One of my favorite movie songs is from Austin Powers. “Daddy wasn’t there”, was the song the lead character sang to somehow deal with his abandonment issues related to his father. The story goes, even though he is a super spy that all the ladies love, he still struggles with his daddy issues. I fully understand that premise as a child of abandonment. I didn’t really think of myself as an abandoned child until I was well beyond my child years. The fact that I never met my father didn’t really register on my radar because in my neighborhood only one child had a live in father. Several had dad’s that would visit on occasion, but by and large the projects where I lived was a father free zone.
Although, I didn’t know it had a profound affect on me. My self-esteem was very low, I joined a gang to feel protected, and I still have issues with physical contact with men. If a man (even a good friend) sits next to me and his leg or foot is touching me, it freaks me out a bit. I didn’t realize that until I saw how my son loves to cuddle and rub my facial hair. Some other people have similar stories, where their daddy issues affect their lives too. Whether they had an overly permissive dad, that let them do whatever, or an abusive father, or those rare few with adoring fathers, daddy problems are rampant in our culture.
The biggest problem with daddy issues is not that it screws the child’s life up. The biggest problem is that all mighty God relates to us as a father. Jesus teaching us to relate to God taught, "This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven…” Matt 6:9. If you had an abusive father the tendency is to think God will abuse you. If you had a permissive father then you could be left thinking God doesn’t really care about what you do, or how you live. Or if you had an absent father, like me, you can think God either isn’t there or doesn’t care. None are true. God is not the refection of your earthy father, but rather the perfection. It took me a while to realize how much God loved me, and in him I see what real fatherhood looks like…Just a thought.