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Kia Stephens

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January 11, 2015

3 Reasons Why Women Need to Talk About Being Fatherless

January 11, 2015 | By | 16 Comments

My announcement triggered women to speak words they’d been waiting to say.  “I’m going to write a blog for fatherless daughters,” I said.  Instantly, their body language responded before their mouths ever did.

Whether I was in the salon, on a play-date with my kids, or at work,  women had something to say about their father daughter relationships (or lack thereof).  Without hesitation they spoke, recounting memories and words (often painful) of their biological fathers.

“I just met my dad two weeks ago.”

“I don’t know who my father is.”

“My daddy was an alcoholic.”

“I heard my father call my mother a heifer.”

“My dad introduced me as his son.”

Unfortunately, their experiences tilted the scale towards the negative, thus confirming the need for a conversation.  Whether fatherless due to death, abandonment, abuse, divorce, or an emotionally absent dad, many women carry a wound that demands attention.  I know this first hand and have spent more than a decade addressing this issue in my own life.   What I found can be summed up in 3 reasons why we need to talk about being fatherless.

Reason 1:  Our Formative Years Impact Our Behavior

Behavior is shaped by the relationships, events, and experiences of our beginning years.   To ignore these imprints would be like pretending we magically dropped on the planet when we turned 18.  We may not want to admit it, but in many cases those influences (good or bad) consciously and subconsciously shape who we are. For this reason a woman’s behavior is dramatically impacted by the absence of her father.

In his book, Always Daddy’s Girl, H. Norman Wright had the following to say about the initial relationship between a father and a daughter.

“Your relationship with your father was your critical interaction with the masculine gender.  He was the first man whose attention you wanted to gain.  He was the first man you flirted with,  the first man to cuddle you and kiss you the first man to prize you as a very special girl among all other girls.  All of these experiences with your father were vital to him and all other men: your femininity.  The fawning attention of a father for his daughter prepares her for her uniquely feminine role as a girlfriend, fiance and wife.”

So if the dad is missing, and there is no stand-in father figure, the daughter is left to fill that void on her own.  I did.  Is there no wonder a parade of talk shows have milked the subject directly and indirectly since the 90s?

From Geraldo to Oprah, they all too predictably end with a made for TV bow on top that barely scratches the surface.  The obvious reality is that one hour minus commercial breaks is not enough time to deal with this deep wound.  It has taken me years and I remain dependent on the One who can heal me daily.

As women who grew up lacking the tangible love of our fathers we must be willing to:

  • Admit we have an ache.
  • Give ourselves permission to grieve what we did not experience.
  • Identify the lies we told ourselves in the process.
  • Replace the lies with truth.
  • Choose a lifestyle of forgiveness.
  • Embrace an abundant relationship with our heavenly Father.

If we choose not to, the  effects can be devastating. 

Reason 2:  History Can Repeat Itself

I became a fatherless daughter as the result of divorce and that seed had fertile ground to flourish in my early years of marriage.  Both of us were fatherless and did not grow up with models of what marriage should look like.   Needless to say,we jumped the broom and our wounded souls joined in holy matrimony right along with our bodies.

Honestly, outside of God there is no logical reason we should be on the other side of an eleven year marriage.  Even though God uniquely fashioned a Jesus-Fix-My- Life-Intervention-Program prior to us saying I do, there were many blind spots I did not notice until I was swimming in the deep end of the pool.  After conversing with hindsight I wish I had taken the steps below before I got hitched.

  • Keenly identify the needs that went unmet in my childhood.
  • Practice going to God to get those needs met.
  • Recognize and believe wholeheartedly that God defines me.
  • Allow God’s word to make me whole and complete first.

If you’re like me and these words are too late to implement prior to marriage, start where you are.  But if you are unmarried, with the desire to be married some day, TAKE HEED!  Let this blog post be like a pesky fly on your favorite meal.  Stop – don’t dive into a relationship and definitely not marriage until you do the above steps.

Reason 3:   There is a Solution

If you knew the cure for cancer would you keep it to yourself?  Would you remain silent as family members and friends received their life-altering diagnosis?  Of course you wouldn’t.  I believe you would tell anyone who would listen in an effort to save lives.

Fatherlessness is not cancer but there are parallels between the disease and what has become an epidemic.  It starts small; some traumatic event occurs – like divorce, teenage pregnancy, death, or incarceration.  And then it spreads.  Subtly and gradually overtime infecting the adult lives of the children who experienced it.

