By Rodetta Cook

Rodetta Cook has been a pastor’s wife for over 40 years. She and her husband, Ron, have actively served the Lord together in ministry during the entire time and are co-founders of Care for Pastors. She understands the expectations, loneliness and how hard it is to find balance in ministry as a pastor’s wife. Rodetta also leads the pastor’s wives initiative at Care for Pastors called The Confidante and ministers to hundreds of wives each week. She strives to share blogs with other pastors’ wives that will help them in their ministry walk.

    The Prodigal PK

    Monday, January 17, 2022

    By Christy K.

    At our “Better Together” retreat in October, one of the burdens shared by many was that of having a prodigal. It seems our enemy really likes to go after the pastor’s family and especially our children. I have some truth for you…. it’s not your fault. Satan knows where we are most vulnerable.

    As the mother of four young adult women, I have certainly had my time of dealing with prodigals – all four of them at one time or another through their teen years, and one still, as an adult. The rebellion seems like it was against me and their dad, but in reality, it was against God. Against His “rules” and objection to calling sin what it is. It was hard on me to deal with the fact that even though we had “done everything right” by taking them to church, introducing them to Jesus, nurturing that relationship, and showing them what He looks like, they still went their way. They walked in faith for quite a while as teens and were strong faith defenders, but then when they became adults, it seems, they got lazy. And they were very easy targets.

    It’s not easy to let them go, but it’s necessary. It’s part of their faith growth, making their faith reality to them and not just an extension of ours. Some of our girls failed. One had her heart broken by a man that she turned to as she turned away from God. Two completely left the church. Sometimes we were there to help, other times they figured it out on their own. A few times, we had to say no and let them be. A hard but solid truth is that this is not the end of their story, just a chapter.

    But one thing they knew for sure with 100% certainty, is that Mom and Dad continued to pray for them and plead with God on their behalf. Even when they were wrong, they knew we would be praying. Even when the life lessons were seemingly impossible, they knew we would be praying.

    We held on to many verses during their rebellion, but the main one was “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We knew we did the best we could throughout their childhood and teen years. We knew we led by example and stood firm in God’s Truth. Our promise today is still that God will honor our prayers that they all love, follow and serve Jesus and teach their children the same.

    I chose daughter #2 to be the woman for whom I prayed for 30 days in October of 2021 as a challenge. Each day, I wrote in my journal my prayer for her exactly what was on my heart and followed it with scripture prayed out with her name in it. I prayed for her heart to be softened and cleaned (create in her a clean heart Oh God, and renew a right spirit in her); I prayed for her husband to love her as Christ loves the church and that he too, would return to Christ and lead his family; I prayed that He would show Himself faithful to my girl and that He would humble her to realize her need for Him; I prayed that He would be a shield around her; I prayed that He would draw her to Him; I prayed she would remember the love she had for me as a young girl and how she looked up to me; I prayed she would remember our times as a family and the purity in which she was raised;  I told God that I would be like the persistent widow and never give up praying for my girl! I prayed Proverbs 31 over her and said “God, I know she is so good at all of these things with respect to her children and husband and household, but if she doesn’t speak with wisdom and instruction on her tongue, or fear You, then she has not succeeded! Make it so, Lord Jesus! Make it so! Draw her heart to You!” I even went to the pond where I fish and started talking to God about her and I was moved to cry out to the universe, on my knees with my hands up high, I cried my daughter’s name as loud as I could, followed by “COME BACK TO JESUS!”

    I know she will come back to Him. I know it because God promises to honor His word, so I pray His word back to Him about my girl. I don’t know when she’ll be back, but I trust Him. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

    The results of my prayers? In a practical note, one day I prayed she would have a happy baby and little boy for the day. I heard the next day that baby slept through the night for the first time! My heart has been softened towards her and it has shown in our conversations. One day, I asked if I could stop by and she thought it was to visit her children. When her little boy asked me to play with him, I gently told him “I will play another time, but right now, I’m here to visit with Mommy.” Then I said, “Did you know your Mommy is my baby girl? Sometimes baby girls need to just be with her Mommy, and sometimes a Mommy just needs to be with her baby girl.” I saw tears pool in my girl’s big blue eyes and later as she hugged me goodbye, she thanked me for making my visit about her.

    This is my encouragement to you. My Mom used to say, “when kids are little, they step on your feet; when they’re big, they step on your heart.” And she was right! But our God knows about this, and He knows what a Father’s broken heart feels like; and He has called us to be faithful. So, we stand up straight, shoulders back and head up and we pray on! We pray God’s word right back to Him over our prodigal and we keep loving, keep showing Jesus and keep trusting. Forget about the people at the church and focus only on your mission field in your family.

    We at the Confidante love and encourage you ladies as you seek to raise your children in godly homes. We pray for all of our prodigals to return to God. We pray that we lift your spirits, that you know we understand the challenges you face and are here for you, and with you. We truly are “Better Together.”

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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