One of the first steps for The Prodigal preparing to leave for the Far Country is to gather their possessions. Most of the time, they gather mentally long before they actually leave. This is how Satan’s process begins to destroy the marriage.
The next point in the separation and divorce process begins. When the Prodigal wants their stuff, this is the first opportunity for the mate left behind to show unconditional love to the Prodigal. The Prodigal asks for his portion in the Bible. There was no court battle to divide portions. When your Prodigal asks for specific items, try to give them to them. Allow this for 3 reasons: 1. Their thought process isn’t right or the separation wouldn’t be taking place at all. Your refusal to fight says something to them. Even though you may not detect it, most of the Prodigals are overcome with guilt at this stage. Your refusal to fight over petty issues will only cause the Prodigal to consider what he is doing to his family. 2. The mate left behind doesn’t understand why the Prodigal is making such a big issue over a small item. It’s because all of our memories are personal. Allowing them to take the item also demands he takes the memories of that item with him. (For 2 yrs the old coffee maker I demanded to take with me refused to die, and I was faced with memories from a device that my wife had used to make coffee for several years.) Many times, my mind would drift back to my family I left behind while waiting on coffee to brew. 3. Don’t be to concerned about what they gather to take to the Far Country, because when the Lord returns them to you, those same items will return home.
Don’t worry about them sharing it with the “other person”. That other person will NEVER come near your former personal items without causing the Prodigal to remember. I can’t tell you the emotion that took place each time another person would approach my coffee maker to make coffee. That causes a Prodigal to do a lot of thinking.
It’s just as difficult for the one taking the items as the one watching them go away. It’s one of the most difficult of some already difficult days. If the Lord equipped each of us with a window into the heart, you would see the Prodigal , regardless of outward appearances, is trembling inside. Without pressure, allow the unconditional Love for your Prodigal to be seen. Nothing hurts Prodigals more than having the one left behind offer more than what was demanded. Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would take the place of each item the Prodigal removes from the home.
After all, Prodigals do come home.
Allow God to be your spouse during the time of separation from your mate. He is waiting to be your source of strength, comfort and supply for all your needs.
Don’t be concerned or discouraged with the distance your Prodigal has gone to their Far Country. The Grace of God can reach around the world just as easily as around the block. Year after year, I kept moving and running from the one who loved me. When you hear your Prodigal is back in your home town, his sole reason often is to be near you for a while.
Most Prodigals re-establish their new surroundings in the Far Country to be similar to their family they left’s home. Despite his best attempts at reconstructing it, he will never be able to create the desired image of his former home. The key to why his efforts fail are found in the Bible. When you 2 were married, you became one flesh. Separation and divorce are futile (fruitless, pointless) attempts to divide that one flesh back into 2 separate people. God says that will not work.
Our bodies aren’t made to function properly without them. You can “get by”, but life will never be the same. The Prodigal’s attempt to divorce a spouse is an attempt to remove part of his own flesh. The results can’t be successful because it’s contrary to God’s perfect plan for His children.
Despite what you hear, the Far Country is a lonely place for the Prodigal. When he left for the Far Country, he left behind many good things. One was his church family. Prodigals often frequently undergo job and career changes while there.
While in the Far Country, the Prodigal’s entire world has been turned upside down. He has left behind a family, friends, a job. All he has left are a few possessions, a lot of guilt, and the excess baggage of a failed marriage (so he thinks!) and he attempts to create a new life for himself.
Father, may my Prodigal soon turn to his Creator for answers and soon find the solution.
Most Prodigals, continue their feeble (weak, puny, cowardly) attempts to make it all work properly –all by themselves. They seem to reason that since others have gone through separation and divorce and have survived, we can also.
They are about to enter what some call the “act unlike yourself” stage. The solution will never be found except through Jesus. The prodigal explores new directions looking for that which will bring meaning back to his now meaningless life. New clothing, a different hairstyle, flashy car, or new traits enter picture. Being unable to afford these things, they soon find themselves in debt. One who would have never entered a bar, now be seen in one on a regular basis. His speech may change. Behaviors and habits change.
About this time, the one left behind begins to hear things about the Prodigal, regardless of how far away they went. When Satan has a message to be delivered, there is always a messenger. They say, “Well, he left me, so why would I want him back?” This is one of the first and often most difficult challenges for the person waiting at home. We must realize people do gossip. Try to discount about 99% of what you hear about your Prodigal.
Regardless of the circumstances involved, the spouse who can continue to exhibit unconditional Love for the Prodigal is one up on Satan and winning the battle. The true concept of unconditional love is love regardless of the circumstances. Unconditional love allows us to exhibit one of the ways of God himself, in that we can hate the sin but continue to love the sinner.
Your Prodigal is trying to live right side up in an upside down world. His emotions are playing constant tricks on him. The one waiting at home needs to be prepared for getting clobbered by the Prodigal’s pendulum of emotions. His moods may swing very quickly from euphoria (elation, happiness, joy) to total depression. The one who claims how great everything is going, is the same person who you see an hour later trying to speak through tears and from the pit of depression.
Some Prodigals are better at masking emotions, the person waiting at home often becomes victim to words of hate. The most devastating can be broken dates and promises. The Prodigal plans to meet you for whatever reason, and then suddenly backs out or terminates the meeting without notice. Although it’s difficult for you at home, things are probably rougher for your Prodigal in the Far Country. When you are hurt by the Prodigal’s swaying emotions, allow the Love of God to soften the harsh words. No matter the circumstances, look to Him through your tears to keep you walking in Faith.
If we could locate all of the Prodigals in all of the Far Countries and poll them, I think we would find that their #1 problem would be related to their finances. The cost of becoming a Prodigal is simply too great.
You may discover that your Prodigal now appears to be living better than you. He doesn’t show any sign of financial problems. The changes are probably superficial (appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely), and being financed by a new credit card.
I showed up once with a brand new suit to Charlyne’s door and little did she know it was $79 from a discount store, and was charged to a credit card. I was in my girlfriend’s new souped up van only because I couldn’t afford gas in my car. Dinner was courtesy of my girlfriend’s father. My hair was only longer because I couldn’t afford a haircut.
I realized that day for the first time, I was wasting my finances.
During some of the darkest times in the Far Country, I turned on the Christian radio station and would hear words to a song that seemed as though they had been sung just for me.
About this time some may be saying, “That’s fine for others, buy my situation is so much more complicated.” No marriage or family situation is too complicated or too messy for Jesus to straighten out and clean up. Please accept the word of this Prodigal. God can solve all the problems we have created in our marriages. Our Creator knows that as human beings living in a sinful world, we often fail Him. He is ready to forgive and rescue us and our marriages from Satan. Don’t be discouraged if your divorce is already become final. Reconstruction of a marriage after a divorce has been granted is not uncommon unless we’re listening to Satan’s crowd. There is a reason that the Lord has you exactly where you are right now.
Consider the Prodigals situation. He found himself literally living in a pigpen and was by law not allowed to be in contact with swine. If there was any family that had a right to give up on a Prodigal because of situations and lifestyle, this man’s family would have been the one. Today his family would be the talk of the town. How could that family ever think of his ever coming home? Jesus gave us this parable with that most extreme lifestyle illustration to show us that no matter how long the Prodigal has sunk, his homecoming is still possible to the glory of God.
Many Prodigals feed the pigs of alcoholism, drugs, and immorality. HOW COULD GOD EXPECT ANYONE TO WAIT WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR SUCH A PERSON TO COME HOME? Only when we are able to love and be loved as Christ did for us, can we then be ready to love our Prodigals.