Where have all the prodigals gone and how can we keep them from going?

 I walked into the living room this morning to find this. 



My sweet daughter has been writing her own "book" or commentary of the bible to share with her friend next door. She colour-coded important words and was sitting determined and focused on her work. 

She's encountered God. 

She's experienced Him. 

She's tasted His goodness and has felt His nearness. She's heard His voice and I can confidently say she knows Him. Im not writing this to brag in any way but to make a point. 

I often sit and am amazed at the depth of relationship my kids have with Jesus. I often find myself desiring the simplicity and authenticity of their relationship with Him. The thing that amazes me the most is how God has brought this about in the midst of my busyness, selfishness, and my fears that I would fail them in this area. This is how He gets all the glory. 

He's done it all. 

We stopped going to mainstream "church" while they were very young and since then I can say that's when their relationship with Jesus has taken off. I left the four walls of the church to do church, to be the church, and to fellowship with others who desire to follow Jesus in the everyday of life. When Jesus drew us away from that part of our life, I noticed my life starting to actually look like what's in the bible. I saw people come to Christ, I saw people healed, I saw people set free. 

I saw the bible and Jesus come to life. 

I have nothing against organized church, it served a very important purpose in my journey and this post isn't about that. I will save that for another controversial post. 

The purpose of what I'm sharing with you now is to show you how God has done what He's done in my home and I do feel pursuing biblical church and the life in the book of Acts played a major part in that. 

There are small things God has led me to do with my kids that I believe impacted their relationship with Him but I will admit it wasn't nearly as often as I would have liked or as often as I should have. I often battle the guilt of this but then God graciously reminds me that He's the one who does the work anyways. 

There is a huge falling away of young people from Christianity. There has been for a while now. There are many factors that play into that for sure but one of the biggest factors I believe plays into our children falling away or becoming prodigals is that they haven't experienced God. They have heard about Him, they have read about Him, but they haven't felt Him, heard him, and they haven't really known Him. They haven't seen His life actually lived out around them. I believe a big part of this is because as their parents and role models a lot of the time we haven't either. 

We have made God a Sunday morning God and then try to fit Him into our lives instead of making Him our life. We made His word into a motivational script instead of living, breathing truth. We have fallen into religion and not into love. And this is what our children are seeing and experiencing. Then when they grow older they struggle because they have no idea why they believe what they've been told to believe. They need to know what following Jesus means, they need to see us follow Jesus, and they need to be shown that they can pursue a deep and tangible relationship with Him. 

While my kids haven't had nearly as much theological training as I would like, they have seen Jesus at work. My daughter has had her dreams radically changed from darkness and torment to prophetic and intimate interactions with God. All through prayer and faith. 

My son has been healed many times by Jesus and has healed many through His own hands. He's been filled with the Holy Spirit and has laid hands on His friends and partnered with the Holy Spirit to fill them by sharing the gospel and knowing that Jesus will do what He says. 

They have heard God speak because they are willing to sit and listen and then believe Him when He does. They have seen people tormented and living in darkness be set free and brought into life by Christians who truly believe that we have been sent to set the captives free. People who don't make worldly excuses for satan's torment. 

We need to seek Jesus because he promises to be found. And we need to show that to our children. We need to come to Him humbly and desire to know Him. And then we need to follow Him. To believe that He is more than a theological concept or a one way ticket to heaven. 

Our children need to see that we believe the gospel is true and actually saves and to do this they need to see us verbally share the hope of it with those around us. They need to see that God still heals by us reaching out in faith and praying for the sick and broken. They need to see that God is love by seeing us reach out to our depressed, lonely, and anxious neighbour. 

They need to see that we aren't trying to fit Jesus into our already established lives but that Jesus is our life and everything else is just a means to glorify God and bring others into this incredible, life-giving, intimate, and tangible relationship with Him. 

If you are sitting here reading this asking how, or if you are sitting here reading this baffled because you don't know how to lead your children in this because you yourself haven't experience relationship with Jesus in this way or don't know how to really live for Him, then it's ok. I can confidently say you don't need years of experience and a trip to seminary before that can change. It really is as simple as you desiring relationship with Jesus and being willing to seek Him out. And you can do that with your children.

Just start. Just sit and ask Him to show up. Ask Him to come reveal Himself to you as He really is. Ask Him to strip away religion that has been smothering the reality of who He can be in your life and your kids lives. Put your commentaries, devotionals, and books aside and open your bible. Even if you don't understand a single word, ask God to teach you, and Him to show you who He is, ask Him to show you what He did and what He wants you to do. Ask Him to show you that you can do the same things He's done. 

Go out and pray for the sick and hurting and believe they will be healed simply because God says they will. Go share the incredible gift of Jesus with the lady at the grocery store knowing that God's power and gospel will shatter all the deception in her life. And do this with your kids watching. Do what Jesus did even if you never see the fruit of it because the bible is true and says that God will show up regardless of what our experience tells us. 

Find people who are actually following Jesus. Find people who know Him. Find people who don't care about this world and what it has to offer. Find people who are set on eternity. If you can't find them ask God to bring them to you and He will. 

If you don't know of this Jesus I'm talking about I pray just by reading this He will come and open your heart to Him and reveal Himself to you. Jesus is alive. God in the flesh who came to save the sinner (us), who came to heal the sick and set the captives free. The Jesus who took our place on the cross and reconciled us to a Holy and Good God. Jesus who defeated death by being raised from the dead three days later to give us eternal life. Jesus who is coming back very soon. Come to Him all who are weary and burdened and He will give you rest. 

I've met Him, I know Him, and I trust Him. I can attest to His goodness and faithfulness in my life. I can attest to His great and unfathomable love. I can attest to His freedom. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, want to know more, want to follow Jesus, want freedom, want healing, or really just anything. I love you and I want you to know this amazing love, freedom, and purpose that comes from Jesus alone. 

My prayer for my kids and yours is that, like Simon Peter, when they see others walking away they will confidently say, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."


email-tinyhousewife@gmail.com

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