My mother got pregnant with me thirty-seven years ago. My father is married and has four children. He tricked my mother, telling her that he was divorced.

I have never been able to depend on him. He tends to see me only when his conscience bothers him. He thinks that I should just accept the situation as is, and that it’s not wrong for him to keep me as a secret from the rest of the world.

I am now happily married and have three beautiful children. I opened my home to my father, trying to improve our relationship and clean my heart; but he is very cold. He only came to know my children because I asked him to. I don’t really see any love on his part toward me, and even less for my children….

I would like to know how I should act and what relationship I should have with my father that would be acceptable to God. For the time being I have preferred to distance myself from him, so that I won’t continue to suffer and continue to feel his coldness and simulated affection.

Dear Friend,

We are sad to hear of what you have gone through. It is not right that any child should feel unloved and unaccepted, no matter how old the child is. Just because you are thirty-seven does not mean that the pain goes away.

It sounds like you have grown into a loving and caring woman who is concerned about doing right toward your biological father and doing right before God. We commend you for your attitude in spite of the pain you feel. You are a mature person who does not allow your emotions to dictate your actions.

However, you are mistaken about one thing. You apparently believe that your biological father should be a part of your life in spite of the way he treats you. We do not agree with you. That man donated the biological material that gave you life, but he has in no way been a father to you. You have absolutely no obligation or reason to ever see him again. You should never be subjected again to his coldness, and you certainly shouldn’t expose your children to his indifference.

We are not suggesting that you be angry, treat him unkindly, or hold bitterness in your heart. You certainly have a reason to feel anger and bitterness, but you rightly know that those emotions are negative and are not pleasing to God. So just as God is willing to forgive us for whatever horrible and evil things we have done, you must forgive your biological father.

However, forgiving him in no way implies that you should allow him to repeatedly hurt you or your family. You can make the decision to forgive, and then remind yourself, every time you think about him, that you choose to forgive him. Ask God to forgive you for any sinful thoughts and to help your bad memories fade away.

Don’t allow your mind to dwell on all the ways you wish it had been different, or on some magical reunion with him where he asks you to forgive him and you finally have the Daddy you’ve always wanted. Instead, let your Heavenly Father wrap His arms around you, heal your wounds, and give you a better future.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles