70 times 7: dodging millstones


This is fourth post in the series 70 times 7 … insights and lessons learned by my wife and me in the midst of an ongoing journey with our 31-year-old prodigal daughter.  (If you’d like to read other posts in this series, just enter “70 times 7” in the search box.) 

Did I happen to mention that the 11-year-old grandson we adopted and are raising is the son of our prodigal?  Keep that in mind as we continue …

 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

God must think this is a pretty important message … these words of Jesus or something very similar appears in three of the four gospels (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2) … millstones typically range in weight from 100 pounds to 1000 pounds depending on the size of the mill.  Taking into account when Jesus said this and his use of the word ‘great’  I’m guessing he’s speaking of a millstone in the range of 200-500 lbs … let me repeat … guessing.

So God is serious about the punishment of one who causes one of His little ones to sin … throwing someone into the sea with a great millstone around their neck … take just a minute to visualize and consider that …

Let’s continue the story …

My wife and I have racked our memories considering how we raised our prodigal daughter as a child and whether or not we are to blame for her prodigal journey.  I’m sure many a parent of a prodigal has wrestled with those seeds of guilt …

For me, that wrestling will continue to some degree until the repentant return of our prodigal to the Father … for now, millstone #1 has been dodged …

From time to time, our prodigal and her boyfriend have asked to live with us … not out of any sense of repentance or any love for us but instead due to their lack … be it a lack of lodging or a lack of funds or lack of jobs … you get the picture.

Which brings us to millstone #2 …

When your daughter … your grandson’s mother … who is living in the midst of an adulterous relationship … ask if they can move in with you … what would you do … and how would you justify it?

Our decision … we would be sending a message to our grandson, who is being raised up in Christ, that we approved of that relationship if we let them move in.  We could see that being confusing to our grandson … we could foresee our actions causing our ‘little one’ to sin … if not now then possibly later as a young adult … neither one of us were anxious to take the millstone journey to the bottom of the sea …

And so we dodged millstone #2 … or so we thought …

Was this truly a valid justification aka reason … was this the will of God … or simply a convenient excuse?

Only God knows … and we were about to find out …


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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2 Responses to 70 times 7: dodging millstones

  1. jimdavenport says:

    Bernie, I think you and your wife reached the correct decision for millstone #2. I believe that until there is repentance and brokenness you would not only be enabling the prodigal to continue their ways, but also sending an absolutely wrong message to your grandson. Of course, this is my opinion … and I believe that it is backed up by the totality of the scripture. Continuing to keep you in my prayers, brother. Jim D.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Jim, your response perfectly describes our conclusion … and yet in that conclusion through Scripture and the Holy Spirit … God is revealing what Jesus taught and how he loved people through many similar circumstances. As we continue through the series you may be surprised at what we are discovering … I know we are.

      Be blessed IN Christ Jesus, His love and His words dear brother!


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