How to Parent a Prodigal
My second child (19) has turned her back on the Lord and is “reconstructing” her world view. She has stopped attending Church. She has gone distant with all her Christian friends from childhood. She has moved out and is living with her boyfriend. My question is this: should I cut off all financial support, including the tuition I am paying from the 529 I already funded?
Excerpt From The Answer
Loving a child does not mean approval of behavior. We love all our kids but we may not approve of their lifestyle choices. When a child – even a so-called adult child – chooses to live in sin, wisdom tells us we cannot enable their sin. So whatever guidelines, rules, etc. that you as parents have set, when a child chooses otherwise, you communicate, we love you but will not enable you in your choice of a sinful path.
Communicate facts, not feelings. In other words, if you choose to stop financial support, be brief, factual, and try to control your emotions. “We love you whether you believe that or not. We have worked hard to raise you to follow Christ but you have chosen another path. That’s your choice but we cannot support your choice. We are here. We have not gone away and we will always be here. But since you’ve decided to live this way, we cannot support your choices.”
Ultimately, remember that Christ loves your child more than you do. This brings great comfort in knowing that He always has their best in mind and fights for them even when you feel you don’t have the strength. The Lord gives us guidance for situations like these in His word. Specifically, Proverbs is filled with wisdom on training a child in the way they should go.
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