It’s About the Relationship

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Luke 15:22-24 “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Three parables and three responses are given to when one is restored. The first parable was about a man who lost his sheep, and when he found him, he came home and rejoiced because he found it. The second parable is about a lady who lost her coin, and when she found it, she called her friends and neighbors and asked them to rejoice with her because she found the lost coin. The third parable is about the prodigal son, who, when he came back home, his father killed the fatted calf and made merry because his son was found.

The responses in Heaven about each of these parables is helpful to understanding what is important to God. In the parable of the lost sheep, the saved in Heaven were filled with joy over the one who repented. In the parable of the lost coin, the angels of God rejoiced over the sinner who repented. However, in the parable of the prodigal son, the father rejoicing because of the restored relationship. The father made more of the relationship than he did about his son’s sin. It was the pharisaical son that was the one who focused on the wrong instead of the restored relationship.

These parables teach a very important principle that shows parents how to be a better parent. It is interesting about the prodigal son that he knew that his father would take him back no matter what he had done. It is emphasized that sin kept the prodigal from seeing his father’s love for him, but when he came to himself is when he knew that no matter what he had done, his father’s love for him would cause him to take him back despite what he had done.

My friend, your children need to know that there is nothing they can do that can stop them from having a loving relationship with you. When your children do wrong, they don't need you to punish them forever; they need to know that the relationship is never in jeopardy. The household rules should not be there to make your children conform so that they don't embarrass or inconvenience you, but those rules should be there to bring your children closer to you. Children need to know that they are loved no matter what they do, but that sin only complicates the ability to have a close relationship.

Moreover, when your children do wrong, be careful about continual punishment because they have done wrong. Too many parents want to throw back in the child’s face about what they have done in the past instead of dealing with what has broken the relationship in the present. You will drive your children away if you constantly dig up the past to throw it in your child’s face every time they do wrong. A healthy and loving relationship is never about what we have done in the past, but what is going on in the present.

The best thing you can establish in your child’s mind is that you love them no matter what they do. This does not mean that you approve of their sin but that your love for them is not dependent on what they do. Children need their parent’s approval, and when they realize they are loved no matter what is will cause them to want to do right so that they won’t disappoint you.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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