Relationships can be complicated and that counts for all relationships. Parents and children can sometimes struggle as much as anyone else to get along well. I’m sure we have all experienced tension in what should be the easiest of all relationships. Jesus tells a story of such a relationship that had gone awry. We call it the story of the prodigal son. (Luke 15) The word ‘prodigal’ means wasteful and this son was very wasteful with what he had received from his dad.
However, I do not think that their relationship started with his wastefulness. They must have known many good times. The status of their relationship would have been good for long periods. Just imagine that they had social media in Biblical times, and it enabled you to declare the status of all the important relationships in your life. In the good times this declaration might have looked like this.
We can only guess what the son was thinking that caused him to want to leave his family and seek out superficial relationships far away. It could be as typical as a young man wanting to shake off the limitations he experienced in his parent’s home. This could cause their relationship status to appear like this on the social media of their time.
Waste is a sad thing, is it not. There is a saying: ‘Easy come, easy go’, meaning it is easy to waste that for which you did not work. I think the son had a whale of a time as he partied and played his dad’s money away, barely thinking of home. And I think in that time the status of their relationship status would have looked like this.
Have you ever been to a pig farm? It is a very smelly place and decidedly not a party venue. This young man could not have fallen any lower than desiring to eat with the pigs. It must have been awful to realize that the servants in your dad’s house have a much better life than you. This is where he changes his relationship status to that of ‘servant’. Not because he was a servant in his dad’s house but because he hoped to be a servant there.
Returning home must have been a great moment and very different from what the son expected. He did not surprise his dad. His dad was looking out for him, staring hopefully down the road. He did not have to beg to get in. His dad ran to him with open arms. He started his speech asking to be a servant in his dad’s house. His dad was not listening as he was busy arranging a party to welcome his son home. Everything was at it should be again.
It would have been great if they had social media back then. If they had, the son would have been able to see that his dad’s relationship status never changed.
It never changed!
Sela. Think about this and adjust your relationship status accordingly.