By   •   May 3, 2024   •   Topics:


I was the black sheep of my family for many years and caused a lot of turmoil. I am feeling the urge to go to all those who are still living and apologize, but the memories are so painful I don’t think they’ll accept me. They think that my turning to God is simply to get my father’s inheritance when he dies soon, but it is my father’s illness that caused me to repent of sin and accept Jesus. How can I convince them I am a changed man and want to restore family unity?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Many families admit to having a black sheep—someone who disgraced the family or behaved in a disreputable way. Being labeled a black sheep is a heavy burden to carry through life.

The Bible, however, says that God loves black sheep. Jacob, for instance, cheated his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance and his father’s blessing. Manasseh rebelled against his godly father King Hezekiah, doing everything in his power to stamp out his father’s heritage. But in time, God humbled both Jacob and Manasseh and they became His servants.

The story of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11–32) demonstrates the love of the Father in Heaven. No matter who we are or what we have done, God still loves us, and He yearns to welcome every one of us home—even the black sheep. It may startle some to realize that all of us who call Earth our home are black sheep in God’s eyes, for we all have sinned and rebelled against God, but He has not rejected us—He died to save us.

Many times, it takes just one member of a family to initiate the action to bring a family back together. The Bible says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:17, ESV).

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

Come home to your Heavenly Father.