Parenting sometimes involves enduring times when the relationship with a child is strained and even severed for extended periods. Christian parents are not immune to family conflict, but they do have the comfort of knowing that God cares for them and their child, no matter the circumstances. Parents can communicate with God with heartfelt prayers of intercession and petition.
If you are in the midst of an estrangement from your son, you probably feel discouraged and sad. Ask God daily for comfort. He can give you peace of mind and heart even more than well-meaning friends and family can because He cares for your son even more than you do. Isaiah 66:13 tells us, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you."
When you are uncertain about what you should do during the estrangement, ask God to guide you with His wisdom. You might tell God that you don't know what to ask or say. According to scripture, the Holy Spirit communicates this to Him. Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Pray for direction each day. God will reveal to you the steps, if any, you should take regarding your son.
If your son is estranged because of his choice to live an ungodly lifestyle, pray that he will come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, feel remorse and repent. Psalms 25:8 assures us that "He instructs sinners in his ways." If your son is not a Christian, pray that the Holy Spirit would draw him and cause him to realize his need for God. It may take years of "fervent, effectual prayer" as described by the apostle James, but God promises that these type prayers are powerful and can produce wonderful results.
Reconciliation is usually the most hoped-for outcome after an estrangement, although some extreme circumstances won't make that possible. Hopefully, you and your son's relationship can be restored. Ask God to give you and your son a heart of forgiveness and love and the ability to let the past go. As His word tells us throughout the Bible, God will forgive our sins when we repent and "remember them no more." Pray that you can follow that example.
Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.
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