In today’s world the phrase “Daddy Issues” is so common and popular that the hashtag #daddyissues often trends on social media. It is heartbreaking that our culture has reached a point of acceptance of this problem and even makes a joke out of it. I understand why – it is easier to laugh than talk about our hurting hearts. But this problem needs to be addressed.
The reality is that the way you see yourself now, was shaped early in your life by the words and actions of your father. No matter how much you deny that statement, it is the truth. You can’t do anything to un-do your childhood and you can’t change your father, but you can pray that the love of your heavenly Father will be enough for you and would satisfy your every longings. You can pray for healing and surrender to God your hurts and your pains.
The point of this post is not to make you feel bad about your life, or to point a finger at our earthly dads’ mistakes. The point is for us to realize that even when our earthly dads fail, our heavenly Father will never fail. I pray that this Father’s Day, if you are struggling with a daddy issue, that this post will comfort you and start you on a road to healing.
From the time you were born you have longed for your daddy’s love, approval and affection. Nothing mattered more to you as a young girl than your father’s opinion of you. If your dad was absent or unloving, you doubted and questioned a lot of things: “What is wrong with me?” “If my earthly father doesn’t love me, how will God?” “If my earthly dad doesn’t think I’m beautiful, how will a man?”
These doubts and questions open the door for shame to enter in and make its crippling home deep within your heart. This feeling of shame can haunt you and lead to sin, addiction and abuse. I wish dads knew how powerful their actions and words are to their daughters lives.
In high school, I struggled believing my dad thought I was beautiful and good enough. I remember a few fights we had that ended with tears and slammed doors because he would ask why I wasn’t working out more or why I gave up on sports. My dad did not know how much I lacked self esteem and confidence. I longed for the love and approval of a man, because I believed this would make me feel good about myself. But in reality, this belief resulted in bad decisions with boys, abuse, and shame. The cycle that started in high school just kept continuing into college and left me stuck in chains.
Shame says we are unworthy, broken, and beyond repair, but there is good news. Jesus came to set us free from shame and to break every chain that keeps us in bondage. I witnessed first hand that the power of Jesus Christ was the only way that I could break free from this cycle.
Now, my father and I have come a long ways. I know that he has always loved me and supported me. Sadly, even now when he tells me I’m beautiful I don’t believe him. Like I stated in the beginning, your upbringing shapes you, and it is taking a lot of work for me to even begin to believe that I’m beautiful.
Whatever words your dad has said to you, whatever actions that you’ve done or have been done to you, know that you are never beyond repair of the redeeming love and power of Jesus. The first step to experiencing the freedom and healing of Jesus is to work on resolving your daddy issues.
When you realize your daddy issues, you may realize your God issues. Your relationship and view of your earthly dad often looks a lot like your relationship and view of your heavenly Dad. When you experienced verbal abuse from your earthly dad, you start believing your heavenly Dad believes the same things about you. If your earthly dad is absent or fails to fulfill his fatherly duties, you start to think God is just as passive and absent in your life. If your earthly dad leaves or chooses another family, you think God will also abandon you. If your earthly dad doesn’t care for or provide for you, you start believing your heavenly Dad won’t provide for you either. Do you see the cycle now?
Our view and relationship with our earthly dad is reflected in our view and relationship with our heavenly Dad. For this reason, I believe it is incredibly important to turn to scripture and read how God views his precious daughters.
- If your earthly dad doesn’t think you are beautiful, trust that your heavenly Dad is proclaiming that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
- If you doubt your earthly dad’s love for you, know that your heavenly Father says you are more precious than rubies; nothing he desires can compare with you (Proverbs 3:15).
- If your earthly dad says or thinks you aren’t good enough, remember that your heavenly Dad called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a daughter for his own possession (1 Peter 2:9).
- If your earthly father is hateful, know that your heavenly Dad is like a father to His children; tender and compassionate to those who fear him (Psalm 103:13).
- If your earthly dad holds a grudge, trust that your heavenly Father will be kind and forgive your offenses (Ephesians 4:32).
- If your earthly father takes out his anger on you, believe that your heavenly Dad is slow to anger and is always merciful (Psalm 103:6, 9-10).
- If your dad refuses to forget your past mistakes, remember that The Lord doesn’t hold your past mistakes against you. He forgives and forgets (Psalm 103:12).
- If your earthly dad cares more about building himself up than building you up, know that your heavenly Father knows His children’s weaknesses but chooses to build them up and redeem them instead of himself (Psalm 103:14-18).
- If your earthly dad leaves your family or chooses another family, know that your heavenly Father always goes with you, will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- If your earthly father is physically or emotionally abusive, believe that The Lord will deliver you from all afflictions (Psalm 34:19). You are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; you are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
- If your earthly dad fails to live up to his father responsibilities and fails to provide for you, fear not because it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
Your dad may have messed up, but there is grace. All dad’s aren’t perfect. We are all broken and hurt people. Hurt people hurt people. All dads are equally broken as you and I. What else can we expect from broken people. Maybe they don’t know otherwise. Maybe they don’t know how to lead their family. Maybe they don’t know Jesus.
And to the daughters who have been raised by a Christian father, they are still prone to mistakes. You need to love your dads and give them grace and patience. No father is perfect. The good news is that our heavenly Father will make up the difference. Our heavenly Father can and will be there in every way our earthly father can’t.
This Father’s Day, no matter what your relationship with your dad looks like, know that your identity is not found in your earthly father’s love. Your identity is found in our heavenly Father’s love and that is GOOD news!
You are loved. You are valued. You are cared for. You are HIS.
Reflect and Respond:
- Does your view of your heavenly Dad reflect your view of your earthly dad?
- Look back at your childhood, do you still have wounds that need healing?
- What is one practical step you can take today to start believing you are God’s precious, loved and beautiful daughter?
- Do you fully believe that God’s Fatherly love is enough, even when your earthly dad’s love is missing?