“You are the reason I am the way I am!”
How many parents hear this from the mouths of their prodigals?
Probably most. If you are one of those parents, you are not alone. It is a strategy of Satan to distract from the real source of blame: Satan himself. This blame game also inadvertently places blame on God, the One you serve.
Most of the time, these accusing words come from adult prodigals, and parents have no control over their choices—only they do, but they do not want to accept the fact they are bringing the pain on themselves. Because prodigals truly believe the lie that parents are to blame, they have no hope within themselves for a good life. Since they cannot change childhood and the past, a different kind of present and future doesn’t seem possible. They feel trapped.
Instead of outright blaming a particular parent, they blame their upbringing as a whole (Isaiah 29:24).
Did you do everything right as a parent? No. No one does. But you most likely parented prayerfully and diligently and from a place of pure and true love.
When your prodigal hurls this accusation at you, you have the right to return a calm reply of, “No, I am not to blame. Satan is.”
And don’t receive the blame. Don’t internalize it. Instead, turn it around through prayer.
- Ask God to take your meager efforts at parenting and make them more than enough. Jesus fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13–21).[i] He can absolutely make your parenting more than enough.
- Ask God to reveal the truth to your prodigal: that Satan is to blame, that the life he/she has chosen is the result of allowing the devil to have a place in his/her life.
- Ask God to reveal the abundant life He has planned for your prodigal and to place a longing in his/her heart for that abundant life.
- Ask God to convict your prodigal of sin and that he/she will no longer be comfortable in sin.
So the best course of action is to:
- Do not internalize or receive the blame.
- Realize most prodigals blame their parents at one time or another.
- Place blame where it belongs—on Satan.
- Ask God to bless your parenting, even if your prodigal is no longer living under your roof.
- Ask God to reveal the truth to your prodigal.
God can absolutely turn this blame game into a part of your prodigal’s return to God!
Our Father, You are indeed not only Father to me but You have a Father’s love for __________. Satan has lied to him/her to the place he/she does not see his/her part in the difficulties sin has brought. It causes a hopelessness, a feeling like he/she cannot change since he/she is not to blame, since he/she cannot change the past/childhood. Bring __________ out of despair. Show him/her truth, that Satan tempted, and he/she gave in. Show him/her that You always provide a way of escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Save __________, sanctify him/her, fill him/her with Your Holy Spirit, and fulfil Your purpose in his/her life, anointing his/her life. Give __________ victory over sin. In Jesus’ name I pray.
[i] Although I have prayed this prayer for years, I do not remember where I first heard/read it. I believe it was by Dr. James Dobson.