Let Them Come Home (John and Abraham Piper)

In a recent Christianity Today interview, John Piper recounts the painful events surrounding the excommunication of his 19 year old son, Abraham.

The night after that excommunication, I called him at 10:00 and said, “Abraham, you knew what was coming.” He said, “That’s what I expected you to do. That has integrity. I respect you for doing it.” From then on, for the next four years, he was walking away from the Lord, trying to make a name for himself in disco bars as a guitarist and singer, and just doing anything but destroying himself. We were praying like crazy that he wouldn’t get somebody pregnant, or marry the wrong person, or whatever. He came back to the Lord four years later and the church had a beautiful, beautiful restoration service. He wept his eyes out in front of the church and was restored. This is church discipline at its best.

The following is Abraham’s account written for Decision Magazine.

When I was 19, I decided I’d be honest and stop pretending I was a christian.  At first I pretended that my reasoning was high-minded and philosophical. But really I just wanted to drink gallons of cheap sangria and sleep around. Four years of this and I was strung out, stupefied and generally pretty low. Especially when I was sober or alone.

My parents, (John and Noel Piper) who are strong believers and who raised their kids as well as any parents I’ve ever seen, were brokenhearted and baffled. (See sidebar story below.) I’m sure they were wondering why the child they tried to raise right was such a ridiculous screw-up now. But God was in control.

One Tuesday morning, before 8 o’clock, I went to the library to check my e-mail. I had a message from a girl I’d met a few weeks before, and her e-mail mentioned a verse in Romans. I went down to the Circle K and bought a 40-ounce can of Miller High Life for $1.29. Then I went back to where I was staying, rolled a few cigarettes, cracked open my drink, and started reading Romans. I wanted to read the verse from the e-mail, but I couldn’t remember what it was, so I started at the beginning of the book. By the time I got to chapter 10, the beer was gone, the ashtray needed emptying and I was a Christian.

The best way I know to describe what happened to me that morning is that God made it possible for me to love Jesus. When He makes this possible and at the same time gives you a glimpse of the true wonder of Jesus, it is impossible to resist His call.

Looking back on my years of rejecting Christ, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child so that they, too, would wake up to Christ’s amazing power to save even the worst of us.

1. Point them to Christ.

Your rebellious child’s real problem is not drugs or sex or cigarettes or porn or laziness or crime or cussing or slovenliness or homosexuality or being in a punk band. The real problem is that your child doesn’t see Jesus clearly. The best thing you can do for rebellious children—and the only reason to follow any of these suggestions—is to show them Christ. It won’t be simple or immediate, but the sins in their life that distress you and destroy them will begin to disappear only when they see Jesus more as He actually is.

2. Pray.

Only God can save your children, so keep on asking Him to display Himself to them in a way they can’t resist worshiping Him for.

3. Acknowledge that something is wrong.

When your daughter rejects Jesus, don’t pretend that everything is fine.

If you know she’s not a believer and you’re not reaching out to her, then start. And never stop. Don’t ignore her unbelief. Ignoring it might make holidays easier, but not eternity.

4. Don’t expect them to be Christlike.

If your son is not a Christian, he won’t act like one, and it’s hypocrisy if he does. If he has forsaken your faith, he has little motivation to live by your standards, and you have little reason to expect him to.

If he’s struggling to believe in Jesus, there is little significance in his admitting that it’s wrong to get wasted, for instance. You want to protect him, yes, but his most dangerous problem is unbelief—not partying. No matter how your child’s behavior proves his unbelief, always be sure to focus more on his heart’s sickness than its symptoms

5. Welcome them home.

Because your deepest concern is your son’s heart, not his actions, don’t create too many requirements for coming home. If he has any inkling to be with you, don’t make it hard for him. God may use your love to call him back to Christ. Obviously there are instances when parents must give ultimatums: “Don’t come to this house, if you are …” But these will be rare. Don’t lessen the likelihood of an opportunity to be with your child by pushing him away with rules.

