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   Called out of darkness, into marvelous Light. Forgiven, past sins and trespasses remembered no more. Old things passed away, become now a new creation. We have observed parents of adult children having experienced being transformed and renewed in the spirit of their minds – their hearts turned to their adult children who yet need this experience – conflicted between, “And he shall turn … the heart of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6) and “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother …” (Matt. 10:35).
   Surely, no greater joy could come to these parents whose hearts’ desire, before they pass, is to bequeath a Spiritual inheritance to their children (Prov. 13:22); to assume the role of the better in blessing their children (Heb. 7:7); to experience that no greater joy than to both see and hear their children walking in Truth (3 John 1:4), continuing steadfastly in (Acts 2:42) and earnestly contending for the Faith (Jude 1:3); to somehow, reconcile Matthew 10:35 with Malachi 4:6.

Rebekah’s Grief of Mind
   Come to mind, is the account of Isaac and Rebekah … the latter, presumptuously facilitating her well-favored son Jacob should usurp the birthright, and the blessing, reserved to the elder, Esau (Gen. 27:6-17).
   Sorrow of heart, grief of mind? It’s a sad narrative, one that has witnessed consequences to this day – a mother, and a father, who in one day lost both their sons with the elder purposing to slay his younger brother for his treachery (Gen. 27:41-42). After twenty years, Esau was reconciled with his brother Jacob (Gen. 33:3-15) and together with him, buried their father Isaac in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah (Gen. 35:29, 49:30). But there is no Scriptural record that purports to the mother ever being restored to either of her sons. Yes, it’s a sad account, and the dread of every parent estranged from their children – that they should pass, without having been reconciled with their progeny.
   Often, will the parent, now perhaps elderly, sensing even, that the end of their mortalities is proximate and for reason of a gnawing fervor to set things right – perhaps even, to remove a reproach felt for acknowledged parenting deficits that might have contributed to the parent-child estrangement – to seek to resolve those differences that had intruded into the relationship with their children.

The Prodigal’s Father
   As so often characterizes the goodness of Yahweh, He provides examples for our learning (Rom. 15:4); for our admonition (1 Cor. 10:11); for our guidance.
   In the Luke 15:11-32 narrative, Yahshua tells of a certain man who had two sons. (Two sons are often the subjects of Scripture lessons – Cain and Abel; Ishmael and Isaac; Esau and Jacob; Joseph and Benjamin; Ephraim and Manasseh – their relationships very often, lending credence to the proverb, A brother is born for adversity, Proverbs 17:17.
   Here, in Yahshua’s account, the younger of this man’s (representing our Father Yahweh) sons (representative of you and me) decides to break away from the tutelage of his father and strike it out on his own, demanding his portion of his father’s heritage which he subsequently wastes on making provision for the affections and lusts of his flesh (Rom. 13:14) by running to an excess of riot (1 Pet. 4:4) and revelry (Gal. 5:24). (Incidentally, the word prodigal is defined as ‘waster’ and not more popularly interpreted, the portrait of a contrite penitent awakening to righteousness, 1 Cor. 15:34.)
   Indeed, in the context of the chapter which is best summarized in Verse 10, Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of Yahweh over one sinner that repenteth, the prodigal son is properly cast as a principal in the narrative – though he is but one principal. Much to his credit, and to the joy of all with whom he is concerned, this one, after he’s lost his inheritance, comes to his right mind. For most people have great difficulty, when once they find themselves wallowing in the mire of the pig sty, to extricate themselves from the consequence of their sin.
   Nevertheless, if we singularly focus our attention upon the son’s recovery, we overlook the heart of the Father. Yes, we capitalize Father, because we can imagine every day, throughout the day, the Father Whose heart is turned to His child, goes out into the field, looking from horizon to horizon, hoping to see His son’s return, and when He does … Oh, what a blessed reunion. An occasion for rejoicing. Why not, when the younger is seen yet a great way off, with compassion, run to meet His son, enveloping him in His arms with the warmth of a welcomed reconciliation? (Luke 15:20, 22-25). Surely, the demeanor of the prodigal’s father should not be lost on us.

So, What to Do?
   It is helpful for parents to realize that just as it may have taken them many years to come out of the darkness of their past and to repentance and an acknowledgement of Truth, so may it take a long time and the bitterness of life experience to move their adult children into a place of contrition and hence, restoration.
   But using the Word “like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces” (Jer. 23:29) with which to attempt creating a Yah-centered relationship with an errant child(ren), seldom effects a desirable outcome and will more often, result in widening and deepening the cleavage between the parent(s) and the child(ren).
   Quite, will prayer, together with living exemplarily in word, in behavior, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity (1 Tim. 4:8) – briefly comprehended, parents letting their Light so shine before their children, that these latter may occasion seeing their good works and having reason to glorify Yahweh (Matt. 5:16) – better become that vehicle by which children are drawn to the Light. (Yes, preach the Evangel alright, but sparing Words … reserving them to occasions of necessity.)
   Secondly, preparedness is principal. And herewith, we give our advice: Parents, give diligence to show yourselves approved of Yahweh to rightly divide the Truth (1 Tim. 2:15). Discerning the proper season, speak as an Oracle (Isa. 50:4; 1 Pet. 4:11; Prov. 15:23) being ready always, with grace (Col. 4:6) and in meekness and reverence, to give an answer to your children, WHEN they seek a reason for your hope (1 Pet. 4:15) and always, under color of eliciting their consideration to what is said (2 Tim. 2:7), that they might become as fully persuaded in their own mind (Rom. 14:5).
   And we underscore “in meekness” for the servant of Yahweh must not strive. But in gentleness and in patience entreat their children if, perhaps, the Goodness of Yahweh might likewise lead them to repentance and an acknowledgment of Truth (2 Tim. 2:24-25; Rom. 2:4). And afterward, following planting the seed and with only a little watering (1 Cor. 3:6), allow Yahweh His workmanship (Eph. 2:10) to perfect those things concerning them (Psa. 138:8). Patience often comes with a lot of wait!

The Conclusion of the Matter
   “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of Yahweh … through faith and patience … ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while … though it tarry, wait …” (Heb. 10:35-37, 6:12; Hab. 2:3). Faithful is He that calleth (1 Thess.5:24), Who also will perform His Good Work until the day of Yahshua’s appearing (Phil. 1:6).

-Elder John W. Reece

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