Hence the reason for this blog.  I was one of those children.  But God has taken this broken, needy, fatherless girl with a low self-esteem and He is making me whole.  I struggled for years in my youth and my adult life and God has met me in a way I did not know was possible.

 He is abundance replacing lack in the life of a fatherless daughter.  The cure for the ache in your soul is found in Him.

3 Reasons Why Women Need to Talk About Being Fatherless

I know this because  I’ve been adopted by God.  This adoption is not just for the select few.  It is available for every un-fathered girl turned woman who has ever longed to be adored by her daddy.  “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 NIV.

I love the word lavished in this scripture!

  So grab a woman, go to Starbucks and let’s start having a conversation.

Do you think women need to have a conversation about being fatherless?

Comments

  1. As a school teacher, I can see first-hand the effects of absentee parents in the lives of young ladies. Thank you for bringing awareness to this topic and offering hope. May your ministry be abundantly blessed as you continue to help others:)

    • Kristine it is unfortunate that the damaging impact of absentee fathers is seen in our youth. Despite this reality, I am hopeful that this blog will reach those girls who may be just like I was. Thank you for your heartfelt words and sincere encouragement.

  2. Thank you for joining in on #livefreeThursday. Your story is beautiful in the sense that it’s honest, it’s enlightening and the wisdom you share in this blog post alone could change the direction or heart of another woman. Keep writing, Kia. Keep sharing this wisdom and community with others who need to know the love of the Father.

    • Thank you Suzie, I am humbled by your words. Truly God does create beauty out of our painful past. He has done it for me, and it is my hope that He will “change the direction or heart of another woman” through this blog!

  3. Lauren

    I was so encouraged to read your reflections on the importance of facing the reality of fatherlessness and asking God to step into that void. My heart really resonated with your writing, and I look forward to reading more on here!

    • Thanks for visiting Lauren. It is a tough reality that many face but Christ truly makes the difference!

  4. I agree with all of these! It’s an important topic to talk about, especially since history repeats itself. I don’t think others who aren’t fatherless understand the depth of pain so talking about it more would definitely enlighten others in a gentle way.
    Visiting from Mama Moments!
    Anastasia recently posted…When You’re at the End of Your RopeMy Profile

    • This is so true Anastasia. For women who grew up with the love an affirmation of their biological dad this subject matter may be difficult for to comprehend. Nonetheless, I think this is still a conversation for all women to have because the impact of absentee fathers is linked to so many societal issues. Subsequently, fatherlessness directly and indirectly affects the world we live in. Hopefully more and more people will join this much needed conversation. I’m glad you did. Be blessed! – Kia

  5. This is so true. Sometimes subconsciously we go back to our traumatic past because it’s our “homing instinct”. Somehow it reminds us of home. So we have a tendency to repeat history.
    Lux recently posted…6 Things I Will Never Do To My KidsMy Profile

    • Yes Lux, our formative years impact our present behavior. However in Christ we have the power to overcome our past. So glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  6. I couldn’t love this post anymore than I do. I’ve struggled so much with wanting my dad to love me and care about me. I promised myself that I would break the cycle of absent dads in my family, and I would only marry a man that would love his children well. Well, God outdid himself when it came to my husband. And He constantly draws me nearer, especially when I start longing for a Father. Thank you so much for writing this much needed blog. This is for a conversation we all need to be having. Thank you.
    Kelsey Ferguson recently posted…How to Overcome Fear of an Unknown TomorrowMy Profile

    • Kelly, what a testimony of redemption and a fresh start. I marvel at how God can take the broken pieces of our lives and make them beautiful. He continues to do it time and time again. He loves us just that much! I’m praying that God would overwhelm you with his abundant love for you when you feel abandoned. May the words of Psalm 27:10 be a reminder of his concern for you. “When my mother and father forsake me then the Lord will take me up.” Thanks for joining the conversation! Be blessed! – Kia

  7. LOVE! Thanks for linking at Women With Intention Wednesdays! 🙂

    • Jenny thanks for joining the conversation. Be blessed! – Kia

  8. Thank you so much for sharing all this, Kia – and for linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…I’m Not Sorry You Caught Me at a Bad MomentMy Profile

    • Mary it is my pleasure to share because I strongly believe in this message. Women truly need to talk about being fatherless. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed. – Kia

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