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“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5
The Daddy Daughter Dance
There’s something so lovely about a wedding, especially the wedding of two Christians, perhaps because of the symbolism of Jesus and the Church. But there was always one part of every wedding that I used to secretly look forward to and dreaded in equal measures; the Father-Daughter dance.
This dance, so precious and special that it induces a collective, heart-melted sigh among the wedding guests, stirred up something else in me.
Until just a couple of years ago, rather than invoking in me a sigh of “ah, isn’t that lovely?,” the Father- daughter dance would bring a lump to my throat and tears that welled and threatened to spill over – to expose my “deep dark secret.” I was a “fatherless daughter.”
Not only did I feel fatherless but, if I allowed those thoughts to run riot, my fatherless state was tinged with the deep feelings of shame that touch many adult children of alcoholics.
Growing up, my Dad was physically there, but seldom ‘present.’ He was verbally cruel when drunk and emotionally unavailable when sober. Yet I loved him anyway, as daughters do. By the time it came to my wedding my Dad had died, at the tender age of 52. My ideas of fatherhood were skewed and idealistic.
Instead of being dealt with my feelings of having been abandoned, neglected, abused and unwanted were buried along with my father. Or so I thought, until every time I watched a father-daughter dance.
My oldest son got married on Saturday, and this morning as I watched – for the zillionth time – the video of my beautiful daughter-in-law dancing with her dad, I suddenly realised something! My heart melts every time I watch it. And it was then that I realised with certainty that God has healed that part of my heart that was broken. He has filled completely that perceived “Daddy space” in my heart.
My heart, not just my head, finally fully knows and believes that I am not fatherless, because as Psalm 68:5 tells me God is my Father.
God The Father
We all have an intrinsic need to be loved, cherished, protected, and valued. Ideally, an earthly father will meet those needs. But often they just don’t.
God models for us the characteristics He had in mind when He designed fatherhood. He promises that in Him, no one has to be without a perfect father.
The Lord could have chosen any way to relate to humanity; He is Almighty God, King of all kings, after all – there is no one greater or more powerful. Yet He chooses to relate to us as a tender Father would relate to his children.
Jesus teaches us to address God as Father, in Luke 11:2
Throughout the Bible, God compares His love for us with that of a loving, caring parent. Although God has characteristics of both father and mother, He chooses the masculine title Father, because it denotes strength, protection, and provision.
“I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me“. Isaiah 49:15-16
I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.” Psalm 66:13
In our modern world, fatherless doesn’t have to mean, necessarily, that one’s father has died. You just have to turn on the news most days of the week to hear heart rending reports of families ripped apart by abuse, drugs, alcohol and abandonment.
Maybe your father was emotionally distant, seldom or never affectionate? Maybe he was too busy to spend time with you? If you feel fatherless, as I did, may I encourage you to read and take to heart from these scriptures. If you belong to God, you have in Him a Father who will never fail you, never stop loving you, will always care for you and will always have time for you.
Earthly fathers are only human. They fail. It was only when I forgave my Dad, about 25 years after his death, that I was able to move forward, shake off the shackles of fatherlessness and embrace my Daughter-hood.
I am a daughter of The most High God. Fully loved, fully accepted and, as I’m told in Romans 8:15-17 : “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.” (Daddy) For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”
Featured Below are 2 Items from my Etsy shop Miss Maisie’s Wee Shop. You can view the items in store by clicking the highlighted links 👇🏻
Spring Has Sprung At Miss Maisie’s Wee Shop! I’ve had fun being creative this week with my favourites; these special “Steampunk” butterflies, based on Ecclesiastes 3:11