The drive on the way home was somber an unusually quiet. There were no sing-alongs, no laughter, no music, only grim silence. It was if my two young children were in mourning and had just left a freshly dug grave.
As I turned to reach for his hand, I could see the tears flowing uncontrollably from my young son’s eyes. He forcefully pushed my hand away and with his voice breaking, he yelled out,” I can’t take this anymore. Why did we have to leave dad? Mom what have you become? I want my family back!”
What had I become?
For several days his words resonated in my ears. I tried desperately to get the look of his solemn face out of my mind. His face was filled with so much pain, hurt, and so many questions. Yet, his words were so convicting.What had I become? My marriage was under attack and we had drifted apart, but instead of choosing to fight for my marriage, in my discontentment I selfishly opted for what looked like the easiest way out. I had chosen to take the road that I convinced myself would "lead to a better life."
I found myself living out the life of the parable of that prodigal son. You see, his discontentment had led him straight to a life of coveting and wanting more. Just like that prodigal son, I set out to seek a life of fulfilling my own self centered pleasures. I can’t even imagine the pain and deep anguish that the father felt that day when his prodigal son came to him and said,"give mewhat is mine.” In a sense that son was really saying, "I wish you were dead! You haven’t died soon enough to suit me, I want what is mine now!"
My hand quivers as I write this next line; I feel my emotions taking over. I have to ponder if years ago when my marriage was broken, did not my husband’s heart break in that same way? Oh, how he questioned, how he pleaded, how he cried, when I looked at him, and I too said, "I want out, give me what is mine!” I wonder if the thought ever crossed his mind, does my wife think she’d be better off if I were dead?
But, just like the father of the prodigal son, my husband prepared his heart, cried out to God and surrounded himself with godly people to encourage him for my homecoming. Just being candid, I never once had to leave the comfort of our home. It was my husband who was forced to leave. Yet I had chosen to flee from my responsibilities as a wife and a mother.
Months later after godly counsel, repentance and seeking forgiveness, I was spiritually returning home to my marriage and to my family. I had realized the foolishness in my actions and most importantly, I had realized that I was nothing without God. Friends, I was so tired of eating after the swine, tired of flirting with sin, hanging out with people who only liked me for what I could do for them, or for something I was not.
Celebrate When the Lost Are Found!
But just like the parable of the prodigal son, my story does not end there. I can hear my husband shouting out now to all our neighbors, get out the fatted calf, turn up the music, let me get her wedding ring cleaned and shined up, I am putting on my finest suit! Kids, put on your best clothes, let’s run out to Krispy Kreme and grab her favorite doughnut, stop by the store and load up on her favorite chocolates, God has restored our home! God has redeemed your mother! My beautiful bride is coming home!
Hallelujah! Are you finding yourself in a desperate situation just like the father of the prodigal son? Or just like my husband with his prodigal wife? Maybe it is a teenage son or daughter who has walked away? Maybe you are barely holding on, as you cry out to God for healing in your marriage and for that prodigal spouse to come home?
Friend, my GOD has sent me to tell you: keep standing, keep praying, get in the word surround yourself with godly people who will encourage and lift you up! As long as you are breathing there is HOPE! Don’t ever give up. Very soon that prodigal may come running home!
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” Ephesians 1:18
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