Married, with Prodigals

Wayward children can push you apart. Norm Wright explains how to keep your marriage strong while helping your kids get back on track

The parents of rebellious children desperately want their kids to straighten out their lives and fear the outcome if they don't. They also often find their marriage in crisis, because of guilt, blame or conflicting ways of approaching their wayward child.

Marriage and family counselor H. Norman Wright, the author of more than 60 books, knows first hand the corrosive effect a prodigal child can have on the parents' marriage. For four years, Wright and his wife, Joyce, watched and prayed for their daughter, Sheryl, as she stumbled through progressively more destructive stages of rebellion.

"You worry," he says, "not only about the prodigal's potentially dangerous lifestyle, but also about the real danger to your marriage."

Combining what he learned from his own experience with extensive research he's done, Wright wrote Loving a Prodigal (Chariot Victor Publishing) as a "survival guide for parents of rebellious children." He talked with Marriage Partnership at length about the marital difficulties experienced by parents of a prodigal.

First of all, how do you define a prodigal child?

A prodigal is someone who goes against the family's value system. A prodigal says, "I'd rather go this way, and I choose to reject all this over here." In a sense, it's going counter-culture to the way the person has been raised. Prodigals have an intensity in their rebellion that is missing in the actions of other highly disobedient kids.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our free Marriage & Family newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles.

Children; Marriage; Parenting; Prodigals
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2000
Posted September 30, 2008

Read These Next

  • Also in This Issue
    Make Love LastMember Access Only
    Head-over-heels emotion gives couples a great start. But success down the road calls for something more.
  • Related Issue
    Beat the Winter BlahsMember Access Only
    Stuffed animal hunts and 9 other fun ideas!
  • Editor's PickThe Work-Life-Faith Balance
    The Work-Life-Faith BalanceMember Access Only
    Following God’s lead through all seasons of life


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters