I have been thinking the last few days about the Prodigal son. I have been thinking about how his dad must have reacted to his decision. Do you think he tried to plead his case with his son? I really don't think he did. I think that he did what any truly loving father would have done. I think he helped him pack. It would have been the worst decision for the dad to try to talk his son out of decision. The lesson that his son would have missed learning from screwing up would be so much more valuable than if he had stayed at home. You can talk to some people forever. They may appear to agree with you, but until they experience all the heartache of failure, then they will never truly accept the truth you are trying to teach them. The greatest teacher in the world is when we have to lean over and pick up the pieces of our own failure. I think sometimes today we try to hard to insure that our children never fail. We give out trophies just for participating in order that children never experience the truth of not measuring up. What does that do to a kid when they experience that failure in adulthood? They are devastated. Was it really loving to convince them that they will always measure up? I don't think so. The truth of the world as that sometimes we just are not as good as we think we are. The truth also is that every decision we make is not necessarily the best decision. Loving someone should never be assumed to mean that you will agree with every decision your loved ones make. Sometimes you have to let them screw things up and make a mess out of their lives. The loving part is when you are there to pick them up and help them to learn from the mistakes they have made.
I was also thinking about when the son found himself in a pig sty. There are some parents today that would probably have taken their son dinner in the pig sty. You know the people I am talking about. Their kids are terrible with money, so every time their kid gets an eviction notice they run and pay their rent. That is not love. That is hurting someone you love. They will never learn to be a better stronger person until they learn to see where they are weak. When kids fall, then we should let them. When kids learn from their mistakes and come home, then we should meet them on the road and embrace them. Hold a feast and celebrate that they have come home. That is what it means to truly love someone.