How we connect with our earthly fathers affects our entire life. It gives us some of our perspective on God, it teaches us about bonding with men and it provides us with guidance on how to conduct life. All of these can be highly positive, disastrously negative or somewhere in between. When the father-daughter relationship is more to the negative end of the spectrum, it is said to cause father wounds.
Listen to some things women have said on this subject:
Juanita – Growing up, I saw my father beat my mother a lot, and it made me scared. I avoided my father in case he might beat me. Later on I discovered my mother was actually protecting me and my two sisters. I am still scared of him 25 years later, and I have trouble connecting with men. I’ve been married 3 times, and each one has been an abuser.
Gloria – I remember my dad used to go into the bathroom for what seemed like hours, one day when I was 7 I walked in on him masturbating to a magazine. I was traumatized, and he stopped what he was doing and told me not tell anyone otherwise he would whoop me. When I first got married I had a difficult time with sex; it took a lot of patience from my husband to work through it.
Susan – My relationship with my dad was confusing when I was young. Sometimes he was the best, then when he drank he would be cold and distant. He would often come home late, and when he did, us kids would hide, because he was usually angry. That is my picture of God too.
Abigail – It started when I was 8, my dad, who was a single dad, just me and him, would leave me alone with his brother, my uncle while he was out. My uncle started molesting me, and then he would do more. Even though my uncle threatened me, I still tried to tell dad, but he wouldn’t listen. He never protected me, and this went on for 6 years, until I told a teacher. That is why I don’t pray; God won’t listen or protect me, I have to do it myself.
Jenny – My dad never did anything bad to me. He just seemed to zone out at home. He did come to my volleyball games, but didn’t praise or encourage me. Sometimes it was like he wasn’t there. We don’t have a close relationship.
We all know that sociologist’s research has proven over and over again that the quality of relationship a father has with his daughter is a large factor in determining the daughter’s ability to connect with men, and her ability to develop intimacy with her mate. We also know that the absence of a father in a home is highly correlated with the probability of a daughter looking for male affection in the wrong places and with the wrong people.
Today then we want to discuss your relationship with your father using these questions:
- How was your relationship with your dad, and how did it impact your view of God?
- Do you have father wounds, and what are they?
- What attitudes or behaviors of yours can you tie to your father wounds?