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Thank you so much for sending in your question.  I am sorry that you have had to endure such terrible experiences from your dad.  My wife and I were foster parents for 10 years.  Keeping mostly girls, we have seen the heartache of molestation many times.  It’s so wrong when the one you look up to as a guide and protector is the very one that you need to be protected from.  I hope you realize that you are not to blame for this.  The blame lies completely with your dad.

Now your dad is facing death and you want to make peace with him.  That is very commendable.  I know of a young lady whose dad just passed away.  He had molested her for years, but she wanted to make peace with him…and she did.  She feels much better about it now that he is gone.  I know it was hard for her to go to him, but she is better off for doing it.

I want to point out that your salvation does not depend on whether you forgive your dad or not.  Your salvation depends completely on whether you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior.  Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Realizing that you are a sinner in need of a savior, and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ to be your lord and savior is what will save you.  After being saved, the Lord will give you the ability to forgive your dad, or anyone else that has done evil against you.  Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  You see, we don’t forgive others so we can be saved; we forgive other because we are saved.  Even as God has forgiven you, now the Lord wants you to forgive.  The Lord never asks us to do anything that he doesn’t give us the ability to do.

I know it is not easy to forgive something so terrible, but if you forgive your dad, it will make you feel so much better.  The anger and bitterness you have is hurting you.  If you can let that go, you will be much happier and will function in life better.  So, how can you forgive something so terrible?  How can you find the strength to do this?  1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  If you find it hard to forgive, the Lord wants you to give that burden to Him and let Him take care of it for you.  You may just want to ask the Lord to help you forgive your dad.  Ask Him to give you His peace and give you the ability to let this go, and go on with your life.

When you visit your dad, you may want to tell him that he hurt you terribly; that what he did to you was wrong and he has no excuse for what he did.  Then tell him that you forgive him.  Tell him that you are letting go of the anger and bitterness you have had against him.  I think it’s important that you make him see how wrong he was, then let him see that you are able to forgive him.  No matter how he reacts, I think you will feel much better.  Even if he doesn’t ask for your forgiveness, give it anyway.

Matthew 18:21-22 tells a neat lesson about forgiveness.  It says, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  How in the world can we forgive someone that continues to hurt us?  When we begin to realize God’s forgiveness to us, we find that we can really forgive others.

I’d like to know how your meeting with your dad goes.  You can send me a private message on Facebook.  Or you can email me.  I will be praying for you.