A Prodigal Speaks: Advice for Parents

A Prodigal Speaks: Advice for Parents

My Prodigal, Ricky

It’s a rare opportunity. I have a prodigal son, soon-to-be-released from prison, who is clear-eyed, grown up, sober, and has returned to the Christ he has known all his life. In a phone call last night, I asked what advice he would give to parents.

It was painful to hear my parenting failures talked about. Again. Out loud. My son and I agree, though, that God has given us this chance to speak into the lives of others. We want to make it count! Here are his rules, mostly in his words.

Ricky’s Rules for Parenting

Start early
Don’t be in denial

A Word From the Default Mom

Ricky and I have spent the past three years digging deep, working on, and analyzing ourselves and our relationship. Joining forces to fight addiction, co-dependency, grief, and anger have made all the difference. Still, Ricky’s list, which poured out in a 10-minute phone call, was hurtful to hear.

My sins as a parent have been confessed, forgiven, and I have repented of them. The scorch marks of those sins will remain forever. This is why I reach out to other parents, hoping some of you will see yourselves in what I write before it’s too late.

If you don’t believe me, believe Ricky, the Prodigal.

God’s Word on the Subject


For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

–Hebrews 12:11

A word from my Sponsor…

Grace is real–

Judy, the Default Mom

2 thoughts on “A Prodigal Speaks: Advice for Parents

  1. Can I just tell you how much I am crying tears of joy for Ricky! And such words of wisdom from you both. Love this sooo much!

  2. I am the default Aunt in Judy’s family. I thank my sister for her wisdom, her faith, her love and her Grace. God has led she and Ricky to this and I pray that He will lead them through it.

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