The Rev. Billy Graham has responded to a question he received about welcoming back rebellious children.
On the Answers section of his website, the 97-year-old evangelist said that it is biblical to welcome rebellious children back home in a spirit of forgiveness.
A reader submitted this question for Graham’s answer:
“Against our strong advice, our daughter ran off with her boyfriend a couple of years ago, and we told her we never wanted to see her again. Well, now he's tossed her out (which we knew would happen) and she wants to move back home. My wife says yes, but I'm not so sure.”
Graham first acknowledged that what the daughter had done was “foolish and morally wrong,” but went on to say that refusing to forgive her and allow her to return home is not a biblical stance.
"But this doesn't mean you should turn your back on your daughter, or rejoice that you were right and she was wrong," Graham cautioned, referring to Jesus' parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.
“Like your daughter, this son was determined to strike out on his own and live only for pleasure,” Graham wrote, referencing the parable again. “But eventually he ran out of money, his ‘friends’ abandoned him—and finally he repented of his folly and returned home. And what did his father do? He loved him and welcomed him home, in spite of all he’d done.”
"This is a vivid picture of God’s love and forgiveness for us, in spite of our sins,” he continued. “But it’s also an illustration of the love and forgiveness we should extend to others. May God give you a renewed love for your daughter.”
Publication date: October 28, 2016