My daughter sheepishly walked out on our deck that sunny summer afternoon.  She had dropped out of high school several years earlier and been wandering through life trying to find her way.  She’d traveled much the same path as her wayward Dad did in his late teens and early twenties, full of parties, drugs and alcohol. Her life was filled with trouble and she had become distant from us.  

“Dad, I’m pregnant” she said with hesitancy in her voice, wondering how I’d react.  She was not married and living alone at the time.  She thought I would be angry with her, as I was a pretty strict , very conservative Christian.

I rose from my lounge chair, walked over to her and gave her a big hug.

“Honey, we are here for you.  We love you and you can count on us for support”

Tears rolled down both of our eyes as we talked about the tough road that was ahead for her. Little did I know what God would do through this unexpected event.  After having that baby, she earned her GED, a college degree and two masters degrees, all in the financial field.  Now she has a job where she can travel the country while she works and is debt free.  That little girl of hers is in the Army National Guard. They are both strong, independent women who speak up for themselves and are loving and caring to all around.  We are so proud of both of them.

Our lives are short and fragile.  God gives us precious gifts in our children. When they have wandered and been a disappointment, we must still show our love to them.  Like the prodigal son who was greeted with love by his father when he returned, we must show the same kind of love to our children if they should wander off the path.  After all, God showed His love to us by sending His Son as a sacrifice for our sin when we were far away from Him.  Now He has adopted us as His own.  We would be remiss to not extend His love to those we love the most – our children.

Lord, help me to love my children even when they have gone astray.  Help me to never turn my back on them, but give them all my love.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isa 53:6 (KJV)

Pete Gardner

I am a 69-year-old husband of 42 years, father of three and grandfather of 6.  I am a worship leader, lay minister, Sunday School teacher, poet, songwriter and evangelist who loves the Lord with all my heart.  He has been very good to me!  My web site is You can find me on Facebook at


  1. Monique Johnson on September 6, 2021 at 3:23 am

    This is so inspiring! It brought tears to my eyes because I have a similar experience as that unwed teen mother, and am now successful in life. I find myself meeting young women and encouraging them to press on and do it with God as the head of their lives.

  2. Andrea on September 10, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Pete, This is a wonderful study of how we should respond as parents. I’m so glad you shared it!

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