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Oklahoman Published: November 29, 2012

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Our daughter came home from college the other day and announced she'd moved in with her boyfriend. She knows what the Bible says about this, but she doesn't care. We didn't raise her this way and she knows we don't approve, but what can we do?

— Mrs. W.W.

DEAR MRS. W.W.: It's hard for parents to watch their children make wrong decisions, and of course, we need to do what we can to steer them in the right direction. But as they grow older we have less and less control over them. That's why there may be little you can do to persuade your daughter to change her mind about this.

But there is one thing you can do now that could be very important in the future — and that's to let your daughter know that although you disagree with her decision, you still love her, and you always will. Relationships such as hers with her boyfriend often don't last, because there's no real commitment behind them. And if this relationship ends, your daughter could be very hurt, and she'll need your love and support.

Do you remember Jesus' parable of the prodigal son? (You can read it in Luke 15:1-32.) At first, everything seemed to be going his way; he probably laughed when he recalled his father's warnings. But then everything changed, and he was left with nothing. Undoubtedly, his father had assured him of his love, and with this memory in his mind, he decided to return home. When he did, the father joyously welcomed him. “‘This son of mine was dead and is alive again ...' So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24).

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