If your daughter stinks like weed or an ashtray, spray her jacket with Febreeze and change the sheets when she leaves, but let her come home. If you find out she’s pregnant, then buy her folic acid, take her to her 20-week ultrasound, protect her from Planned Parenthood, and by all means let her come home. If your son is broke because he spent all the money you lent him on loose women and ritzy liquor, then forgive his debt as you’ve been forgiven, don’t give him any more money—and let him come home. If he hasn’t been around for a week and a half because he’s been staying at his girlfriend’s—or boyfriend’s—apartment, urge him not to go back, and let him come home.

6. Plead with them more than you rebuke them.

Be gentle in your disappointment.

What concerns you most is that your child is destroying herself, not that she’s breaking rules. Treat her in a way that makes this clear. She probably knows—especially if she was raised as a Christian—that what she’s doing is wrong. And she definitely knows you think it is, so she doesn’t need this pointed out. She needs to see how you are going to react to her evil. Your gentle forbearance and sorrowful hope will show her that you really do trust Jesus.

Her conscience can condemn her by itself. Your role is to stand kindly and firmly, always living in the hope that you want your child to return to.

7. Connect them to other believers.

Obviously, you are distant from your wayward child; otherwise you wouldn’t think they’re wayward. This is another reason why pleading is better than rebuking—your relationship with your rebellious child is tenuous and should be protected if at all possible.

But rebuke is still necessary. A lot of rebellious kids would do well to hear that they’re being fools, but you’re probably not the one to tell them. Try to keep other Christians in their lives and trust God to connect your son or daughter with a believer who can point out your child’s folly without getting the door slammed on them.

8. Respect their friends.

Of course your daughter’s relationships are founded on sin. And, yes, her friends are bad for her. But she’s bad for them, too. And nothing will be solved by making it evident that you don’t like who she’s hanging around with.

Be hospitable. Her friends are someone else’s wayward children, and they need Jesus, too.

9. E-mail them.

When you read something in the Bible that encourages you and helps you love Jesus more, write it up in a couple of lines and send it to your child. The best exhortation—better than any correction—is for them to see Christ’s joy in your life

Don’t stress out when you’re composing these as if each one needs to be singularly powerful. Just whip them out and let the cumulative effect of your satisfaction in God gather up in your child’s inbox. God’s Word is never useless.

10. Take them to lunch.

If possible, don’t let your only interaction with your child be electronic. Get together with him face to face if you can. You may think this is stressful and uncomfortable, but trust me that it’s far worse to be in the child’s shoes—he is experiencing all the same discomfort, but compounded by guilt. So if he is willing to get together with you for lunch, praise God, and use the opportunity.

It may almost feel hypocritical to talk about his daily life, since what you really care about is his eternal life, but be sure to do it anyway. He needs to know you care about all of him. Then, before lunch is over, ask about his soul. You don’t know how he’ll respond. Will he roll his eyes like you’re a moron? Will he get mad and leave? Or has God been working in him since you talked last? You don’t know until you risk asking. God will give you the gumption.

11. Take an interest in their pursuits.

Odds are that if your daughter is purposefully rejecting Christ, then the way she spends her time will disappoint you. Nevertheless, find the value in her interests, if possible, and encourage her. You went to her school plays and soccer games when she was 10; what can you do now that she’s 20 to show that you still really care about her interests?

Jesus spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes, and He wasn’t even related to them. Imitate Christ by being the kind of parent who will put some earplugs in your pocket and head downtown to where your daughter’s CD release show is. Encourage her and never stop praying that she will begin to use her gifts for Jesus’ glory instead of her own.

12. Point them to Christ.

This can’t be stressed enough. It’s the whole point. No strategy for reaching your son or daughter will have any lasting effect if the underlying goal isn’t to help them know Jesus.

