The Prodigal Mom & Better Mom Mondays Link-up!!


This word has been chasing me all week. It is defined as “one who spends or gives lavishly or foolishly, one who moves toward or closer to someone else.”

When I think of the story Jesus told about the prodigal son, I instantly identify with the shame and squander of the man returning.  The son, wishing his father was dead, claims his portion and leaves home only to loose it all. He returns a defeated heap of a man, an utter mess, ready to beg for the position of a slave in his father’s house. Just thinking about it makes my chest tug and twist with my own grief over possessions and experiences I have felt entitled to and over gifts I have not stewarded well. I so get this guy. Often, I can even camp out in my own shame so long, that I miss the picture of a God who is wanting to spend lavishly and foolishly on me. Anyone else skip over that part the first time too? The father, upon his son’s return, throws an extravagant feast, kills the fattened calf, and embraces his son beyond all reason. He doesn’t wait for him to come with apologies, but races to meet him on the road. And then, beyond a greeting, he spares no expense to love on this child even further: the son who has already squandered, already proven he is unwise, has a party thrown in his honor. In the eyes of the world, this father hadn’t learned a thing. He was a fool. He was throwing away what was left of his estate on son who had already spent half of it.

In all honesty, I sometimes struggle with the prodigal father, the one who spends it all and then some on a son like that because ultimately, I struggle with receiving gifts that are completely undeserved. I’d much rather earn my share. On my own, apart from the mind of Christ, I am  more apt to side with the older brother in this story and question the justice of the celebration. But when I take a moment to consider one of my own children walking up the driveway… ReturningFoundAll justice flees. I can only picture my own uncoordinated sprint towards them, watching them come, longing to be closer to them and then scooping them up and never letting them leave my arms. Shame and disloyalty, bitterness and broken hearts all fade away in a moment like that.

Love is all that is remains.

Love is what compels the prodigal father to prepare that feast, to spend even more on this lost one. And, it is what motivates our Prodigal God to move toward us, to die in our place, to spend his life lavishly, brutally, fully and then some…on us and for us – his wayward children.

I want to be a prodigal mom.

I want to be the kind of mom that pursues, that moves toward my children, that seeks to pour out my own life for theirs when to all the world it seems foolish. I want to embrace, to comfort, to reach into the dark places where they are camping out, and be a bearer of truth and light and affection. Especially when there is nothing to recommend them to reward. When they flop and fail and loose control, I want my love to seep into their souls and echo the voice of our Prodigal God: “You are held. You are seen. You are known. You are loved beyond condition. You will always be pursued. Always Welcomed. Always in my care.”

My prayer for you is that you will run with abandon to the ONE who has spent it all on you because He loves you. May what you find in his arms fill you up to love your children with lavish affection.

What little ways do you speak love to your babes? What can you do to run to them today?




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  1. says

    Loved this!! Great insight… I absolutely love Tim Keller’s book The Prodigal God. Totally changed my perspective on that story and YES AND AMEN to the idea of being “prodigal” in the way we parent our kiddos. God’s heart is so extravagant toward us and I SO want to love my kids that way.

  2. says

    Mmm, I’ve been so focused on myself lately, that I haven’t been overly focused on loving them – so I’ve been a prodigal in a different way! Thank you for this word to speak love and move toward our children!

  3. says

    Thanks for hosting!

    In mass yesterday, our pastor talked about being Christ-like. He told a story about a priest who would help with evaluating whether or not a seminarian was ready to be ordained. The priest would go to the maintenance man and the kitchen staff to see if the seminarian had developed a relationship with them, the people often seen as powerless. Then, he would know whether or not a priest was Christ-like.

  4. Emily says

    I think truly loving our kids unconditionally is hard, because you are right, sometimes it feels like they don’t deserve it, however, I am reminded almost daily that I have done nothing to really earn them. My children are a gift. Love your perspective – you are a wonderful inspiration.

  5. says

    Before I was a Christian, I used to be annoyed at the story of the Prodigal son. He callously takes his father’s money and runs, and only returns when he has nowhere else to go. I always thought his father should have booted him from the property.

    Ahh, but now as a Christian and a parent of young adults, I have such a deeper understanding of the lost and the returning. As you noted, when your child comes back up that driveway, your reaction to to run and embrace. Funny how time and a different perspective can change a heart. :-)

  6. MomsMustardSeeds says

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder….It’s so easy to lose site of grace in this world…beautiful to find it in the words of another.

  7. says

    I appreciate how you’ve connected this story to motherhood. Over the weekend, I heard someone speak about allowing your kids to fall and fail and deal with the consequences of their actions. I believe you’ve revealed the appropriate next step here, after they fall and fail, the the one who is there to scoop them up and love on them. Thanks for sharing!


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