Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Are You a Wounded Parent?
by Tom Goodman
May 7, 2014

In a gathering of empty-nesters I asked how many of them grieved for grown children who exhibited no real relationship with Christ.  Three out of four people in the room raised their hands.

Maybe you would have raised your hand, too?  Maybe your teenaged kids or grown kids have moved off the path you set them on.

There's a story from the life of Elijah that can give you hope (1 Kings 17).  I see five parallels between the widow in this story and wounded parents.

First, we grieve.  The widow who had been taking care of God's prophet lost her son to death, and it broke her heart (verse 17).  It's a similar feeling for parents who can't see any spiritual life in their grown kids.

Second, we're confused.  The widow lost her son even after she had been so faithful to God (verses 7-16).  Likewise, after all our years of serving God we wonder how it could be possible to see our kids spiritually unengaged.

Third, we unfairly blame ourselves.  Elijah's caregiver assumed that her child died because of some moral failure in her past (verse 18).  But maybe you know those feelings, too.  It is almost impossible not to feel that your Christian example or your parenting skills have failed.

Fourth, we entrust our grown kids to God's care.  In our story, Elijah brought the boy to the upper room and prayed (verses 19-21).  Have you noticed how some of the most significant events in Scripture took place in an upper room?  The Lord's Supper was instituted in an upper room.  The Holy Spirit was given to the apostles as they prayed in an upper room.  Simon Peter raised a widow from death in an upper room.  And Peter led the church to reach beyond Jews to Gentiles after experiencing a divine vision on the upper deck of a house.  We need to bring our own burdens to the upper room, too!

Fifth, we stubbornly believe God can restore spiritual life.  Miraculously, God heard Elijah's prayer and the boy's life returned to him (verse 22).  It's no less a miracle to see the spiritually dead awaken to life!  It's what we continue to hope for.

Take comfort.  Take heart.  And go deeper with us into this story this Sunday at 10 a.m.!


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