I know children who were
raised in Christian families, grown now, who rebelled against their parents and
walked away from the Lord as teens. I know children who were homeschooled
through high school, grown now, who have rebelled against their parents and
walked away from the Lord. I have been praying for the families I know, who are
going through this hell, for some time.
The pain these parents
are in is like the grief if a child had died, except it is grief which time
does not heal. In one instance, the daughter is living such a worldly, sinful,
and dangerous lifestyle that the parents’ constant worry is that this will be
the day they receive news of her death. Add to that the knowledge that if their
daughter died in this state, they would be separated from her for eternity. And
each time they see her, her increasing worldliness opens fresh
wounds and deepens the pain of the existing ones.
The rejection they have
endured from the church only adds to what must be the most painful thing a
human being must live with that I can think of: a child’s rebellion against and
rejection of his parents.
But as I was praying for
one of these families last night, I realized something: the Lord Himself knows the pain
the parents are going through. He understands it completely, for He has been
there, and is still there. His firstborn, Israel, rebelled against Him time and
time again, and rejected Him over and over to serve the gods of the people in
whose land they dwelt.
It cannot be said that
unrighteousness on the Lord’s part caused Israel to
rebel from her Father, God Almighty, who delivered her from Egypt with signs,
wonders, and an outstretched arm. Just as it cannot be said that the father in
the parable of the prodigal son was responsible for his son’s rebellion, for
Jesus uses that father to paint a picture of our heavenly Father.
For the parents of rebellious children, there is not
much comfort to be found, in the church or in the world. But their
heavenly Father sympathizes intimately with the pain they are living with. He has not rejected them, but is walking with them and is holding
them closely and tightly through their grief. That is greatly comforting.