By Ginny Mink
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
Parents, hear this word; heed its directive to train your children and rest in the assurance that this wisdom is truth. Believe all your attempts to raise your children properly will not go unnoticed. Keep that mustard seed of Faith in your heart even in the midst of watching your prodigals seemingly destroy themselves.
As a child I hated my parents’ overbearing and sometimes exceedingly harsh discipline. No doubt there were instances in which they took things too far. Yet, all the while, they instilled in me the knowledge of the Father’s existence and His participation in our lives. At 21, I chose to give into my inclination towards homosexuality.
I wholly embraced that lifestyle and reveled in my own rebellious depravity. I was happily “out and proud” and chose to completely ignore all the disciplinary actions the Father imposed while I continued in blatant sin. Then finally, 11 years into it, I reached the height of disregarding His Spirit. He yelled at me: “Stop! Go…no…further!” At that stage I repented, for the first time, of the sin that is lesbianism. I was 32 years old.
Similarly, Chris Mink’s parents bore down hard upon their children. The disciplinary methodology they utilized on their 10 children would undoubtedly be considered abuse, even severe abuse, by today’s standards. Yet, his ever faithful mother took her seemingly wayward children to Mass consistently. She prayed for them, she tried to teach them about the Father, but still they chose to wander.
Chris started drinking at a very young age and continued in that life for an extended period of time, to the point that he ended up with multiple DUIs. Then one day in jail he came across a man reading a Bible. He asked the man, “Do you really believe that stuff?” Then that man proceeded to share his faith with Chris, right there in jail. He showed Chris Matthew 6:14-15, and Chris realized that he needed to forgive his parents so that he too could receive forgiveness. He was redeemed there, and though he fell after his release, he eventually walked away from alcoholism.
Years passed for Chris and one day he met a lesbian friend of a friend. He started praying that the Father would open her eyes. In due course he noticed a change in her attire and demeanor and he began wondering what it would be like if she were coming home to him. They became friends, though they’d been acquainted for years. That lesbian was me, and Chris Mink is now my husband. We were both prodigals but when we were “old,” we returned to the path our parents had raised us up in and we endeavor not to stray from it.
Oh parents, your children will come back. The key word in that verse is “old.” It does not guarantee that our children will never stray, it just reassures us that if we raise them right, eventually they will, when they are old, come back to Him. Praise the Father for He is faithful and don’t ever give up on your prodigals!
Ginny Mink is an author, poet, journalist, artist, and speaker. She just published her first book, “Be Jesus, Not Jonah,” which is available in eBook format on amazon.com.