The goal is not that they will be good kids again. It’s not that they’ll get their hair cut and start taking showers; it’s not that they’ll like classical music instead of deathcore; it’s not that they’ll vote conservative again by the next election. The goal is not for you to stop being embarrassed at your weekly Bible study or even for you to be able to sleep at night, knowing they’re not going to hell.

The only ultimate reason to pray for them, welcome them, plead with them, eat with them, or take an interest in their interests is so that their eyes will be opened to Jesus Christ.

And not only is He the only point, but He’s the only hope. When they see the wonder of Jesus, satisfaction will be redefined. He Himself will replace the money, or the praise of man, or the high, or the sex that they are staking their eternities on right now. Only His grace can draw them from their perilous pursuits and bind them safely to Him—captive, but satisfied.

God will do this for many. Be faithful and don’t give up.

Categories: Blog, Family, Training and Encouragement, Weekly Resource

57 Responses

  1. says:

    [...] Let Them Come Home: about how John Piper’s son, Abraham, was excommunicated from his family’s church as a young adult–and how that discipline brought about repentance. It includes a lot of great advice from Abraham for those who still have children who’ve rejected the faith. [...]

  2. says:

    THANK YOU , a thousand times over!!!! This kind of honesty and truth is what gives us all hope, especially those going threw a simular situation .I now feel encouraged to not give up or become weary, but rather continue to pray and walk in love .But now with much more specific aim to my son’s heart needs.

  3. says:

    [...] How to Reach a Wayward Child: Abraham Piper looks back at his youth and struggles and offer these firsthand and how his parents, John and Noel Piper, reached out to him. [...]

  4. says:

    Thank you for this very clear, very practical, very Christ centered help for parents of wayward kids. As a former prodigal I praise Jesus for parents who did these very things in my life. As I read this I cried and thanked Jesus for their faithfulness and love and for Christ’s amazing redemption in my life. My husband is a pastor and we will certainly share this with those in our church family who are walking this difficult road. Thank you again for these hope-filled words!!

  5. says:

    A most grateful mother’s heart thanks you for these markers of wisdom. I thank you for including homosexuality in the opening description of rebellion, broken children. Loving my son presently demands a constant open door of communication, prayer, trusting God to do what I cannot and hope in the presence of Jesus to break through the pain and lies in my son’s soul. Your advice and input is medicine for me this Mother’s Day, 2013 to continue a wild, passionately hope in Jesus.

  6. says:

    I am humbled at realizing this is important truth for ALL of us parents, regardless of where our children are. Because, we all have a tendency of being “wayward” at one point or another . . . sometimes one moment or another. This is so beautiful — seeing the beauty from ashes. And trusting that He truly has Purpose. For. All.

  7. says:

    Watching my son is breaking my heart and tearing my marriage apart. Thank you for this. I needed it.

  8. says:

    Thank you I needed those reminders!

  9. says:

    I can not thank you enough for posting this,nor can I express how timely it is that I happened upon it. My husband and I have a wayward 19 y/o daughter who walked out on our family a year ago, and has brought one tragedy upon another into our lives. I could write a book on all that we’ve walked through with her, and our hearts are still broken as she continues to live in sin. Thank you for pointing out that her greatest issue isn’t her lifestlyle,but its her need for Jesus.

  10. says:

    Abraham, I curious to know how you felt about the excommunication. You didn’t consider yourself to be a Christian and decided to live consistently (or in coherence) with who you were as an unbeliever. And a question about how your Dad felt. He sees this as an example of church discipline at it’s best. He obviously considered you to be a Christian who was living as an unbeliever, therefore, the excommunication. If you were an unbeliever, did the excommunication feel as if the church had rejected you?
    I realize that I have some problems knowing how to apply church discipline because of the difficulty in knowing if I’m excommunicating a believer living in sin or am I wrongfully rejecting an unbeliever.
    I’d be interested in your comments.


