Q: I haven’t heard from my two sons for several years — no Christmas cards, no Father’s Day cards, no emails, nothing. I know I was probably a lousy father, but shouldn’t they at least try to keep in touch with me? My daughter does, thankfully. — J.L.
A: One of life’s most heartbreaking lessons is that when we mistreat others, they often end up mistreating us. I wish it weren’t so; we ought to learn to forgive even those who deeply hurt us (as Jesus urged us to do). But it happens all the time, and it’s hard to reverse it. The Bible warns, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
Don’t, however, think that I’m being harsh or unsympathetic, because I can sense your hurt, and my heart goes out to you. And the most important advice I can give you is to urge you to turn to God. You need his forgiveness for your sins — and you need as well his healing and help. You may not have been a perfect father — but God is our perfect Father, and his love for you and your family never ends. Open your heart and life to Jesus Christ today.
Then ask God to help you reach out to your sons, being honest about your failures and asking for their forgiveness. If your daughter has contact with them, perhaps she can help smooth the way.
Will they forgive you and overcome their resentment over what happened in the past? Only time will tell. But regardless of what happens, make it your goal to live the rest of your life for Christ.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit go to BillyGraham.org.