Posted: April 26, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I didn’t take my daughters to church when they were young (although I grew up going to church and always knew I should). Now I guess I’m paying the price, because they’re all living immoral lives and just laugh when I try to say anything about it. Is God punishing me for my failure?
DEAR D.T.L.: No, God isn’t necessarily punishing you because you failed to give your daughters a moral and spiritual foundation for their lives, but He is teaching you an important spiritual truth. Our actions have consequences, and so do our failures. The Bible puts it this way: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
Your daughters alone are responsible for the decisions they make. The tragedy is that some day they, too, will reap what they’ve sown, and they will experience the bitterness, unhappiness and instability that inevitably come when we ignore God and His commands. When that happens, let them know you still love them, and perhaps they’ll be more open to your wisdom.
I’m thankful you’re concerned for your daughters. Some parents, I’m afraid, would simply turn their backs on them. But the one you should be concerned about most of all is you! What happened to make you turn away from your upbringing? What happened to cause you to push God to the edges of your life?
My prayer is that you will turn back to God, repenting and confessing your sins to Him, and welcoming Jesus Christ into the center of your life. Then ask Him to lead you to a church where you can grow stronger spiritually and become an example of living faith to your daughters.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 04/26/2013