The pain of prodigal sons or daughters is often felt the most keenly by parents who fully invested themselves in intentional parenting. We have spoken with many heartbroken parents who are confused and even a little disappointed in God.
“We did everything we were taught to do. We were always in church; if the doors were open, our family was there. Family worship was a daily priority. We sacrificed to provide a Christian education. Our son won prizes for Scripture memorization. He never gave us any trouble. He even went on mission trips with young people from church. But in college everything changed. He never did get connected to a good church. He started hanging out with young people who were into drugs and the whole party scene. Now he wants nothing to do with Christianity and gets pretty hostile when we bring it up or ask what happened.
“Meanwhile we have friends who were worldly Christians, inconsistent in training their kids, allowed them to watch movies we forbid in our home, they attend church spasmodically, sent their kids to public school, they allow their children far more latitude when it came to making choices and you should see their kids. They love God, they are active in church; they are the young adults we always wanted our kids to be.”
Heartbroken parents are bewildered and confused. They never expected to face such hostility and anger from their kids. They are at a loss about what to do. How can they get beyond the hostility and anger? How can they disarm the rebellion? The experience of broken relationships with teens or young adults is overwhelming. It casts a shadow over all of life. Family events that should be full of joy become reminders of loss.
Margy’s encouragement in this book is that it’s not too late. God has an agenda for you. There are things you can do to change the dynamics of your broken relationship with your young adult. This book will take you on a journey. It will deepen your understanding about what happened in your relationship with your son or daughter. It will provide you with the insight needed to initiate new ways to engage your young adult. It will encourage you toward humility and faith needed for the spiritual battle of moving toward your child in ways that are gracious and gospel centered. It will give you hope as you are reminded that God is at work in all things for your good and his glory.
The teaching in It’s Not Too Late flows from our life experience and the things God taught us in developing healthy relationships with our adult children. It is also the fruit of literally hundreds of hours of counseling that Margy has undertaken with suffering parents.
These experiences have left Margy full of hope in the power of the gospel and the goodness of God’s capacity to use all the trials of life to refine us and bring us forth as pure gold.
—from the Foreword by Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart