Lenten Devotion Day 31

What About Me?!

The Prodigal Son

Sibling rivalry is nothing new. The very first set of siblings, Cain and Abel had a problem with sibling rivalry. Well, at least one of them did. And the basis of their problem was jealousy. Kids tend to be competitive when it comes to getting the attention of their parents, whether its Heavenly or earthly.

With Cain and Abel, one brother thought God was showing favoritism to the other. The same is true in the story of the Prodigal Son. The father in the story of the prodigal son had 2 sons and a lot of property.

A few years earlier, the younger son decides he wants to set out on his own, to make his way in the world. He asks his father for his inheritance in advance and, once he receives it, sets out to make something of himself. Things don’t go well. When the young son sinks as low as he can, he finally decides to go home.

Back home, his father never lost hope. Every day, he watched down the road, praying for his younger son to return safely home. Then one day, his prayer was answered. The father was so grateful, he called his servants to prepare the fatted calf to celebrate his homecoming. Now, a parent can understand the excitement and happiness of the father. However, kids (and even adults) feel bad for the older son. He worked all those years as the good and faithful son and what does he get for it? Not the fatted calf! Hard to teach this to kids but let’s try.

First, the story was told by Jesus to tell all those who had wandered away from their Father that He is watching at the gate for them, hoping one day He sees his lost child coming down the road. And when He finally sees His lost child coming, oh the excitement! God the Father wants ALL His wandering children to come home to Him.

What about the good son, the child that is always with the Father? Rather than a big celebration, that child had all the memories with his father. All the time the good son spent with his father was something the prodigal could never, ever enjoy. The younger son missed so much all that time he was gone. While the father was excited his young son returned, he had a deep affection and respect for his older son.

Children have an opportunity to develop a deep, loving relationship with their Father no matter how young they might be. If older children, or even you, have wandered away from your Father, it’s never too late to go home. Even if you have been away from your Father for many years, He’s still standing at that gate, watching for you to come back to Him!

Discussion Questions

1. Are you the older child or the younger child in God’s life?

2. If you have strayed from God, are you only a little ways away or are you far, far away?

3. If you have strayed, whether a bit or a lot, what can you do to return home?

4. How can you help your children remain close to God?

5. How can you use this story to help your children in their lives?

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