  11. says:

    thank you for this, abraham.
    grace is absolutely amazing, and this is just another reminder… i am certain that these are wise words.
    i pray that i won’t need to put them into practice personally, but if i do… well, then, i will read them again and again. and keep on praying and holding on and trusting and doing my very best to shine a light to the immense grace shown to me. oh dear. being a parent is a scary test of faith.
    i will share these words.
    thank you for sharing first.

  12. says:


    The story of your restoration is sweet. I heard your dad speak in Atlanta @ Passion in the early 2000s. He asked the auditorium filled with students to pray for you. His grief was obvious. I spent some time thinking about you & praying for you. How wonderful that you are “home”. Thanks for sharing!

  13. says:

    In our fallen world there are no perfect families or perfect parents or perfect children or perfect churches. That is why we all need a Savior. While I appreciate the insights,,,at the same time, I cringe when I hear the black sheep/scapegoat own the families sin. Prodigals express FAMILY pain. Humbly asking forgiveness from the prodigal and honestly owning sins/sins against is another key piece to wholeness in Christ for all involved. It is a shame to rarely hear this key part of the redemptive healing process brought to light.

  14. says:

    Thank you. I think this fits with others besides children. Very helpful.

  15. says:

    Your words were definitely a gift from God to me. A year ago today our lives completely changed, as we discovered that our daughter was not living the life that she was portraying to us. We will definitely use the tools that you have given us, as we continue to pray for her and trust God to lead her back. Thank you so much. Praise God that He has turned ashes to beauty in your life and that you are touching lives with your story.

  16. says:

    Marvelous, amazing testimony of our God’s redeeming work through Christ in bringing home HIS lamb! This was good timing to read such a triumphant answer to the prayers of the church body and deeply hurting parents. My husband and I are encouraged to keep on “prayer- loving” our 33 year old son to know and love Jesus. We will keep pointing, praying, welcoming, pleading, inviting, loving, connecting , and releasing him to the Lord’s saving grace. Thank you, Abraham.

  17. says:

    [...] You can read Abraham’s side of the story here.  You won’t regret it. [...]

  18. says:

    In reference to the first point, “show them Christ”… what are some tangible ways to actually show an individual Christ? Thank you for your honesty and wisdom!

  19. says:

    In reference to the first point, what are some tangible ways I can “show them Christ”? Thank you for your honesty and wisdom!

  20. says:

    Wow! Just…..wow! This is so honest and to the point. Thank you for being transparent and real. I’m grateful for what you wrote and will be sharing this with all the people whose faces popped up in my head as I read your helpful suggestions. I pray your testimony and tips with power of the Holy Spirit will make all the difference in the world (this one and the next one) to countless wayward souls. Bless you.

  21. says:

    Good question. I’d like to see the response. Thanks for asking.

  22. says:

    Kelly….Can you just hold on to your husband? You held each other …. in the beginning. Do it again, and again, and again….We need to ‘let our pride fall down’ (even if we’re STILL feeling SO right, and ‘THEY’ are wrong). Standing before our Maker makes us feel …like kids. Let’s extend His Almighty Grace….Bless you and your husband, Kelly. Just ‘hold on’, in His Love, Sincerely, Didi

  23. says:

    Thank you for this! I was wayward. I didn’t return to a relionship with Jesus until my 40s. I was so lost. My mother kept praying and telling me she was praying for me. She continued to ask me about my life. Even though I left lots of “details” out I’m sure it was painful for her to hear about my “adventures”. I am now a mother of wayward teens and this story really helped my perspective on continuing to point my kids to Jesus. I am so thankful of this reminder.

  24. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. We have a son who has stepped away from a christian life. He is not communicating with us. He has been hiding things from us and others. He’s 30 years old, but it does matter what the age…..these parents are hurting for him. I as a mother am trusting God to bring to the place where he cries out to our Savior. He’s in a bad place and over 1400 miles from us. We can’t just step in at the drop of a hat. Your words have encouraged I know my God can do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think! Thank you.

