One of the most difficult decisions any Christian spouse or parent has to make is when to say, “Enough! Our love isn’t helping you. It’s time that you felt the weight of your choices.” Guilt, shame, anger, responsibility and blame get mixed together in a confusing and poisonous brew…parents disagree, friends offer unasked for opinions and all the time you’re struggling to answer the one question that’s above all else: What is the most loving thing I can do for my beloved prodigal? In their extraordinarily helpful book pastors and counselors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert offer practical help for parents, spouses and friends who have found themselves in the unenviable position of loving someone who has completely gone off the rails. They will walk with you as you consider your options and help you process your decisions. But most importantly, they will point you to Christ. I’m really thankful for this book…and you will be too. — Elyse Fitzpatrick, Co-Author of “Give them Grace”
If you’ve suffered the unreturned love of a prodigal child or spouse, this book is for you. I commend Dave and Paul for writing so insightfully and sympathetically—with biblical conviction—on this complex and controversial topic. Their counsel would be wisely heeded, so that we might learn to love our prodigals in a way that directs them toward the Father’s open arms. — Collin Hansen, editorial director of The Gospel Coalition
All hell breaking loose at home is not an ‘if’, but a ‘when’. You will be crying out for counsel and comfort and Letting Go is crisis theology at its best. Harvey and Gilbert bring clarity to the confusion, Spirit-driven comfort to the chaos, and wisdom for loving your prodigal spouse, sibling, friend or child. — Daniel Montgomery, Lead Pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY
It’s always an honor to be asked to endorse a new book by authors I respect, but this time it’s a privilege. I need “Letting Go”—I need the wisdom, and gospel rhythms, my brothers have poured into all 175 pages of their timely tome. Sometimes loving well involves showing “wayward souls” the door, entrusting them to the God who raises the dead. Dave and Paul, thanks for reminding me that none of us is called to be the 4th member of the Trinity. — Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence – West End Community Church – Nashville, TN
Do you know the excruciating pain of loving a prodigal? You are in good company: so does God. Billons of us. It is the story arc of the Bible. How should you love your prodigal? Read this book. Harvey’s and Gilbert’s wise biblical counsel is rich in compassion, sympathy, and perhaps best of all, empathy. They will point you to hope. — Jon Bloom, Co-founder and Chair of Desiring God; author of Not By Sight and Don’t Follow Your Heart
Jesus calls us as born again children of God to love our enemies. As difficult as that is, in some cases loving a prodigal is even harder. Someone who was close now is distant. Intimacy disintegrates into apathy, or perhaps even hostility. The prodigal shows no interest in reconciliation. The burden becomes heavier and heavier, slowly grinding down your heart and your faith. Endurance weakens into exhaustion. Prayers go unanswered. Hope fades. Is this you? If so, maybe it’s time to let the prodigal go. In this book, seasoned pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert will help you with the decisions involved in whether, when, and how to let go. — Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spiritual and Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
About the Authors
Dave Harvey serves as the Pastor of Preaching at Four Oaks Community Church in Tallahassee, Florida and is the bestselling author of When Sinners Say “I Do.” A pastor for over 25 years, Dave has been involved in church care, church planting, and international ministry. He also serves as the board chairman of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation and the Sojourn Church Planting Network and lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife, Kimm.
Paul Gilbert is the Lead Pastor of Four Oaks Community Church. Paul received has an MDiv and an MA from Reformed Theological Seminary in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family from Florida State University. He has studied extensively on the subject of forgiveness and family systems. Paul currently serves on the board of Am I Called Ministries and lives in Tallahassee, FL with his wife, Susan, and their four children.