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The Prodigal Husband

What’s stronger than addiction?

ECUADOR — Gabriella had nothing nice to say about her husband as she talked with Crossworld worker Sherie. But her harsh words told more of her sadness than her anger.

“Carlos didn’t come home again last night,” Gabriella said. “After the things he said to me last week, I’ll be surprised if he ever comes home again.”

“But if he does come home, how will you respond?” Sherie asked.

This wasn’t the first time they’d had this conversation, and Gabriella often admitted to Sherie that her heated reaction toward her husband only made the situation worse. But Sherie hoped that as she and her friend often prayed and read Scripture together, God’s truth would change Gabriella’s heart — and actions — toward her husband.

Later, as she was leaving Gabriella’s house, Sherie saw Carlos walking down the street toward home. Lord, help Gabriella respond with grace and love, Sherie prayed.

The next morning, Sunday, Carlos and Gabriella walked into church together and Carlos went to speak briefly with the pastor. As the service began, Carlos stood up in front of the gathering and said, “I would like to ask for your help. I have a problem with alcohol; will you pray for me?”

After the service, Sherie approached Carlos and Gabriella. “That is a huge step, Carlos,” she said. “What caused you to do it?”

Gabriella spoke first: “You really challenged me yesterday about how to respond. After you left, the Holy Spirit showed me that I needed to love my husband. When Carlos came home, God helped me to be gracious.”

“She didn’t yell at me this time,” Carlos said. “She told me that she loves me, that my children love me, and that they need me as their father. She urged me to get help for my drinking and said she’ll support me through the whole process. I knew this time that she was right.”

One mark of a disciple is loving like Jesus. When people around you need grace, how do you respond?


“The best chance of prodigals coming home is when forgiveness and grace await them.” Read more of President Dale Losch’s response in the Better Way blog.

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