By A Sad Parent
(Editor’s Note: This article is written anonymously because of the author’s abiding hope that he can win back his child and the fear that public reference might create unnecessary alienation.)
All losses cause sadness. The greater the value is of that which is lost, the greater is the grief that is felt.
This series of articles is primarily dealing with losses that are irretrievable. Grief is felt over the loss, and the sense of loss continues indefinitely, although there is, of course, consolation. But I write concerning a child presently lost in false doctrine, but whom I hope to see retrieved from error. (It is for this reason that I write anonymously; the reader can appreciate this judgment.)
Anyone lost in false doctrine is an object of my concern, my love, my efforts. My children are not of more worth than those of anyone else. I am trying in my days to preach and teach the gospel and set an example worthy of imitation, in order that many souls may by such instrumentality be rescued from error.
However, the keenness of loss is felt more sharply when one’s own child is the object of Satan’s deception. (I repeat, my child is no more important than anyone else’s.) What have my wife and I done about it all? How have we felt? What changes have been wrought in our lives. To whom and to what have we turned for help? What hope do we entertain?
In my particular case, many hours have been spent studying in person with the child. No opportunity to study with the person has been slighted. More opportunities are being sought. Articles judged to be helpful are mailed to the child. The sowing of the seed of Truth will hopefully germinate and bring the desired fruit. As parents we pray that God will give the child life and time to reconsider the matter, and return to the Truth.
We have felt great sadness, because a loved one has been enamored of human wisdom, being deceived by the wiles of the devil. Doubtlessly the person is sincere in the belief which is being embraced, but nevertheless has been deceived. It is not embarrassment that we feel; it is pure sadness over loss. It is the feeling that t9at father of Luke 15 felt when he lost a son (15:24). Heaven also feels the loss.
There has been much more prayer in our home since the loss of our child to false doctrine! Nothing causes us to pray more to our heavenly Father than the loss of something dear. It is a “time of need,” and we need “grace to help us” (Heb. 4:16). And we will continue to implore our Father to help us retrieve our child from false doctrine.
We have asked others to help us. At times parents are like prophets in their own country, in reference to their children. There are children who will listen more readily to others than to their parents. Don’t ever hesitate to enlist the help of your brothers in Christ in the matter of saving children from error.
We must never give up. A key word in the parable of Jesus (Lk. 15:3-10) is “until.” The shepherd searched until he found his lost sheep. The woman swept the house until she found her lost coin. Don’t give up; persevere in seeking the rescue of the lost.
Love for the lost causes us to be greatly concerned for them. This is the point made by Jesus in Luke 15, when he was criticized for working among the lost. Lost sinners are lost creatures of God, made in his image, and precious to him. What is more natural, then, than to be concerned for, and actively engaged in rescuing, the lost? Divine concern for lost man! As sons of God, we too must ever be concerned for the lost and without ceasing make every effort to see them rescued. He that winneth souls is wise (Prov. 11:30).
Ali losses cause sadness, but not all losses are terminal. A child lost to “worldliness” (drugs, alcohol, illicit marriage, indifference, etc.), or to “false doctrine” represents a sad case, but not necessarily a hopeless one. The sadness changes to joy when that which was lost is found (Luke 15:7,10,32)1 In our sadness let us pray much and work hard, if perchance God will grant life to the one lost, so that upon his return great joy can displace the sadness, joy upon earth and in heaven! We work and wait; God’s Word gives us hope.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 17, p. 536
September 1, 1988