12 Ways to Love Your Unbelieving Child

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Loving your unbelieving child

Back in May I shared my heart about my oldest son, who is an unbeliever, called Mothering an Unbeliever. I got a huge response from a lot of you going through the same struggles with your children. To know we are not alone in this journey helps to bring some comfort. Knowing that the hope we find is in Christ, to move in His perfect timing.

My heart goes out to all of you that are still waiting for your child to come back through the door. Know that God knows what you are going through and is with you every step of the way. Its not easy for us as moms to sit back and watch our children go through rebellion against God however, how God uses them afterwards is the true blessing.

Luke 15 brings us much comfort in preparing for the return of our prodigal children. Sifting through all the hurt and disappointment so that when our children do come home we welcome them with a fest.

Luke 15:22-24 “‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”

When my oldest son first left home I wanted to trust that he would do the right thing not fully embracing that he was a sinner in need of Christ. However he got into everything under the sun. So bad that he did not speak to me directly for 4 years. It was one of the hardest things I had to endure as a mother. Through the time that my son was not speaking to me, God was working on my heart. I learned to be more forgiving and to embrace any moment that I got to hear stories about my son.

Though as moms we never are totally prepared for a child to walk away and rebell against God, the reality is they do!

Here are 12 suggestions that I used to love my unbelieving son while he was gone and still use now that he is home! Yes he came back home July 19th! Its a start of a journey after God.

1. Pray Pray Pray. Being on our knees for our children is something we do a lot when are children are rebelling against God. God is the only one that can save them. Pray those hard prayers so that God will show them that He is all they need!

2. Point them to Christ. We know that whatever our children are into that that is not the real problem. The real problem is they do not see Jesus! Everything we do is to point them to Christ. Loving our children right where they are is not an easy thing to do however the distress that is caused and the sin that is keeping them from God will only be removed from their life when they see Jesus clearly. More of Him, Less of Us!

3. Acknowledge that this is not right. For every unbelieving child, the details will look different. Which means that every parent will reach out in unique ways. Don’t leave out your unbelieving child out from family functions because it would be easier but that Heaven won’t be!

4. Don’t expect them to be Christ-Like. If our children are not living under God we can not expect them to act like they are. This was the hardest thing for me as a mom to deal with. God really had to show me that I am to love this child right where he is, helping him to see sin as sin. Until they recognize sin as sin they don’t feel their doing anything wrong. But always remember their unbelief is the most dangerous not what they are into. Keep the focus on the heart sickness not the sin.

5. Be ready to welcome them home. Pray that the Lord will prepare for you for this joyous day with your child. Not making it hard for them to come home. Ask Him to help you love them right where they are even if they are a total mess! Be ready to forgive their debts as you have been forgiven. Them coming home is God giving you a chance to love them to Christ.

6. Love them more then you rebuke them. We want our children to see their sin for what it is, sin. They need to see how we are going to react to their sin. When they see you acting in love even when they are falling apart they will see you do really trust Jesus. The Holy Spirit will do what is needed to draw them closer to Christ without us having to point it out.

7. Connect them to believer that can speak into them. Our son does attend church with us and this has opened up a way for us to connect him to believers that can pour into him. If your child is not home yet pray that God will be someone in their path that will pour His truth into them.

8. Treating our child like we treat other unbelievers. Their life looks nothing like ours. Love them right where they are, showing them who Christ is with every moment you get with them. They are in sin and will do things that you would not.

9. Connect with them through technology. Though technology can be a time stealer it can be a blessing as well. Using it to express your love to child without the expectation that they will respond back. Know they read what you send to them whether it be a voice mail, email or text. Encourage them into Christ arms! His words are never in vain.

10. Plan a get together. If you are going to be in the same area that your child is try setting up a get together with them. See if they will meet you for lunch or if you could stop by and say hi for a moment. In doing this know there is a chance that they may not meet with you. Don’t let the disappointment steer  you from trying again. One day he will meet with you.

11. Be interested in their life. Even though they might be into something that you would not have chose for them, find a way to be interested in what they are doing. Rebuilding the relationship gives you more room to share Christ with them. Never stop praying that God would help them to see their gifts in bringing glory to Him and not themselves.

12. Never stop pointing them to Christ. This is why we are doing what we are doing for our children, Jesus! The ultimate reason to pray for them, welcome them, plead with them, email them, eat with them, or take an interest in their interests is so that their eyes will be opened to Christ. He is the only hope that are children have of coming out of their sin. Its His grace that draws them to Him away from their sin. Never give up on them!

Luke 15:32 “But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

 

What are some ways that you are loving your unbelieving child?

 

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don’t have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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