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Father Time

Welcome to Father Time Blog. This is a collection of questions and answers that have come during our conferences this past 15 years of travel, preaching and coaching. If you have subjects you would like to have included please email me at: fathers@mac.com. We are committed to praying and seeing your family healthy, growing and full of love.

A View From the Porch

A View From The Porch
Waiting for Your Lost Kids To Come Home

 

"When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: 'Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'

"But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to the servants, 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet"  (Luke 15:20–22 MESSAGE)

The story of the prodigal son has always been my favorite story revealing the Father's heart: A Father waiting for our return, a Father loving extravagantly, a Father unimpressed by our rehearsed repentance, a Father choosing to love no matter how far we've run, a Father longing for us to return to His house and spend eternity with Him.

This past month the Father gave me the privilege of becoming that kind of father as my wife and I welcomed an amazing young lady into our family.

Jill walked into my office a month ago and shared with me the latest update on this young lady - one of our extended family members. She had worn out her welcome at yet another sobriety home due to a relapse with drugs and alcohol. Jill said, "Honey we have to do something for her, she has nowhere to go, and love has to look like something! I think God wants us to add her to our family." Those words struck my heart, and Jill and I called out to The Lord for an answer! His response was... "Why not you?"

When she first moved in we told her, "We are not a rehab center, we are a family and we want you to become a part of it." We had no idea what we were in for!! Our hearts were in for a wild ride!

The first week was amazing, but then we got the phone call - she was in trouble. Jill and I jumped into the car and fought through the worst traffic we had ever seen, only to find her hunched over at a bus stop. She had drank something and passed out in my arms. We brought her home, put her to bed and planned to minister to her in the morning. When I went to wake her the following day at 7am, SHE WAS GONE! Someone had come and picked her up in the middle of the night.

Let me tell you - I have never lost one of my kids before, and I have never had someone come into my home and take one of my girls while I was sleeping!!! I went into all kinds of protect mode. I was ready to load up my shotguns and go hunting for the intruder!! I was in a state of complete shock.

My mind started racing, with questions, worries, fear, and wild images flashing - I wish I could say that my mind was instantly filled with worship.. it wasn't. Some of you have had kids run away before, you know what I'm talking about. Your mind becomes a runaway freight train. I felt like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken, after the bad guys had taken his daughter, constantly worried that something worse might happen. I called a friend of mine, tracked down her cell phone location and located her at a house protected by a security gate. We approached the gate guard who refused to let us in, in spite of our repeated pleas. I finally told him that I was NOT AFRAID to use the skills I had learned in the NFL to forcibly get her back if necessary!!! Then the police arrived...

By God's grace we got her back home, and after a very long detox we were finally able to talk things through. When I asked her why she ran away, she responded, "Well I thought because I relapsed again, that you wouldn't want me. That's happened to me many times." I said to her, "Sweetheart the only way that you get to leave our home, is healed, and ready to walk down the aisle with your dad, towards the man of your dreams on your wedding day. I just want the honor of doing your wedding!"

Jill and I both knew that there were bumps in the road, but we weren't prepared for how deeply love would take us. Our hearts have been stretched and we've learned to love in a completely new way. I've counseled many dads and families who have dealt with addition problems with their kids, or runaways.. but this was a first for me. Being the father waiting on the porch for his prodigal daughter is hard!!

Beloved, love has to look like something... it can be messy, it can be hard, but it's got to look like something. Putting love into action can sometimes mean waiting on the porch with open arms, and sometimes mean running into the trenches to rescue the lost sheep, but it always looks like something.

There have been lots of tears and hugs at my house lately - I can't wait to share with you more next month as the Prodigal Story continues - How To Throw a Party for Your Prodigal Kids!

I would love to hear from you - leave a comment below!

Ed

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