A: It’s hard to erase the hurts of the past — and to be honest, sometimes it simply doesn’t happen. Perhaps your letter will encourage other young mothers about to go down the same road you did to stop and reconsider where they’re headed.
I do hope you’ll do everything you can to let your children know you’re sorry for the past, and you hope they’ll forgive you for what you did (or failed to do). Don’t make excuses or blame others for your shortcomings, and don’t express bitterness because they haven’t kept in contact with you. Remember the Bible’s words: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).
Instead, be honest and tell your children that you wish you had been the kind of mother they needed. You might also express the hope that they’ll learn from your bad example, and be better parents as a result. It probably will be better to put your thoughts in a letter, rather than trying to say everything in a phone call.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to turn to God and seek His forgiveness. He knows all about your failures — and yet He still loves you, and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for you. Commit your life to Jesus, and then ask God to give your children a desire to follow Christ also. He can overcome even the greatest gap.
Q: I’m studying at a university in your country, and I would like to find out about your religion. I come from a country with very few Christians, and I don’t know anything about Jesus. How can I find out? — I.Z.
A: Welcome to our country, and I hope that while you’re here you’ll not only learn about the Christian faith, but you’ll also discover the difference Jesus Christ makes in our lives.
Jesus lived some 2,000 years ago in what we today call the Middle East, where the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia meet. This shows us that Jesus isn’t just for one nation or ethnic or racial group; He came for everyone. His life is recorded in a book called the Bible, which is almost like a library because it contains a number of books written over hundreds of years. I encourage you to get a copy and read it for yourself. (You’ll find Jesus’ life recorded in the first four books of what is called the New Testament.)
Who was Jesus, according to the Bible? He was God in human form, who came from heaven to earth to become the final sacrifice for our sins. By putting our faith in Him, we can be forgiven of our sins and become God’s friends.
Jesus did this because God loves us and wants us to be with Him in heaven forever. The Bible says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Not all of our citizens are religious; many are not. But many are committed to Jesus Christ, and I pray you too may discover that God loves you, and that you will give your live to Jesus.
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 www.billygraham.org.