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Ask God to help with negative feelings about daughter-in-law

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DEAR DR. GRAHAM: We spent Christmas with our son and his wife, and I came away wondering if she’s really the right wife for him. She’s so different from us, and we just didn’t feel comfortable around her. They seem happy, but should I say something privately to him? — Mrs. R.L.

DEAR MRS. R.L.: No, I can’t think of any reason why you should do this, and I hope you won’t. The Bible says there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak,” and this is a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

After all, what good could possibly come from such a conversation? What would likely happen if you did say something negative to your son about his wife? You’d probably hurt him or even offend him; he might even get so upset at you that he’d never invite you back. Do you honestly want that to happen, especially if she becomes the mother of your grandchildren? The Bible says, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife” (Proverbs 20:3).

If your son and his wife are happy, then thank God for bringing them together. Pray for them also, that God will bless them and draw them closer to each other — and to Himself. Ask God also to help you love your daughter-in-law as you should, and to take away your negative feelings.

I also hope you’ll examine your own heart and ask yourself why you feel this way about your son’s wife. Is it simply because of a difference in personality? Or is it something deeper — perhaps jealousy or resentment, because you feel she’s taken your son from you? God’s pattern for marriage hasn’t changed since He first gave it to us: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My aunt gave me a book for Christmas about astrology, and how to tell the future from the stars. She’s into things like that big time, but my mother says I shouldn’t even open the book. I promised her I’d ask what you think. — D.C.

DEAR D.C.: No doubt your aunt thought she was giving you something helpful, but I agree with your mother: Don’t go down that road. Although your aunt is sincere, she’s looking for guidance in the wrong place, and you shouldn’t follow her example.

Instead, I encourage you to turn to God for the direction you need. Elsewhere in your letter, you mention that you’ve just turned 16, and I couldn’t help but think of what was happening to me when I was your age. I was like most young people, trying to have fun and not thinking very much about the future. But one night, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, and I knew I would never be the same. I knew I now belonged to Him and that He would guide me and help me.

Giving my life to Jesus was the most important decision I ever made — and it can be yours, as well. By a simple prayer of faith ask Jesus to come into your life today — and He will. The Bible says, “To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Then ask God to guide you and help you as you face the future. God loves you, and He knows what is best for you. Furthermore, He has promised to give you the guidance you’ll need in life. The Bible says, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: How can I know whether or not a group is a cult? A woman in my office keeps trying to get me to go with her to her religious assembly, but I don’t know anything about it. I didn’t come from a religious family, but I know I need God. — Mrs. L.F.H.

DEAR MRS. L.F.H.: I’m thankful you know you need to have God in your life, and I hope you won’t let anything take away that desire. Jesus’ promise is for you: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

You’re wise, however, to want to avoid any group that might be a cult — because they will lead you away from God instead of toward Him. How can you tell? One way is to find out if the members think that they, and they alone, have all the truth about God. To put it another way, most cults teach that every other church is wrong, and they alone are right. Most cults, incidentally, are of relatively recent origin.

The real issue, however, is what a group teaches about Jesus. Do they see Him as both fully God and fully man? Most cults don’t, but the Bible does. Do they teach that because of His death and resurrection we can be saved as we put our faith and trust in Him? Most cults don’t , but the Bible does. The most important thing I can tell you, however, is that you can come to God right now! God loves you and sent His Son into the world to die for you. Ask Christ to come into your life today, and then seek out a church where Christ is central and the Bible is taught.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-877-2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.

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