Lost And Found – When ‘Home’ Is Not Safe

This article is part 12 of 11 in the series Lost And Found

     This is difficult…. but it must be addressed. We just finished a look at Luke 15, ending with the story of the lost son… There was no balancing the books for him. The books could no more be ‘balanced’ than for the unmerciful servant of Matthew 18:22-38. The books could no more be ‘balanced’ for this son, than yours or mine can be with God. If it were not for the father’s UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, and AMAZING GRACE AND FORGIVENESS, this parable would not make sense. The son would have been deeply disappointed and hurt, and lost. Home was special even more now to him. The things he didn’t like about home, now he deeply loves and appreciates. Would he leave again and run off to that far off country? NO WAY!!! He was home to stay.
   SOME HOMES ARE NOT SAFE!!! Those who are lost like this son, and wanting to come home, but knowing their home is not safe, what can be said, or done to help? They know that waiting for them is judgment, and harsh words, and maybe a back handed slap, or more. They know this because that’s why they left. 
    A WORD TO THE ABUSIVE PARENT! Get some help! Refuse to let another day pass, without getting on the phone, and making an appointment with someone qualified to help you. Not all children who run off are innocent of guilt for sure… but then neither are you. So much can be gained by just sitting, being open and honest, and getting the help which is so desperately needed.  
   What if the father in Luke 15 were an abusive parent? What would the son have done? Would he let a little thing like a pig pen send him back? Many run away children return home only in body bags… and surely this is too much pain. 
   The key to getting someone home, is make home worth coming home to. Make it safe, loving, kind. Make it a place where openness and sharing is welcome, and where tempers, throwing things, and striking out is forbidden. Home is the one place where children should be able to come to and when the front door is shut… the world is shut out! Danger is locked out, love is locked in.
                            “With the same letter heaven and home begin,
                                       They dwell together in the mind,
                              And those who would a home in heaven win,
                                       Must first a heaven in home begin to find.” 
    Paul said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:4-8a).
   “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
   “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4).

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