This is the second portion of a post I have written to other fellow parents out there who are seeing an ever-widening void in relationship with their adult children.  I have found helpful Andrew Linger’s writing on the subject.  If you missed Part One, it should follow on the page below this post.

  • The father didn’t refuse the prodigal when he returned.

Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him… For this my son was dead, and is alive again. (Luke 15:22, 24)

If you remember, there was a moment in time when the son “came to himself” and realized the error of his ways. He remembered how good life was before, and the graciousness of his loving father that he had forsaken. Yet he believed in the good heart of his father to accept him back, even if only as a servant.  Just as we need to allow our children to make mistakes and learn from them, we also need to allow them to make things right. It is important for our kids to know that they are loved unconditionally and can always return and receive forgiveness—no matter what.  Because the greatest earthly relationship that holds the most potential to bring a prodigal back to where they need to be is actually you, their parent. When the prodigal was at his lowest moment, who came to his mind?… He remembered the unconditional love of his father, and it gave him reason to return to where he knew he should be.

If you have children still in the home, this is so vitally important that you establish a culture now where your home is a place of grace—a place of unconditional love where mistakes are allowed and forgiveness is granted. By doing so you pave the way for the future.  The Father is a beautiful picture of God’s grace towards us, and a beautiful example of the kindness and grace we are to have towards our children. A grace that says, “You can never get too low or go too far to outrun my love. I love you unconditionally, and nothing will ever change that.”

So, to the parent of a prodigal:

Never stop praying

Never stop trusting

Never let fear have the final say

And always love them unconditionally with open arms

Be the parent to your prodigal that God has been to you—gracious, forgiving, loving, and kind. And trust God with the rest.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him… For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. (Luke 15:20, 24)

Andrew Linder  Andrew is a husband, the father of four awesome kids, and a children’s pastor at a thriving church. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation. He blogs about kids and family at, and provides proven resources for VBS and children’s ministry at

Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".