  25. says:

    Consider always flavoring every “boundary” in a positive light…
    another way of saying :… “Don’t come to this house, if you are …”
    Would be:
    “Your welcome to come home when the effects of alcohol / marijuana / drugs are absent.”

    It’s the same boundary but in a positive relationship tone. Often the only thing they will hear with the first statement is “Don’t come home.”

  26. says:

    How encouraging!!! Our son and younger daughter both rebelled and left our home. Our daughter returned quickly and completely to us and the Lord. Our son…a different story…after 20 years, married with 2 children, he has recently COME back!!! Never ever ever ever give up on your kids…even when they’re not kids anymore AND have kids of their own. If God, the perfect parent, lost His kids in the perfect environment, we need to extend His grace to ourselves and to one another as we wait and pray for our prodigals’ returns.

  27. says:

    As I face this Mother’s Day morning engulfed in grief for my lost son and daughter, trying hard to battle the enemy’s attack that I was a really bad parent…I mean….why else would they be where they are in their spiritual life?…..I stumble upon this blog. And I am so blessed. I see, again, that little ray of Hope. I feel such comfort that people who are truly “up there” in the Christian world and who were clearly “good” Christian parents, also have had a child fall for the deception of the flesh. I will l print your words and read them over and over, I’m sure. Thank you for your openess and sharing!
    God Bless!

  28. says:

    [...] Read the rest at firstboynton.com [...]

  29. says:

    Excellent suggestion – turning a positive relationship tone. You’re welcome to come home when….

  30. says:

    Sometimes that is not always true. People actually do make their own mistakes. Even if there is sin in the family does that give a child the right to act rebellious? That is just giving them an excuse to do the things that they do. I understand that some people need to go through that so that the Lord will open their eyes to really see the truth. Every person is responsible for the actions they take.

  31. says:

    What if the person is someone claiming to be a christian, but they are living in open sin?

  32. says:

    Thank you!! Simply, thank you!!!

  33. says:

    Oh gosh! This has hit WAY TO CLOSE to home today! My daughter (20) was just sentenced to 90 days in jail for drug possession. They waved her jail time w/ credit for 12 days served. She is getting a drug evaluation on Monday to see if they recommend treatment. The court has ordered her to do whatever is suggested by the evaluation. I believe they will say she needs treatment (she had 5 charges against her in two counties). I want her to go to Teen Challenge, but she wants to go to a 90 day facility because it is near the boyfriend of the week. I know that God is the only one who can save her. I have laid her at his feet and I PRAY PRAY PRAY daily, hourly for her. I like what you say about letting her come home. That is one thing I have not done because I have two younger children who have been hurt so deeply by her. This article has been humbling and very informative. Thank you!

  34. says:

    [...] 4. Let Them Come Home [...]

  35. says:

    [...] Let Them Come Home [...]

  36. says:

    [...] Let Them Come Home [...]

  37. says:

    Beautiful post. My oldest finished high school yesterday. reminded to pray for wisdom and patience for the journey ahead. Thank you for sharing this.

  38. says:

    Lori my story is completely parallel to yours. My son turned his back on the faith and ” deconverted” then got married to an atheist and made it clear that I was not welcome.
    I hold on to the sure word of God and keep my heart clean from unforgiveness and bitterness. In all of this I refuse to blame God, and insist on offering up a sacrifice of defiant worship.

  39. says:

    Thank you for this! I soooo needed to see this. Our 21 yr old daughter went buck wild the day she graduated HS and now her 17 yr old brother is headed the same way. They were raised in church and both have now rejected everything. It has literally ripped our hearts out. I will read this post daily for encouragement.

