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Fathers and Daughters - Fatherswap.com

Kia Stephens

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May 15, 2017

What Every Husband Wants His Wife to Know

May 15, 2017 | By | 12 Comments

When it comes to marriage I’ll be the first to say I’ve botched things significantly.  It wasn’t that I didn’t prepare; I did.  But there are some things I had to learn by taking a gigantic leap into the unknown.

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Kia Stephens

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December 16, 2016

Following God When It Doesn’t Make Sense

December 16, 2016 | By | No Comments

In this live stream hangout I discusses the difficult topic of “Following God When it Doesn’t Make Sense” with Maya Dawson.  Maya candidly shares her tug of war with God after loosing her mother and father in a two year period and then battling cancer. Read More

Kia Stephens

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September 3, 2016

4 Reasons Why Men Don’t Father Part IV

September 3, 2016 | By | 4 Comments

By nature I’m selfish. Born into this world the only child, only niece, and only grandchild didn’t help my plight any. Erroneously, I believed this great big world revolved around me.

Sometimes I still do.

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Kia Stephens

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July 31, 2016

Why the Perfect Father Does Not Exist

July 31, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

As a product of the 80s my perfect family was the Huxtables.  Running for eight seasons the The Cosby Show portrayed a coveted view of family life.  They had it all – success, a clean house (Ahem),  laughter, and healthy family interactions.   

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Kia Stephens

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June 15, 2016

When Father’s Day Is Bitter Sweet

June 15, 2016 | By | 4 Comments

You celebrate a few men:

Your neighbor,

That random dad in Target with the kids,

Your friend’s husband,

and other relatives,

but when it comes to your own father things gets complicated.

While idyllic images of fathers and daughters flood social media channels, you struggle to find images to post.  Father’s day is just a reminder that things aren’t so ideal for you. And this holiday comes with a broad array of emotions:

Admiration,

Sorrow,

Love,

Rage,

Jealousy,

and Bitterness.

Thus, fueling the temptation to wear a mask for the day, so your true feelings remain undetected. You’d rather suppress your raw emotions then broadcast your pain at a time when no one else is. I have felt like this on a number of occasions, and as a professional stuffer, I can say with clarity, “Don’t do it.”

This method of dealing with pain is ineffective.  Passive aggression is like a fast moving bullet to the soul, leaving it’s victims with a non healing wound.  If this sounds familiar, and your Father’s Day experience is more bitter than sweet, I have three suggestions to help you process your feelings.

#1 Give Yourself Permission to Grieve What Has Been Lost  

The physical or emotional absence of a father is a traumatic experience in the life of his daughter.  Whether the cause be death, divorce, abandonment, distance, or substance abuse, the effect is a loss that must be grieved.  Though difficult to process, it is necessary, in order to heal.

Are you hurting today?

Is your father daughter story so painful you can barely talk about it?

If so, the Bible gives you license to mourn.  

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Grieve every difficult memory, wound inflicted, word said, moment missed, and rejection felt.  Your story should not be minimized or dismissed.  If it is painful to you then it matters to God.  One of my favorite scriptures says it like this, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

When Father's Day Is Bitter Sweet Meme 1

And you might be saying, “I’ve tried to release it, but the wound is too deep.”  I completely understand. The process of grieving takes time and is unique to every person.  Enlist support on your journey; you may require the help of a professional counselor, or a trusted friend.  Whatever it takes, for however long it takes, you will “be comforted” in your grief by God.  So do not lose heart.

# 2 Choose Forgiveness

The love you feel for your daddy only makes the dagger of his words and actions sink deeper. And attempting to forgive him is like falling down a bottomless pit: never coming to the end of his offenses against you.  I get it.  You are tired of trying to forgive a man that doesn’t seem to deserve forgiveness.  

And if it had not been for the selfless act of a Jewish carpenter, I might encourage you to forget about forgiving your daddy.  But because of Christ, my forgiveness is not conditional and yours either. We forgive because we have been forgiven, period.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

And this is more easily said than done, but it is doable. Christ is the impetus for, and the enabler of forgiveness.  Without Him it is impossible to willingly and consistently relinquish my right to hold a grudge towards my offender.

Every time I forgive with my mouth I ask God to help my emotions to follow suit.  And if the pain resurfaces, or a new offense is made, I continue to lean on the power of my heavenly father to forgive again. 

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Kia Stephens

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August 31, 2015

Pursuing Your Daddy When He Doesn’t Pursue You Back

August 31, 2015 | By | 16 Comments

Recently, a young reader asked me about contacting her father.  She questioned whether it would be a good idea since she had never met him.  Tucked within the subtext of her inquiry was the fear that reaching out to her dad could be more painful than not reaching at all.  

