Never in my twenty-five years have I met my father, but I have had some contact with his relatives…. A month ago I found him on a social networking site and I wrote to him, but he never responded. He has always denied being my father, and now that I have found out that he is sick I would like to meet him and find out a little about him, and at least be his friend.

I know it would be difficult because of how far away he lives… but I would really love to get to know him. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

We are so very sorry that you have grown up without a father. This lack of a paternal figure has caused an emotional hole in your heart that you are now trying to fill. In addition, you are most likely experiencing a sense of rejection because this man will not acknowledge you in any way.

You are an adult now, so you can handle the answer that we are going to give to your question. You ask what you should do about your situation. The answer is: Nothing. There is nothing you can do to make it better. You cannot make him acknowledge you. You cannot make him meet you. And you cannot take care of him in his illness.

You have formed a picture of an ideal father in your thoughts, and you must now accept that this ideal does not exist. The man you are trying to contact is obviously not a nice man. If he were, he would at least answer your request, or at least tell you that he believes that you are not his daughter. But he says nothing, apparently because he does not care about your pain. He has made a choice to not bring you into his life, and you have no other alternative but to accept his choice and try to forget about him. Pretend he is dead and grieve your loss, but then get up and get on with your life.

There is another Father whom you can meet today. He is God, your Heavenly Father, who will never reject you and will never refuse to communicate with you. And you don’t have to travel anywhere to meet Him. In fact, this Father loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty of every sin you have ever committed.(1) And because of what Jesus did by dying for you on the cross, you can have a better life now, and eternal life when you die.

It’s not difficult to start a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father. All you have to do is talk to Him through prayer, in the same way that you would like to talk to the man you found on the Internet. Tell God that you want to have a close relationship with Him, and that you want to accept His Son Jesus as your Savior. Your Heavenly Father will help fill the emotional hole in your heart. And He will give you comfort and peace in the midst of your grief for the father you never had.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles
1 Jn 3:16