  40. says:

    [...] One of the things I hear a lot of whining about is church discipline.  This happens when someone is living a sinful life and the people of the church confront this person, urging them to return to God.  If this person does not return, discipline occurs.  Some discipline is severe in which the person is told to leave the church.  I think for this to happen, that person would have to be so into their sin that they absolutely refuse to repent.  And then of course, this person whines and cries about being kicked out of the church.  While this might happen more often in extreme churches, most ‘regular’ churches offer a lot of grace and chances to repent and live a clean life.  A great example of church discipline is found in 1 Corinthians 5.  A man is sleeping with his father’s wife and clearly refuses to repent and turn away from sin.  Paul doesn’t beat around the bush here.  This is SIN.  Sexual immorality is not something to be playing around with.  Paul makes it clear what the church members should do with this man – deliver him to Satan so that  his flesh will be destroyed – is this another way of saying ‘hit rock bottom’?  The idea is that this man will be so ‘destroyed’ in the flesh so that he may return to Jesus.  Paul continues on with a warning saying that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  A little sin creates more sin among people.  It is hard enough to live in the spirit instead of the flesh, let alone trying to live by the spirit when sexually immoral people abound.  Think about that – in your church, if sexual immorality was permitted and nothing was done about it, would you want your children witnessing it and thinking it is ok?  This is also an area where that person makes other new believers stumble.  1 Cor 8:9.  I think of John Piper’s son.  John excommunicated his own son from church – but from strong church discipline came repentance and returning to God.  http://www.firstboynton.com/2012/04/04/let-them-come-home-john-and-abraham-piper/ [...]

  41. says:

    TW I completely agree. I’ve seen this exact scenario play out in a family. Each child is responsible for their role, but each time in succession, no attention was given to what might be the underlying problems. I think the way to find e balance is to earnestly seek God and counsel and apologize sincerely and completely for whatever ones part was, whether 5% or 95% as my dad would say. If nothing else, this humility is Christlike and part of showing them Christ, as well as showing them Christ’s work in your life. And there may be, but I have never ever heard of, a situation where one party is 100% wrong and the other 100% right, except between us and God.

  42. says:

    [...] value it and strive to live it out among others. Grace gives people hope. Grace reproduces itself. Grace lets people who have turned their backs on the church return and not fear the negativity of ot…. Grace is essential to the Christian faith. You cannot follow Jesus Christ without being a giver of [...]

  43. says:

    Or you could respect the fact that they don’t believe in god anymore and that THIS IS OK! You could respect the fact that they have chosen to not be a Christian, it doesn’t mean your child is a bad person. When someone chooses to no longer be a Christian, it’s not the end of the world. Respect those or are not Christian, even if it’s your child!

  44. says:

    His father should still have stepped down. It’s hypocritical for a pastor to insist his deacons and elders abide by the obvious meaning of

    1 Timothy 3:4-5

    He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

    Titus 1:6

    . . . above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

    and yet magically decide that these passages don’t apply to John Piper. This is what happens when the messenger gets too big for the message. Charles Stanley is another example of “don’t do as I do, do as I say” Christian ministry. His son, Andy Stanley, did the right thing and confront his father and tell him he should do the honorable thing and step down. When the elder pastor refused to give up his title and kingdom, the son took the brave step and moved away from the shepherding of his father. Piper should have done the same. You can’t preach accountability and then refuse to take any yourself.

  45. says:

    So sad, Abraham discovered reality, but found he didn’t like it and so ran back to embrace bronze age ignorance and delusion. It’s the tragic consequences of religious indoctrination. But at least his fundie father is smiling.

  46. says:

    Thank you! This brings much hope to my broken heart! Our son (26) walked away from The Lord as a young teen and now his sister (17) advised me over a year ago that she no longer wanted to walk with God. I pleaded, cried and warned, but to no avail…her mind is made up! Tears, anxiety and sorrow are my constant companions. I continue to pray daily for my precious prodigals to come home.

