Hope for Parents of Prodigals

​​​​​​​Date:  March 23, 2016

Host:   Jim Schneider

Guest:   Shirley Elliot

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As Christian parents we’re called to faithfully raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The problem is, what happens when our children grow into adulthood and make a conscience decision to live in opposition to God’s instructions given to them from their parents? At that point parents can begin to believe that they have failed their children and God in some way.

Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Shirley Elliot. Shirley counsels through the Hope Center at Christian Family Chapel in Jacksonville, Florida, where she teaches women’s Bible studies. She holds a Master’s degree in Biblical counseling from the Master’s College and is certified through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. She is the author of ‘From Heartbroken to Hopeful: “Gospel Hope for Parents of Prodigals’.

Shirley is firmly engaged in this topic as she’s the mother of a prodigal daughter who has admitted she is without Christ so this topic is very personal for her.

According to Shirley, the Bible (in Psalm 127) describes children as being like arrows. This is in the sense that they were intended to be thrust out from families for the purposes of the gospel. Those arrows are painful when they come back and do a u-turn in the heart of mom or dad who thrust them out with one purpose, only to find that they took a turn and accomplished a completely different purpose.

Families are often driven by the schedules and activities of their kids rather than being driven by the thought of what God wants for them as a family. While she agrees that paying attention to our kids is a good thing, too much of it can cause the home to be too child focused and she sees that in the culture of the church. She believes that bringing Christ back to the center of the home involves helping kids understand that they are not the center of the universe or the center of attention and that Christ is supreme, first and foremost. If we acknowledge him, he will direct our paths.

What part does forgiveness play in all of this? What does it mean to have a ‘gospel gaze’? How does God’s sovereign grace fit into helping the prodigal? These questions and more are answered for parents on this edition of Crosstalk.

More Information

To obtain a copy of the book, ‘From Heartbroken to Hopeful’ for a donation of $17 or more, call 1-800-729-9829, go to www.vcyamerica.org or write to:

3434 W. Kilbourn Ave.
Milwaukee, WI. 53208

Contact:  To be in contact with Shirley Elliott, you may email:  ShirleyE@cfcjax.com

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