The Creator, the prodigal, the principleof tough love

The Bible contains commands, exhortations and principles specifically directed to those who are citizens of the kingdom of God on earth. Their purpose is to equip kingdom citizens to enjoy the full potential of life on planet earth and prepare them for the blessedness of immortality. In the New Testament, this chosen nation is often referred to as the Children of God, expressing the intimate relationship possible to all those who trust in redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a distinction between the Children of God by virtue of creation and Children of God by virtue of the new birth according to Christ's words to Nicodemus in the third chapter of St. John. Those who trust the Bible account of man's creation believe that all human beings are the offspring of the first human family created in God's image. Consequently, every human soul has inherited something of God's divine nature, no matter how obscure it may be. This likeness to God is what makes the human soul supremely valuable, especially to God.

On the other hand, many people either ignore or renounce any natural relationship with the Father of Spirits endeavoring to fashion for themselves an identity of their own imagination. Of such a rebellion is the point of a well-known parable, the prodigal son recorded in the 15th chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. Of the many lessons and implications of this parable, the most important is the principle of what is called, "tough love," an unfortunate description of real love in its ultimate application. For the Creator has not created robots forced to do His bidding by God-like individuals with logic, reason and freedom to choose the rules they will live by or none.

The prodigal son chose to isolate himself from the family and determine his own rules to live under. Soon he had lost all of his inheritance and fell into a state of intense desperation. Now his father knew well his plight and watched the disastrous consequences for foolish choices his son was making in his life. Those who have wayward children can relate to the father's anguish. Still, the father knew that the only way of a permanent restoration to a family relationship was by the prodigal's own choice. So the father waited, watched and hoped that one day he would see his son making his way on the dusty road home.

Like the prodigal, some may resent the rules, disciplines and instructions of the Creator and rebel against them, convinced they can invent a better life for themselves without His help. Each of us have an awesome and fearful ability to make our own rules or-we can voluntarily live by the rules, responsibilities and obligations of the family of God and enjoy eternal, secure and incredible benefits.

-- Pastor Gene Holman of

Living Word Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment