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The Pain Of A Prodigal

Yet I learned valuable lessons from my daughter's rebellion.

If you met my daughter today, you would see a dark-haired, attractive, 25-year-old with an open spirit and a ready self- confidence. She lives independently, serves in her church, and mentors inner-city girls in her spare time.

Nothing would tell you that, starting in the middle grades and running straight through high school, she was furious at the world. She would dress in a "punk" style, argue with her parents, raise shocking questions in Sunday school, quit doing homework, and in time, experiment with marijuana.

At one point I was so distraught about what the congregation must be thinking that I offered to resign. "I know the biblical qualifications for an elder include the ability to manage one's household well," I said to the board. "I'm not sure I qualify any longer for this position."

One board member said, "Pastor, the fact that you are dealing with your daughter's problem is evidence you are managing your household." The board concluded I should stay on.

The day finally came when ...

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