Prodigal Story

Navigating the Advice of Others

In a trial of any kind, you’ll get all sorts of advice.  Others think they know what you’re going through.  But they don’t.

Friends want to help you.  They really do, and they think they’re being helpful.  People have the best intentions.  But, sometimes they give advice based on what they think or feel and not according to what God says about it.

When in our prodigal season, close family members advised us in opposite directions from what God was saying to us.  People think the prodigal son story gives us all the answers.

Let them go.  Like the prodigal, they will return.

But, what about the time between – while you wait?  What is God saying?  What did the father in the prodigal son story do while he waited?  Did he wring his hands, pace back and forth, cry in despair?  Did he send messengers to try to bring the son back?

We received one advisor’s strong opinion based on a particular interpretation of the prodigal son example.

Turn your back on them.  Have nothing to do with them.

That advice seemed like a simple solution for them, but it wasn’t that simple to us.  In Luke 15:11-32, there’s no mention of what the father did – other than to wait for his son’s return.

When the son returns, we see that the father saw him coming from afar.  He had been waiting and watching, in love and expectation, for his son to return.  There’s no rejection in that.

Prodigal StoryOur situation had a component of shame that we needed to dissolve through God’s love.  God told me from early on that we were to show our child His  love.  And that He would bring her back.

While we didn’t support our child financially or otherwise, God directed us to remain in contact with our prodigal in some way.  So, we tried to maintain contact through texting and phone calls – often with no reply. But, we showed her we didn’t reject her.  We tried to show her that we love her – and that God loves her.

In your trial, you should carefully follow God’s instructions through every step of your journey.  Your situation may have a particular component for which God guides you differently from what seems popular.  I encourage you to seek the Lord and stay in tune with His guidance.  He will direct you.  Be sure to do as He directs.  Don’t let others sway you from God’s leading.

This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

Consider this a test of obedience.  It’s a very private test between you and God.  Remember, God is with you.  Others don’t have a say in it.  Only God does.  Are you seeking His guidance, listening, and obeying?


Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.


    • Kim

      We didn’t handle things perfectly by any stretch of the imagination, but we tried to be faithful. I agree with you. I can see how this would apply to many other issues, too. Happy Wednesday! 🙂

  • Pam Richardson

    Kim, you are so right. People may mean well, but most of them haven’t any idea about your personal prodigal. In a very hard season, I had a relative say some very harsh things, they did not have a clue about what God was doing. Hugs and prayers, sweet friend!

  • Robin

    I’ve gotten advice from well meaning people. But they just don’t GET it. They say “Have him talk to so and so” or “have him meet with such and such group that is his age”and I repeat myself over and over, “He won’t go. He doesn’t want to talk. He definitely won’t go or talk to someone from any kind of church affiliated group. He wants to “do him” “.
    We pray. We text. We call. Sometimes we see him. And let God handle it.

    • Kim

      Hi, Robin! It’s great to hear from you. What usually happens is a meeting arranged by God – something unplanned by humans, a remedy designed by God Himself. We can pray for His heart to soften to the Lord and that Satan be bound in the name of Jesus. And, we wait while God works. And He does! Hugs, my friend. 🙂

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