I was in my early 20’s when I read an article on Father-Daughter connection that made me shiver in tears. It was an article that spoke so deep in my soul. It made me understand a lot of things about myself but at the same time it made me so mad at my dad for not fulfilling his role as a father to me. That article opened my eyes but didn’t heal me. It was an article that was not founded on the Word of God. Everything about it was true but it had no power to heal and deliver.
Today, 20 years after I read that article, I want to share with you my own version of the Father-Daughter connection based from what I’ve experienced, the process I’ve gone through, and what I am still going through. This version is also founded on the Word of God, making it more stable and reliable.
I encourage you also to share this with your fathers, husbands, brothers, and every man you know.
It was around 3 in the morning and I was still up doing my schoolwork. I got thirsty and decided to walk to the kitchen. My dad was packing his suitcase as he was leaving for Europe. He didn’t know I was still awake. As I walked through the hallway, I saw my Dad walking towards my direction. He was surprised to see me still awake and I don’t know for what reason… maybe he was saying goodbye to me or maybe I just caught him by surprise… but he hugged me. I hugged him back and when I realized we were hugging, I immediately let go and walked away. I went back to my room and started crying. It was tears of joy and sadness at the same time. I ached in my heart wanting more of my dad’s hug but at the same time wondering why he never hugged me until that time. I hated the uncomfortable feeling I had from that hug. It was almost too good to be true.
My dad has always been very loving to my mom and sister but not to me. I’ve always known that he loves me. I am his first girl… his first child for that matter. I am almost a replica of him. Amongst all of his five children, I am the one who got most of his good genes. My passion for writing, speaking, and teaching, are all traces of my dad in me. Even his friends used to tell me, “You are really your father’s girl”. Yet, there was something about my dad that made him so uncomfortable expressing his love to me. As a result, I grew up so hungry for his love. This hunger for love led me to compromising situations with men.
A father is the first man in every girl’s life. Her relationship with him determines the kind of relationships she will have in the future. Everything she sees in her father is an example that he sets for her. If he is loving and nice to her mom, then the daughter grows up believing that this is the way her future husband should be to her.
The love that I witnessed between my dad and mom made me desire for a marriage like theirs as early as my childhood years. However, my hunger for my dad’s love screwed up everything. It distorted my entire concept of love. Since I wanted love and attention so bad, I thought that every guy who told me he loved me was sincere. Little did I know that it was only their way of getting what they wanted from me. I will never forget that night when I was sexually molested by a guy friend who my parents trusted. I was 12 years old and I was just so nave and trusting. I remember asking him, “Do you love me?”, and he said, “I love my dad, mom, and brothers”. All I wanted to hear from him was that he loved me and that would have made me understood why he did what he did to me.
That incident worsened my already “starting to get distorted” concept of love. It also opened doors for more promiscuity and of course inflicted more wounds upon me. Years later, when the wounds were already so deep, I realized that had my dad established a loving relationship with me, none of that would have happened. I then built up more resentment against him.
Every father should be his daughter’s first date. He should show her how to be treated with respect. He should explain to her how valuable she is and that she has to be valued by every man who wants to even be near her. This can only be possible if the father has built a loving relationship with his daughter. A father can’t just walk into this daughter’s life after years of not even being close to her. The relationship has to start from infancy, or at least, the formative years.
Whether you are a father, a daughter, or a mother, I know that this article is speaking to you right now. Perhaps as a father you’re thinking, ‘but what can I do? I’ve never built a relationship with my daughter”. Or as a daughter, you’re saying, “It’s too late, my dad has never been there for me”. Or as a mother, you’re thinking, “I screwed up. My daughter doesn’t even know who her dad is”.
Let me tell you something. Our earthly fathers may have failed us. You as an earthly father may have failed your daughter(s). Yet, there is a FATHER in heaven who said that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He loves us and only wants the best for us. He said, For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Our FATHER in heaven is our great Healer and Restorer. He will give us back what the devil has stolen from us.
Do you realize that the devil is responsible for our hurts towards our dads? He wants to break our relationships with our dads so that our entire concept of a father will be distorted… simply because he wants to destroy our relationship with our Father in heaven.
It took a while before I was able to relate to God, my Father. I never had a problem relating with Jesus as my brother… but as a Father, it was not easy. However, as I got to know Him more, through His Word, I started drawing closer and closer to Him. This closeness to my real Father is the reason why I was healed from my hurts and resentment towards my earthly father.
If you are a father, the only way you can even be the dad that God wants you to be is through JESUS. It is also through Him that you can restore your broken relationship with your daughter. If you are a single mom, the only way you can help your daughter have the real Father figure is through JESUS. And if you are a daughter, the only way you can experience the love of a Father is through JESUS.
Below is a poem I wrote for my dad in 2007. It surely shows how much God has healed me.
My Love For You
I have always craved for your attention,
“Dad” was the name I loved to mention;
I have always ached for your love,
You were the one that stood high above.
Even as a child, I have always admired you,
Being with you was something I looked forward to;
My eyes looked at you with so much pride,
Your words and ways became my guide.
One incident that I will always remember,
Was our constant trip to the chapel together;
It became a daily routine for me,
Opening my eyes, making me see.
As I transformed from a girl into a young woman,
My heart never left you dad, my first man;
Though I was rebellious in my ways,
I always looked back at those good old days.
When I got older and had the chance to work with you,
My respect and esteem for you grew;
I saw a side of you I’ve never known,
And all the more to you I was drawn.
While I was going through the pain of a failed marriage,
It was your love for mom that gave me the courage;
You became the role model that I wanted to follow,
Anything outside of that, I just couldn’t swallow.
All these years I have wanted to be close to you,
And express to you all these feelings that are long overdue;
But the walls between us have grown in width and height,
Blocking and stopping me with all its might.
Finally, our God came to the rescue.
He fixed, repaired, restored, and made new.
No wall was too high or wide for Him,
Nothing was difficult as it seemed.
It was the love of Jesus that connected us.
It was His love that made healing come to pass.
It was His love that broke all walls.
It was His love that pacified our souls.
As a proof of this great love of God,
A special gift on my birthday I’ve had;
You, dad, said the words “I love you” to me,
It was the best present there could ever be.
I want you to know how much I love you,
And how this love is more real now than it used to;
My long search is finally over,
In my heart you will reign forever.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God’z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other.
For more of Lisa’s articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/
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