God knew what He was doing when He designed the family to consist of father, mother, and child(ren). When we depart from God’s design, dysfunction wedges in and poisons all the members of the family. If a father is absent, the entire family suffers. He may be present in the family, but if he withdraws from engaging completely, except to mete out punishment, then he is essentially absent from the lives of his kids.
I am a daughter of an absent earthly father, so I am writing this article for girls who are like me in this regard. My father was absent by choice—he is still living. I wish he would have known how valuable he was in my life. I am certain his father didn’t know how valuable he was to my dad.
A father is the first most important male in a girl’s life. He’s meant to provide a safe living environment that includes encouragement and loving yet firm instruction. He is her first and safest experience relating to a man. A girl’s father is the first man to love her (show her affection by words and actions) and to exemplify God’s love for her. This knowledge and upbringing enables her to flourish into a secure and confident young woman.
What happens when he does not provide a sense of safety, parental instruction, and show his daughter(s) love? The daughter(s) is not likely to blossom into a secure woman, confident in being loved and assured that she is lovable. She will grow up wilted, unsure of her value, insecure when relating to men, and doubtful of her appeal as a woman worthy of marriage. Her decisions in life will mirror these false, subconscious beliefs about herself.
Instead of leaving an imprint on her that says—loved and valued—an absent father leaves a black hole. This black hole cripples the heart of the daughter; and she begins to attract a certain kind of boy/man in her life. These males are not the kind who want to give her what she needed all those years from her father. These boys/men do not love her, but they will say they do and she will believe it because she’s desperate to hear it. She will succumb to their lies by giving these boys/men what her father hadn’t cherished—her heart, her soul, and her virtue—in the vain hope that he will. But he chooses her for a reason, and it isn’t to honor and cherish her.
In the depravity of the black hole within her, she becomes vulnerable. She becomes prey. She will tolerate what she should not; she will believe what she should not—just to feel wanted. Or, she will completely dissociate from men altogether and suppress any desire for a relationship with one. Her desire will not cease, however. She is created woman; she is a hungry human and a sexual being, so she will find outlets. Maybe she will wonder if she was meant to love a woman. That seems safe. Better than loneliness.
There is only One Person who can redeem this daughter from the pit of insecurity, worthlessness, and fear. It is the Lord Almighty, who gave His Son as a ransom for the soul, the heart, and the virtue of every girl. God parted with His perfect family and disowned His Son, Jesus, for the moment in time that Jesus bore all of our sins—so that you and I could be adopted into His family, daughters of the eternal Father-King, and become whole.
Psalm 34:18: The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
How has your relationship with Christ restored your sense of being loved and valued?