Billy Graham / Religion & Spirituality

Will God Help Me Reach Out to My Estranged Father?

Q: After my parents divorced, my father moved elsewhere, and over the years we lost touch. The last time I tried to call he hung up on me. I know he wasn't a very good father, but I still miss him. Is there any way I can reach out to him? -- J. McD.

A: Tomorrow our nation will celebrate Father's Day -- a special time for remembering our fathers and honoring them for all they've meant to us. One of the Ten Commandments says, "Honor your father and your mother ... that it may go well with you" (Deuteronomy 5:16).

I'm thankful you care about your father and want to have some contact with him; it would've been easy for you to be filled instead with bitterness and anger. Even if he fell far short of what he should have been, he still gave you life and influenced your early years. Even his shortcomings probably made you a better father; sometimes we learn through the mistakes of others.

Although your father rejected your last attempt to reach out to him, I hope you won't give up -- and Father's Day would be an ideal time to try again. If you call, let him know right at the beginning that you love him and care about what's happening in his life. Even if he hangs up, a brief note later on may get his attention. Broken relationships seldom heal overnight (and sometimes they never heal), but taking the first step is essential.

Most of all, pray for him, even if you don't know what's going on in his life. Pray not only that he'll respond to your desire to reach out to him, but also that he'll discover the forgiveness and new life Christ promises to all who turn to Him in faith and trust.

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Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.

(c)2012 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.



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