I understood the apprehension in her email.  Every woman with an absentee dad knows any attempt to connect with her father might result in rejection.  No one wants to be ignored or dismissed, especially by her daddy.   

As women, we live with an innate longing to be cherished by our fathers.  We are wired to flourish in his praise.  Even if the relationship is muddied with abandonment and painful memories, the desire to know and connect with our dad persists.

So we weigh the pros with the cons and evaluate whether to pursue a dad who isn’t   pursuing us. Despite the potential to be brushed-off, I recommended she connect with her dad, but only after processing her pain first. Eighteen years ago I needed this same advice.  

I was in college when a friend shared how she wrote a letter to her father.  She penned all the major events he missed and invited him back into her life. “This is doable,” I thought.   

So one day I sat at the computer and typed a two page letter giving the chronological rundown on everything from Elementary to High School.  When I came home on holiday breaks I stole pictures from my mom’s photo albums and gave them to my father.  I called him and initiated outings.  I invited him over to the house.  I visited, sent cards, prayed and believed.  I did everything I could do.

The expectation was that my efforts would produce a made-for-TV father daughter relationship.  With a little effort I could snap my fingers and poof, instant bonding; it didn’t work like that.  We did begin a relationship but it was like meeting with a stranger over and over again.

I underestimated the barriers between my dad and I: time, culture, pain, fear, beliefs, mistrust, distance, expectations, and lifestyle choices, to name a few.  Like swimming against the current, forging a relationship with my dad was difficult.   I never anticipated that it would be.

I thought hard work would manifest the ideal father daughter relationship I longed for; it did not.  What I failed to realize was my perspective needed to change.  The impetus for pursuing my father had been centered around me.

My Needs

My Wants

My Expectations

My Ideals

My Hurt

Although the initial pursuit of my daddy seemed noble, I was motivated by selfish gain.  And some might argue that I was justified in my all-about-me-state.  After all, didn’t I  deserve to be fathered, loved, and cherished?  

The truth I had to embrace was, initiating a relationship with my daddy in hopes of receiving his love and affirmation was a risky and sometimes futile attempt.  

 When we obligate another person to fill our emotional bucket we set ourselves up for disappointment.  

Pursuing a relationship with our fathers requires a commitment to love him whether he reciprocates our efforts or not.  This is a mindshift, but I believe it is one we must have when initiating a relationship with our fathers.  If you are considering this journey I have extracted 4 take aways from my own personal pursuit that may be helpful to you.

Start with God

Without Jesus Christ I would be tempted to slip back into a you-owe-me-mentality.  When viewing my father daughter relationship through the lens of the cross I realize my father owes me nothing.  The selfless sacrifice of Christ paid the debt for me and my dad.  

  Only He can empower us to love unconditionally. This is difficult but achievable.  

  Love looks, sounds and feels like God.

7 Reasons Why a Sex Act Won't Soothe A Love Ache

7 Reasons Why a Sex Act Won’t Soothe A Love Ache

Forgive Your Father

If you are fantasizing about the day you can unload all of your painful baggage on your father’s doorstep you are probably harboring unforgiveness.  That bitter root in you is like grease in a fire. It will spread covering everything in its path; your relationships, your vision, and your future. You must rid yourself of unforgiveness before pursuing your daddy.  Unforgiveness lays a faulty foundation for any relationship.

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst

When a daughter walks into her father’s life for the first time she doesn’t know what to expect.  For this reason I would recommend mentally walking yourself through several different scenarios.

What if my dad has another family?

What if he was there for his other children?

What if he is dead?

What if he is incarcerated?

What if he is on drugs?

What if he has a questionable past?

What if he isn’t’ interested in getting to know me?

What if he is embarrassed?

What if he doesn’t accept me?

These questions are tough to read and none of them may be true in your situation.  However, I believe it is better to consider all possible outcomes.

Develop a Support System

Don’t do this alone.  Ask your closest friends to pray for you (and me too).  You may need a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to hold.  Be vulnerable and allow your trusted friends to provide support for you.

I want to leave you with an encouragement if you feel like pursuing your daddy means no one is pursuing you.  The truth is God has pursued you since your birth.  He is wooing you through the people you meet, the blessings in life, the words of this blog post and in more ways than we know or or can imagine.  He loves you infinitely and He is more than capable of loving you as you endeavor to love your dad.

Pursuing Your Daddy When He Doesn't Pursue You Back Meme 9

 

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