Q: My father called the other day for the first time in over 10 years. He says he feels bad over the way he treated us and wants to reconnect, but how do I know he's telling the truth? He's always been a very manipulative person. It's hard to forget how he walked out on Mom and left us on our own. - Mrs. A.K.
A: In a few weeks, our nation will be celebrating Father's Day - and I hope many readers will see it as an opportunity to draw closer to their fathers. It may not be easy when the relationship has been rocky - but we each have only one father, and once he's gone, it's too late to try to heal the past.
Your suspicion is understandable and it probably won't vanish all at once. But don't let it keep you from doing what's right and trying to bridge the gap between you and your father. Remember, broken relationships take time to heal; it's usually a slow, step-by-step process. But your father has taken a first step, and now you also have an opportunity to take a first step. Don't live with regret; don't look back 10 or 20 years from now and wonder what might have happened if you'd only responded. God may be giving you this opportunity; don't turn it down.
Will it be easy? No, probably not. But don't focus only on the hurts of the past and all the things that went wrong. Instead, think of the future, and thank God for giving you life through your father. And may all of us remember the Bible's command: "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you" (Deuteronomy 5:16).