There is something to be said about the number of people I know who have “daddy issues.” For most of my young adult life, I’ve had that phrase in my back pocket to use as an excuse for why I don’t trust most people. These issues stem not just from the dad I have here on earth but also from the lack of trust I have with the “Dad” I have in heaven.
Because of my poor relationship with my dad, I had a hard time truly believing the things that the Bible said about God and how He is a perfect Father. How can I trust a Father I can’t see when I couldn’t trust the real tangible father that was given to me? How could I ever have the intimacy a father has with his daughter when I felt washed up and jaded about even having a father in the first place?
For a long time, I wanted to make things work with my dad and figure out a way we could meet in the middle, but it never worked out the way I thought it would. I was not perfect in my relationship with him, and I have confessed that I made a lot of mistakes. However, my dad isn’t who I need him to be, no matter how many conversations we have or how many years he goes to counseling. There are things about my dad that make him emotionally unsafe for me to be around. But that doesn’t change that my dad did the best he could.
He made sure I could ride a bike, tie my shoes, and work a microwave like a pro. He drove me to endless basketball practices even when he still had tree stump dust on his clothes. He made sure that my music taste range went from Aerosmith, to Green Day, all the way to ZZ Top.
I have been really lucky that when I struggled with my own dad, God placed other men in my life that showed me what it looks like to have an earthly father who follows our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for the pastors, family members, mentors, and friends who have stepped up in my dad’s place and pointed me toward the love of our Father in Heaven. The decision I made to distance myself from my dad left a missing space in my life for that father / daughter relationship. Since I knew that I wouldn’t get it from my dad here on earth, I know now that that space can only be filled by God Himself.
I have found comfort and peace knowing that God loves me. I’ve heard sermons talk about how God loves us the way a father loves their child, and that didn’t comfort me. God’s love in the Bible is the most unconditional love we can experience, but all I had ever known about love was conditional. Here are some of the verses that have brought me TRUE comfort in the love and grace of a perfect Father, that I hope will encourage you too:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” - 1 John 3:1
“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” - Galatians 4:6-7
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” - Romans 8:15
No matter your relationship status with your earthly father, your Heavenly Father loves you. He loves you so much that He couldn’t stand to be apart from you, so He put Himself on the cross so we could be with Him. The love that my Heavenly Father has for me heals so much of the hurt that my earthly father caused because I know that Jesus laid His life down for me. Even when I was far from Him, He died for me. If the entire world and everyone in it were perfect, and you were the only one God needed to die for, He would still do it. That is the kind of love our Heavenly Father has for us, and that is good news.
“For in You the fatherless find compassion.” - Hosea 14:3
Wife, daughter, dog mom. Kids ministry is my jam and I speak exclusively in TV and movie quotes.