A Wilkerson Family Testimony: Prodigal Children Overcoming Addiction

Parents in the church can feel ashamed of having a prodigal child. They may have actually been condemned for their child’s suffering or wandering path. In this episode, Gary Wilkerson is joined by his wife, Kelly, and son, Evan, as they discuss how their family was ultimately able to draw closer to God as a result of Evan’s prodigal journey. While this time can be immensely painful for parents and families, God is always faithful. Gary, Kelly, and Evan talk about how God redeemed and healed their own relationships and lives through what seemed like a very dark period.

Key Questions from the Podcast

  • If my child becomes a prodigal am I to blame? Should I feel guilty? Could I have done something differently? Did I do something wrong?
  • How did you become a prodigal son? Was it something your parents did or didn’t do?
  • As the parent of a prodigal child, what should I do?
  • How and what do we pray for our prodigal children?
  • How do you overcome the shame of having a prodigal son so you can share your struggle with others?
  • As a prodigal, what caused you to come back to God?

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

When a family loves God, the enemy hates that and he loves to attack community and unity. We have felt the attack in our family. The enemy really sent every demon from the pit of hell to come against our family when it comes to addictions. – Gary Wilkerson

Your prodigal child is not your fault, but there are some lessons we can learn as parents and improve on. – Gary Wilkerson

Blaming yourself for your child’s addictions is like blaming yourself for your child getting cancer. There is disease involved. It’s not your fault. – Gary Wilkerson

God is faithful and never forget that. He is faithful. I don't care how dark it is, what storm it is, God is faithful. He's with you. He's going to see through this. He hasn't abandoned you. – Kelly Wilkerson

Satan is really good about getting those hooks in with that deception of the meaning of life is pleasure and here's a little bit here. Here's a little bit here, and before you know it, you're trapped. Before you know it, you aren't finding any pleasure in these things at all, but they're actually misery, and they're actually discontent and bewilderment that you ever came to this place. – Evan Wilkerson

We need to remember that God loves our children more than we can possibly ever comprehend or understand. He did not write a life for them to be in the world and sin tossed. – Kelly Wilkerson

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. – Romans 8:26a

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.