Read: Luke 15:11-32
The Prodigal Son wants to leave home. This is a natural
response to growing up that is supposed to happen. Sons and
daughters are supposed to leave home and create their own
lives. Unfortunately, today many leave their home
because their addiction to opioids had made it impossible for them to
live in their parent's house.
When a child's life becomes ruled by substance abuse, everyone's lives
are affected...in bad ways. It would be a whole lot easier to
prevent the addiction in the first place.
Today as you fast, pray, listen, and respond, ask God to show you how
we can prevent our children from ever becoming addicted. How
do we keep a child from ever falling into the grip of opioids.
What can the church do in the lives of the children in our community
(not just the ones in our church, but those that live all around us)
that will prevent them from ever turning to drugs? Ask God to
show you who the vulnerable children are in your community.
Ask God to help you find these children and get to know them
by name. Give God thanks for the adults who knew your name,
who cared about your success when you were young.
Drug-endangered children need loving adults to show them they are
beloved children of God and are worthy of our time and concern.
What if God answers our prayer? Are we willing to
mentor a drug endangered child and help prevent them from becoming a
prodigal son or a daughter?
It is not enough to open and wait for the children to come to
us clean, well fed and well behaved. We must leave our
sanctuaries and find them!
Drug Endangered Children
Persons suffering from opioid addiction are not in control
of their lives. Part of their day is spent seeking out
opioids. Once the opioids have been acquired and taken, the
rest of the day is spent enjoying the high, until it is time to start
seeking the next dose of opiod. For the addict, this is a
horrible way to live. For the sober adults who
love the addicted person, it is a horrible way of life.
But imagine the lives of the children of addicted persons.
These children are called Drug Endangered Children. The live
all around us and they have no way of understanding what we could call
a "normal life." Many of these children are born dependent on
opioids because of their mother's addiction. The parents of
Drug Endangered Children cannot properly care for their own
offspring. The children have no one at home to help with or
encourage schoolwork, proper hygiene, proper nutrition, or acceptable
behavior. These children are exposed to the violence and
unpredictability of the illegal drug world, and yet we expect them to
succeed in school. We wonder why they do not come to our
Sunday School, and we are shocked when they become addicted
In order to have a chance at a life that is not identical to their
parent's life, the Drug Endangered Children in our neighborhoods need a
loving and caring adult to mentor them. A loving adult who
shows the child they are valuable and special. What would it
cost us to spend time in our local school helping a Drug
Endangered Child learn to read or accomplish their multiplication
homework...an hour or two each week? Studies show
that when a child gets behind in reading and/or mathematics
they are very likely to get discouraged with school and drop out.
When a Drug Endangered Child drops out of school, they are
more likely to get involved with drugs than if they stayed in school.
Studies also show that a Drug Endangered Child has a loving,
caring adult from outside their family mentor them, the child has a
much greater chance in school, and in turn success in life.
What If Week 3 Insert (PDF)