Does a son who does work, but squanders his resources, does not care for his family properly and/or save for a rainy day/old age fit into the category of a prodigal son too?
The word of God teaches responsibility to family, that a man who does not care for his family is worse than an infidel.
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." 1Timothy 5:8
The word prodigal does not actually occur in the Scripture. It is used to describe a person who expends resources lavishly, especially without necessity. It is interesting that the term prodigere is related to the word. This means to drive forth or away. This is often the effect of foolish and reckless behavior on other people. So a person does not have to be reckless with his inheritance or what is entrusted to him by another to be a prodigal. As we view the account of The Prodigal Son in the Scripture, we need to ask ourselves would he have been likewise careless if what he had came to him by some early success in life rather than by inheritance?
Comment by questioner:
I see more of this type than the Biblical classic
type today....they eventually fall dependent on their families or the state....
You have a valid point. We see children returning home and living at home even into their thirties in far more numbers than once was the case. Somewhere along the way they did not learn responsibility. Part of this came from the affluence that came into the world after World War II. So many people wanted their children to have so many things that had been denied to them. But now we are two and three generations beyond that and a lot of the problem can be related to the public education establishment engaging in social experimentation and teaching people do be dependent on others such as government. Another fad at work has been modern Psychology, which seems to always want to make someone else responsible for whatever is being discussed. Let us just not blame the one who has the problem. Other problems like the lack of religious training, which includes the trend in so many churches to preach a social gospel instead of the responsible Gospel of the Bible. Finally, we must blame the parents as well. So many did not pass on parenting skills because of many things including both parents working and other activities except family interests when home. Now because of pervasive intrusion into the home many parents are also afraid of getting into trouble if they try to discipline children. The result of that is that they go in their own way.
Related question posed:
Do you believe the Bible calls for us to save for a rainy day and even leave an inheritance for our children? i.e. not spend everything we make before we die to purposely not leave anything for God's work or our families...
I know the Bible teaches stewardship. Saving is not always part of the possible equation, but I must hasten to point out that there is a difference between what is possible and what is difficult or requires planning. Avoiding debt surely brings a great deal of a person's personal income back into their pocket.
Leaving an inheritance is spoken of in the Scripture, but I do not see it as necessarily financial or in terms of property. Remember that in Israel all the people we supposed to be on land divided among the tribes except for the Levites. This was to be held and not sold from generation to generation. The Children of Israel got into many problems for not obeying this.
I do think it is wise to secure and hold some permanent piece of property which gives a person a place to live that is their own. I do not think the fundamental property should ever be disposed of unless it is with another already in sight. And I believe that once a piece of security property is paid for it should not be traded where a debt will be made, neither should it be mortgaged for some investment. It is for the place of residence in adversity or old age. Such a piece of property would naturally become an inheritance. This is how I have determined to conduct my own affairs of stewardship.
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