What to do when Your Child Becomes a Prodigal

What to do when your child becomes a prodigal

By Dominic Herbst

When our connection to our children becomes weak or broken, it creates some of the most trying times in life. We have visions of when they were born or perhaps milestones, good and bad, along the way. We wonder where we went wrong and if we could ever fix the past. Questions and concerns fill our thoughts…

What kind of trouble will they get into?

What kind of pain will they face?

What will the consequences be?

What will it take to bring them back home— to their family and to their God?

Contrary to popular opinion, there are ways you can help your prodigal child get back on the right path, and they may not be what you would think!

Just as our heavenly Father draws us to Christ, so it is that the parent of the prodigal child can pour forth a drawing, sacrificial spirit in Christ. “No man comes unto Me except the Father Who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44). This is a drawing spirit, not a controlling or manipulative spirit. Manipulation will drive your child’s heart farther and faster away from you.

In fact, the most powerful answer is in prayer. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” (James 5:16).

There is a way to remove all obstacles and barriers to your child’s triumphant return to you. Focus on praying and interceding on their behalf that they would submit with a heart of repentance to God. When your child comes back to God, they will return to you.

In the meantime, your thoughts, your behavior, and your response to your prodigal child is critical. Remember the story of the prodigal son and his father in the bible? The father’s attitude towards his wayward son was one of love, patience, tenderness, and significantly— one of surrender—allowing God to bring his son home and bring him to repentance. He waited expectantly, but did not demand his return, or chastise him for his mistakes, or punish him for his behavior. He received his returning son with a fatherly love.

“But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20).

This verse shows us that his father was looking far down that path every day after his son had gone away. Imagine how many times he would see a neighbor or stranger come upon the path to his property only to be disheartened that it was not his son. But this time was different and the father didn’t hesitate… He ran to him!

Our heavenly Father is always looking down that path for the child you love so dear. Let His Spirit draw the heart of your child. All you need to do is cast your cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), take captive your thoughts of doubt and fear (2 Cor. 10:5), and partner with the Heavenly Father in prayer (1 Thess. 5:17).

To learn more about this topic and many others, visit https://restoringrelationships.org/free-resources and request access to our free discipleship video library.


Dominic P. Herbst, M.A., M.S. Therapist, author, consultant, and public speaker Dominic Herbst is a nationally renowned figure in the fields of family therapy and troubled youth. He works with a wide variety of people and organizations including professional and college athletes, corporate executives, prison inmates, churches, and people or families in crisis. He has also made numerous national television appearances, including interviews for a number of documentaries on rage, violence, and troubled youth. Dominic is the creator and steward of ͞Restoring Relationships,͟ a ministry dedicated to helping people create a victorious life by walking them through a process of addressing their most difficult challenges. Whether it’s a shattered heart, a bad habit, a strained relationship, or life circumstances that won’t seem to improve, Dominic’s passion is to help you find the freedom you’ve been searching for. Join him online or at a Live Encounter Event and begin your journey to victory, restoration, and healing.

Learn More at https://restoringrelationships.org/freeofheartonlinejourney/

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