The Prodigal Father

happy-family-silhouette-“And he said, ‘there was a man who had two sons.’” – Luke 15:11

When presented with the Luke 15 passage about the Prodigal or Lost Son, the Father in this story is often overlooked. However, men and fathers today can learn a lot from the father mentioned in Luke 15. In fact, one could even say that the father in Luke 15 is the exception not the rule. Ultimately, the father in Luke 15 is a reference to God the Father and what is outlined is His mercy and grace offered to His children. As Christians and specifically as Christian men, it is beyond critical that we have an example of what it means to be a man, husband, and father. Luke 15 gives us one such example. As dads we should look to the father in Luke 15 for instruction on true fatherhood.

  1. A dad or Father has a child or children. He claims his kids, is present as their Father and makes tough family decisions as head of the Family. “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.” Verse 12
  2. Even when his kids make bad decisions, he is still their dad. “Not many days later the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country; there he squandered his property in reckless living.” Verse 13
  3. Fathers look for and feel compassion for their kids and are not afraid to embrace them, regardless of what they have done or what comes of them. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Verse 20b
  4. We also celebrate when our kids make the right decisions and even more so when it is a decision that changes the course of their life for the better. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.’” Verses 22-24
  5. Fathers defend their decisions to family members, and others. They stand up for actions which encourage grace and mercy. “His father came out and entreated him…and he said to him, ‘Son you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive, he was lost, and is found.” Verses 28b-32 (This is a reference to the older brother, sibling rivalry)

man-prayingJesus shows us not only how the lost are treated by God but he shows us how we should be fathers to our children. Within families today, fathers are absent, fatherhood has been undermined within the culture, and being present for your kids as a parent is inconvenient and pointless. But God’s encouragement and plea to fathers still applies to us as dads today.

On this Father’s Day weekend, I just have one question for the dads out there: Are you a Prodigal Father or a Present Father?

Happy Father’s Day!

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.