Q: Our five children are grown and live all over the country, but when we suggested we get together for a family reunion, they said they weren’t interested. I’m really sorry that we never were a close family, but is it too late to change this? — A.H.
A: One reason I wanted to reprint your email is because I hope it will encourage the parents of young children to do all they can to promote family unity, by their words and their example. We can’t control what our children do when they become adults (nor should we), but we can encourage them to value the family that God has given them. The Bible says, “God sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68:6)
Perhaps your children felt that a family reunion might be awkward or uncomfortable because they haven’t been close to each other. But that shouldn’t discourage you from thinking of smaller steps you might take to bring them into contact with each other.
You don’t say how far away they are, and admittedly our mobile society can make it hard to stay in touch. But consider inviting them for a holiday or other special event. Make a point of calling them from time to time, especially on special occasions (such as birthdays). Show an interest in their families. Don’t lecture them, but do what you can to reach out to them.
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Pray regularly for your family also. You can’t change the past, but God loves them, and he wants to work in their lives and bring them closer to Christ. Often the most important thing we can do is pray for those we love. As Samuel said concerning his kinsmen: “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.