*I am so grateful and proud that Lori Wildenberg chose to write Messy Journey. I’ve bought more than 10 copies and given them away. YES, it’s THAT amazing! I read this book before it was released and enthusiastically endorsed it. This book is for parents of prodigals, but it’s also for youth pastors, pastors, and counselors. Lori has been a friend on some of my darkest days and Messy Journey will be a friend to countless hurting parents as they seek biblical wisdom on a journey they never intended to take. ~ Vicki
He’s a good kid.
She was raised to know the Lord.
How could he make this choice? How could she do this thing?
Confusing isn’t it?
We think we have protected our kids from evil, wrong thinking, and immoral behavior because we raised them with faith and family values.
A guaranteed good and godly outcome is to be expected. “I did my part, now God— you do yours.”
Why do good kids engage in, “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”?
Perhaps we ask the wrong question.
Do I think my tween, teen, or young adult should have a better outcome than the first two people who walked and talked with our Heavenly Father in the Garden of Eden?
Life is filled with the unexpected.
The only expected things are taxes, death, and… sin.
Sin is a sure thing.
It is hard and hurtful when we train up our children in the way they should go…and they go the other way. Many faithful Christ-follower parents have shared their heartache with me. And I’ve had my portion of painful parenting times.
We share the feeling of deep loss and painful surprise. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought my child would…” is a line we speak.
The prodigal-type list is long, but these four groups encapsulate most of the issues: Good Kids raised by good parents who are drug addicts, unbelievers (even atheists), sexually active (even promiscuous), and alcohol abusers (or are even alcoholics).
What do we do if we have a prodigal under our roof?
We follow the example from the Garden.
• We maintain a relationship with our kids.
• We continue to warn our kids regarding what to avoid.
• We talk with our kids by asking questions when they partake in the forbidden fruit.
• We ask questions rather than accuse.
• We protect our kids after the issue has been disclosed. (God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden for their own protection.)
• We still sacrifice for them. (The first sacrifice clothed Adam and Eve.)
• We continue to be a part of their lives. (God knew their kids, Cain and Abel)
• We are just and merciful.
• We show grace and speak truth.
• We do all this with humility because sin is a sure thing.
Keep talking. Keep protecting. Keep praying.
In the midst of the unexpected, keep loving with the knowledge that sin is in our blood. But…forgiveness is in His!
Love bears all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7a ESV
Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a life time. She is a licensed parent-family educator and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. She has written 4 parenting books with Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home published by New Hope as her most recent. She is a parent consultant, national speaker, and lead Mentor Mom over at the Moms Together Facebook Community Page. Lori is a contributor to a number of on-line magazines. Every Monday you can find her blogging about faith and family at loriwildenberg.blogspot.com . Mostly, Lori is wife to Tom and mom of four. The Wildenbergs home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her hubby, four kids plus a daughter-in-love, and Murphy the family labradoodle.
Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home
Messy Journey is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. Be inspired to drink the deep waters of peace as you draw closer to the Father of all prodigals. Author and licensed parent and family educator Lori Wildenberg offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating your relationship with a detoured child whether they are rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior. There is hope. After all, their struggle isn’t really with you, it’s with God.
Lori Appel Wildenberg