You’ve seen the movies. Someone grew up feeling completely misunderstood by their parents, and something happens within the course of the movie that causes the parents to accept the child with all his/her qualities as fantastically wonderful. The parent is played as being in the wrong, and the child is always right in those movies, and they all live happily ever after.
Satan lies to prodigal children, saying their parents are wrong for not
accepting them for “who they are.”
Actually, the one not accepting them for who they are is Satan himself. Godly parents know who their children are, that they were created fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14), that they belong to God, and that they were created to be God’s children, joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), holy and righteous, and kingdom-minded.
Instead, Satan lies to prodigals, telling them their own plans and ideas are best, they are the most important person on earth, they should not be concerned about the identity their parents claim as real, truth is relative, the Bible is antiquated and irrelevant, and they can create themselves to be whomever they want to be.
There are times parents truly do not accept their children for who they are, for who they were created to be—a mathlete instead of an athlete, an athlete instead of a violinist, a violinist instead of a doctor, a doctor instead of a lawyer, an introvert instead of an extrovert—and they push their children to fulfill the dreams they as parents have for them. That is wrong. I am not talking about that. Parents should accept them for who God made them to be.
That is the key: who God made them to be, and that will always, always line up with the Word of God, the truth that will stand forever as truth. Their God-given identity is non-negotiable and nor open for re-creation.
This conundrum puts parents in a difficult place, because they love their children more than anything besides the Lord, and they want them to be happy and to feel accepted and loved by them. But it is because of that great love that the sin in their lives can never be accepted, because it will lead to death, spiritually and sometimes physically.
How can truly loving parents say they love their children when they accept sin in their lives as part of who they are? If that child was about to jump off a cliff to make a statement about their identity, the parent would do everything in their power to stop the jump.
The same goes spiritually. When a parent sees a child participating in anything against the Word of God, they fight against that sin because of their great love for their children, using the mighty spiritual weapons given by God and revealed in His Word, following the leading of the Holy Spirit in doing anything necessary to not support the sin, enable it, or agree with it, because it leads to eternal death.
It is truly painful to hear your child accuse you of not loving them or supporting them, saying they wish you would support them and their decisions the way other people do, or the prodigal is screaming because the parent will not bail them out of jail yet again or give them money. It is difficult when you know they don’t see the depth of your love for them, a love so intense that it drives you to your knees often or moves you to give up food in a fast.
You still love and support them, who they really are, but not their sin. Draw the lines where the Holy Spirit leads you and the Bible tells you, understanding the accusations are part of the spiritual battle, evidence of yet another lie told prodigals by Satan.
And remember that our battle is not with our children, as we find in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are fighting Satan and his demons because of our great love for our children. We will not waver from the Word of God, and we will not stop fighting for their salvation. Ever! The outcome is too important.
Our Father, You see the tension and sometimes outright battles in my relationship with __________. I know that tension is spiritual, that he/she is not the enemy, so help me to never take it personally.
Help me to stay true to Your Word. While my heart longs for restoration of relationship, help me never to compromise truth and to trust You with the restoration. Open __________’s eyes to truth, and clear their path of anything keeping him/her from running to You. Let there be restoration as Your Word says (Isaiah 57:18; Joel 2:25).
Help me to keep faith in You and Your plan for __________ and to never give up.
In Jesus’ name I pray.