The Love of A Father

As I was reading The story of “The Prodigal Son”  in Matthew.   I have read it many times, and you probably have too.  As I was reading, God focused my attention not on the prodigal, but the father.   When the son demanded his inheritance, the father could have said, “I am not giving you your inheritance right now.” Or “You’re not responsible enough to handle it yet” …. but he didn’t.  The father gave him the estate possibly knowing what the outcome would be.  Why would he let him have his way?  I believe it is because God will NEVER force us to love him.  The son’s, there were two, had the same choice that we have.  We can choose to love God or not.  When the son left his father’s house, the one thing we don’t see is the father “chasing after his son.  The father let the son go.  The father NEVER once bails him out. Did he not love the Son?  Of course he did!  The son went out and made a zillion bad life choices. In spite of this, the father was waiting and watching for the son to come home.  He still loved him immensely.  I believe the father knew something that we often forget.  The bad life choices can be the catalyst to bring us to the love of the father.   The son wasn’t ready to love the father until he was out in a pig pen wallowing in the mud wrestling pigs for food.  Sometimes when we see a friend, a spouse, a child, making what we know is a horrible decision, the best thing we can do is pray but let them go.  We don’t let them go because we don’t love them, but because we do love them.   I find this hard because I am a nurturer, protector.  When I see someone floundering after making a terrible choice I want to rush in like a category 5 tornado and bail them out.  That’s not always a bad thing, but it MAY be if it keeps them from longing for God.  Chasing after people never causes them to love us or God.  Do you think the son would have ever come home if the father had chased him?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  He likely would have resented him and gone farther from home.  The son had to realize what he gave up.  The father loved him enough to let him go, so that WHEN he came back the son would love him.  The father waited and watched for the day that the son would return home.   When the son turned toward home, THEN the father went to him.

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