The parable found in Luke 15 focuses mostly on the actions of the younger son. Yet, when you consider the dad’s reactions, there are several relationship lessons to glean. Here are four of them:
- Cold, Reckless Behavior Hurts but Doesn’t Change Unconditional Love
The son’s request was premature. His message might as well have been, “I wish you were dead.” The only recorded reaction from the father is his granting the request. Hurtful words and actions may challenge but will not alter unconditional love.
- Be Ready to Forgive
Forgiveness can be immediate when requested if the heart has been prepared to give it. The sooner the preparation begins the sooner the loving reaction will be available. The opportunity may be a long time coming; love is patient and can stay ready to forgive.
- Initiate Restoration
Forgiveness can lead to full restoration. The fullness degree can be greatly impacted if the forgiving party initiates the restoration. The time needed to complete the restoration can be shortened when the forgiver initiates its beginning.
- Never Stop Loving Rebels, Hostile or Hidden
Not all rebels are cold and reckless. The rebellion style may alter the method of forgiveness and restoration, yet the character of love can remain. Love endures.