Reply To A Hurting Dad

We recently received a letter from a dad. His son was making some choices that he knew would ultimately lead to the boy’s demise both spiritually as well as physically. As the father poured out his anguish over the situation, he candidly revealed IMG_2186that he had struggled with his own demons. He was a recovering alcoholic and felt that the enemy was using the heartbreak and stress over his son’s situation to tempt him to start drinking again. By the tone of the letter, it became obvious that both the father and the son were on the brink of destruction.

If this hurting father’s struggle describes what you’re going through with a child, perhaps the thoughts I shared with him will be an encouragement and comfort to you as well.

  • God doesn’t force His children to do the right thing or make right choices, neither can we. Because every sin begins with believing a lie, ask the the Heavenly Father to help you pinpoint the deception and pray specifically and fervently against it. (John 8:32, 36; John 17:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:3)


  • Pray that the child will find no true pleasure or lasting peace in their sin. Like the empty-pocketed prodigal son came to his senses and returned to his father, pray that your child will also see his need and be driven back into the Heavenly Father’s arms. In no way is it an easy prayer to pray but let the hope of your child’s salvation strengthen your resolve. (Luke 15:11-32)         God does nothing except in response to believing prayer. John Wesley


  • While you should not condone the sinful choice your child is making, you can be kind to them. Loving the sinner while hating the sin is like loving the patient and hating the terminal cancer. Because sinful behavior is not satisfied with being tolerated, rather it demands to be affirmed and accepted, be careful to avoid encouraging the behavior. Ultimately, it is neither loving nor kind. (Romans 2:4)
  • As the parent, don’t let your child’s bad choices change you. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy both you and your child, but Jesus came to give life more abundantly. If the enemy can neutralize the parent who is standing in the gap by praying for the wayward child, he has won. Don’t become weary in well doing, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)                                           –
  • Stay in fellowship with other believers. Don’t try to go it alone in your battle for your child’s soul. Remember what Corrie Ten Boon said, “When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.

Annie Chapman

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