So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
This beautiful parable gives us a warm and intimate image of God as a forgiving and loving father. As a good parent should, he has given his son licence to make mistakes – and learn from them. Ideally, this is how all parents feel about their children. We are also challenged to provide this example, loving this way in all of our relationships. It is challenging to do so because we have no defences from the pain of rejection & disappointment.
It is easy to fall into the trap of controlling as a form of ‘love’. However, we know our own growth occurs when we are free – including free to fail. Therefore, we need to model that to our young people. Yes, such love is open to abuse – but aren’t the successes breathtaking!
Have a great week!