  47. says:

    […] You can always come home. No matter what happens in this life, what you do or don’t do, you always have a place with us. We might make you want to leave with our rules or ask you to because of your actions, but we won’t stop you from coming home. (must read for prodigal children) […]

  48. says:

    PLEASE HELP! Thank you for this article! I have a prodigal son. He is 25. Lately, on occasion, he has been contacting us by e-mail and sometimes phone. He says he loves us and recently asked if he could live with us. I am a single mom and still have 3 younger children at home. My landlord/contract states that any extra person is an extra $100 per month AND my son is a very, very bad influence on my other children. He is always on his computer on sinful, porn sites, etc. and I DON”T want that influence on my younger children….so I told him that he could not live here because of the money. He has a very bad criminal record and says it is almost impossible to find a job, so isn’t willing to even try. He wants to sit home, watch tv, do computer and sponge off others. He has no car, no money, no nothing of his own at 25. He said he would earn his keep, but I don’t see how if he’s unwilling to work. Also, we receive government help as a single mom family and having another adult in the home would affect that help. I thought I made the right decision, but now am confused. I just can’t let him do to my other kids what he did to himself. And, yes, we are a Christian family. I thought he was too when he went before the church and claimed to be saved. HE says he’s agnostic now. I WOULD APPRECIATE KIND REPLIES.

  49. says:

    […] This article comes from First Boynton Church. […]

  50. says:

    […] I have recently come across the following article posted to my Facebook feed: http://www.firstboynton.com/2012/04/04/let-them-come-home-john-and-abraham-piper/ […]

  51. says:

    Thank you for this. Though I’ve never walked away from my childhood faith, I’ve wandered as well – from doctrines learned as a child, yet never from Christ or the plain gospel. This has stirred up thankfulness for my parents, as well as empathy for them. They have always seemed to seek to emphasize a desire that I have a close walk with Christ over and above theological and lifestyle uniformity with them. Additionally, I have two siblings who have wandered and rejected entirely our childhood faith. I watch my parents try to interact with them over it and see that they feel defeated often in it.

    As a parent of two small children now I can begin to understand their feelings. I am storing this advice away, knowing that if someone who communicates the a Gospel as clearly as your father can go through the pain of a wandering child then I am certainly not above it. I’ve also forwarded the article to my parents with encouragement and thanks.

    Sidenote: I think I may have met you at one point Erie, PA during your “wanderings” through Andy and Jenn Kerr. I’m happy to have come across the continuation of your story.

  52. says:


    Thank you for this article. I was just crying out, asking God “what do you want me to do, should I continue pursuing him or am I supposed to let him alone to suffer in his sin?” My son is 19 and living in the art district of San Francisco. He recently tattoo’d the Virgin Mary with horns as a devil onto his body and I felt I had reached the end because of his hatred for religion and love for “spirituality”, drugs, alcohol and sexual freedom. I see satan tossing him around like a rag doll and it hurts! I’m on my knees in prayer so often and he hates when I talk about God in any way or even question his choices. This is a kid who stood next to Francis. Chan five yrs ago expressing his desire to serve in Africa and wanted to lead youth to Christ, baptizing his friends but all the while, facing temptation like all young men face and doubts about the existence of God which is normal, and being told how wrong it was. Finally, satan provided older guys to help him through a break up with his girlfriend. Their help came in the form of pot, alcohol and cigarettes. He was hooked by the need to numb his pain and the influence of anti-God older guys. It’s been years of tears for me but also years of growth! God has used me in the lives of many youth in my community and He has soothed my heart over and over again, like only God can do. Healing a mother’s heart regularly, is miraculous, in my mind. God knows the end of this. Recently, my son was published for some photography he did and in the article about him, he says that he was inspired by a quote from Aliester Crowley. The Holy Spirit walked me through that moment in time as if I was walking on water, that miraculous, was the comfort God provided me.

    Reading your article, I learned I am to continue my love and gentle pursuit even through his rejection of it. Thank you. Please join me in praying for Dustin. Please.


  53. says:

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