has His hand in every case. After all, God is the ultimate authority on adoption. I think He provides specific parents with specific children for specific reasons. It may be hard to believe, but God may have given you a child knowing that as a teen they would struggle, and that He would need you for such a time as this. Continue reading “The Adopted Teen’s Quest for Identity”