Where is it written that the Prodigal’s famous father was…the perfect dad? Have we ever thought about his parenting?
We see similarities between this father and Christ. Both lovingly, knowingly, accept the wayward child and extend grace to sinners. Both have children with bad attitudes. One attitude these sons share is entitlement. The younger son, with his grab-and-go attitude for his inheritance, the older son who moans,
“I got straight A’s all through school, kept my room
clean, didn’t party, dated the good girls, went to youth
group, did my Science Fair project solo, fed the dog.
I never got a party!”
Well, something like that.
Admittedly, the point of Luke 15’s Parables is that the hopelessly lost will remain so without the intervention of a persistent Savior. Each Parable holds a promise of a joyful welcome for the lost and found.
But Parables always have many teaching layers. It’s not unreasonable that this dad recognized his parental faults and short-comings. “What part have I played in my sons’ attitudes?” Perhaps in the very gut-spinning of a prodigal child’s life, this father came to a self-awareness that allowed him to say, “God, I’m sorry for my sins and hurts that contributed to my own sons’ sins and hurts. You’ve said that our sin is visited on our children. Thank you for forgiving mine. Enable me to forgive my sons’ theirs. Thank you for Your acceptance and comfort.” Perhaps his grace and wisdom of the story’s end were born of self-reflection, grieving over sin, repentance and then the loving, accepting embrace of His Savior.
May God help us to courageously and authentically know our own sin and hurt and then know God’s forgiveness and comfort, enabling us to forgive and comfort others, particularly those with whom we live and work.
“God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NCV)
Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. To learn more about Melinda, her speaking schedule and her blog please visit her website.