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The Prodigal Son

Dear readers, the words below are taken from a post written a few years ago when we were writing about parables. I wanted to share them once again as they reflect on our identity as a Child of God. Before anything else, we are a child and can return to the comforting embrace of our Heavenly Father whenever we need Him.

We all know the story of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:11-32 Jesus shares a story about two sons and their father. The younger son demanded his half of the inheritance and left home to live a luxurious and sinful life. The older son worked alongside his father for years with feelings of slavery and resentment. Both sons had a skewed view of their father's love for them.

So many times when we look at this parable, we reflect on the homecoming of the younger son or the newfound freedom of the older son. We often meditate on the goodness of the Father and how that reflects the love of God our Heavenly Father. Today, we are going to unpack the angle of the younger brother leaving. Why was it that he left home in the first place? What led to his feelings of entitlement to gain his inheritance early?

Jesus purposely did not tell us why the younger brother left. That part of the story lies within each of our hearts. We can place ourselves within the story and give reasons as to why we would leave if we were in the younger brother's situation. With feelings of resilience, he probably did not pay attention to how his actions would affect his family and his family's image. He may have been experiencing conflict with his brother or had feelings of inadequacy to fulfill the father's expectations on the farm. He may have running from responsibility or was masking an underlying wound that was not being addressed. Can you relate to any of these scenarios?

Growing up in a large family, I had to admit that I used to get triggered when people did not know my first name. Feelings of being overlooked or lost in the shuffle were followed by someone knowing I was a Molitor girl but had no idea who I was, individually. Some may call it middle child syndrome but those feelings had stemmed from a deep desire in my heart to be noticed. I needed to know that I belonged somewhere. That ache and desire was an invitation from our Lord to lean on Him. He wanted to affirm my heart by ensuring that I knew I belonged to Him as His beloved daughter. This has led to the restoration of my identity within my earthly family. My earthly dad is a well-known man in the area! There is a sense of security knowing that even if someone is unable to call to mind my first name, they know who my father is.

It is said that the younger brother has an ‘orphan spirit.’ His soul was searching for somewhere to belong. His identity did not fall under being a beloved son. He found his identity through the opinions of other people. He used up his half of the inheritance to throw extravagant parties and be noticed or considered popular. He would not have wanted to run away from home if he had only known how deep his father's love ran for him.

To be seen, known, and loved is the deepest hunger of any woman's heart. When we fully live through our identity as daughters of God, we will never have the desire to stray from home. We will be able to live near God's heart. Unlike the older brother, we will be able to live from a place of contentment, knowing that God has enough grace and mercy for all of His children. God never overlooks His children and constantly has a loving gaze ensuring we do not get lost in the shuffle.

It is time to believe that you are a beloved daughter of God. I pray that the Lord restores your understanding of what it means to belong to Him. I pray that you never stray far from the Father's heart and that you know you are always welcome home if you do.

Until next time~your sister in Christ


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