Missing Father (Part 2)

As I’ve thought about my previous post over the last couple of days, I have come to conclude that the opposite problem also exists, perhaps more frequently than the first.

This is the child who grows up genuinely loved by her father. He takes great delight in her and treats her with great affection. But as she grows she begins to ask things of him that he knows will only hurt her. When he expresses his concerns and his regret over not being able to give in to her, she grows increasingly frustrated. Soon she is even questioning whether he even loves her anymore, or ever did.

As that plays on her mind she begins to see his every act of affection through her jaded eyes and concludes he only acts like he loves her to get what he wants. Now his acts of affection are dismissed as tools of manipulation. Her disappointment grows and eventually gives way to anger. Now she no longer asks, she demands. And when she doesn’t get her way, she pouts.

What she wants has now become more important than the relationship and she begins to unravel it by blaming him for the problem. She’s fine. In her mind, her desires have become “needs” and his refusal to help her only proves what an uncaring person he has become. She ends up saying horrendous things to him and about him to her friends, all to justify her own bitterness and anger.

The father knows better. Her words sting, but he knows they aren’t true. Even in the face of her anger and manipulation he responds with sorrow not anger. He knows she is sliding into the dark space of her own selfishness where lies will rule the day and he is now powerless against her false accusations. No mater what he does, she will only belittle him and dismiss his attempts to affirm is love to her. There is no greater bondage than believing your own lies to be the truth. Even Jesus warned us that when our “light” is really darkness, there is no greater darkness!

Eventually another comes along who promises to meet all her “needs”, and do for her what her father has refused to do. Of course he only does it to get what he wants from her, but she thinks she has found true love. At the beginning she gets what she wants and turns her back on the dad who loves her to follow the boyfriend who only wants to use her.

Of course, over time his motives become evident as he becomes more demanding of her. He pampers her less and abuses her more. He was just exploiting her needs to fulfill his wants and as that reality sinks in she slides into despair. The freedom she thought he offered, only turns out to be a prison of her own making.

What can she do now? She’s too scared to leave him and in her mind has no where else to go. She knows now that she’s made the poorest of choices, but has she burned so many bridges that she has no choice now but to keep on her course no matter how painful? In her honest moments, however, her heart longs for home. She’s too embarrassed and scared to face the father she rejected so brutally.

She’s sure her father hates her now, but she doesn’t know she’s only projecting her emotion on him. This is actually the moment, if she takes the risk, that she can discover how amazing true love really is,

What she doesn’t know yet is that her father still longingly looks out of his window every day hoping against hope that this will be the day she comes home. His heart was broken by her choices, but they made him neither angry with her nor ashamed of her. He only wants her to come home. The moment he sees her coming down the road, he’ll burst through the front door with great joy and rush to her side, welcoming her back inside the affection he had only grown in her absence.

Here’s the truth: You can always go back to the place where you were truly loved and find yourself smack dab in the middle of the affection you may have spurned before. True love always prevails over failure.

I read Psalm 78 this morning, and that is its theme. Regardless of how faithless Israel was, God was ready to draw them into his love whenever they made the slightest turn toward him—and even at times when they didn’t!

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8 Comments
  1. Theresa August 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Your eloquent post reminded me of this amazing country song, “Hurry Home.” First time I heard it, I had to pull the van over to get a hold of myself.

    Thanks for reminding me of where I need to run when life gets too painful.

  2. Theresa August 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Your eloquent post reminded me of this amazing country song, “Hurry Home.” First time I heard it, I had to pull the van over to get a hold of myself.

    Thanks for reminding me of where I need to run when life gets too painful.

  3. Brenda August 19, 2010 at 5:38 am

    This speaks very eloquently to me about the prodigal son.
    It’s an amazing truth that, when found and lived in, frees us up in ways we could never imagine.
    blessings and thanks for writing it

  4. Brenda August 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

    This speaks very eloquently to me about the prodigal son.
    It’s an amazing truth that, when found and lived in, frees us up in ways we could never imagine.
    blessings and thanks for writing it

  5. Joyce August 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Theresa, thank you so much for that link to the song, “Hurry Home”. As the tears flowed, I was reminded once again of the depth of our Father’s love.

    Wayne, just this morning I was listening to your MP3, “Transitions”, the part about the parrable of the Prodigal Son. Then, just now I read your post and then listened to “Hurry Home”. I have been immersed in His love….Thank you….

  6. Joyce August 19, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Theresa, thank you so much for that link to the song, “Hurry Home”. As the tears flowed, I was reminded once again of the depth of our Father’s love.

    Wayne, just this morning I was listening to your MP3, “Transitions”, the part about the parrable of the Prodigal Son. Then, just now I read your post and then listened to “Hurry Home”. I have been immersed in His love….Thank you….

  7. Laura August 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    My experience was similar to this story in a lot of ways. My dad loved and treasured me very much, but I didn’t realize it when I was younger. He expressed his affection over and over, just not in the ways that I wanted him to. He rarely said no to me, so that wasn’t the issue with us. I viewed him as being distant and indifferent. Because I didn’t recognize his love and affection for me, I looked for it from “father figures” when I was younger, and boyfriends when I was older. I made a horrible choice for myself in choosing a mate, in spite of the objections of my parents, extended family, and friends. I’m sure I broke my dad’s heart, because he knew what I was in for. He tried to warn me, but I wasn’t listening. My dad was exactly like the father you described, not interfering, but patiently waiting for me to come to the end of myself. 12 years later, when I had endured enough abuse and was finally willing to publicly admit that I was wrong, he never said “I told you so.” He still did not show affection in the ways I wanted when I was younger. But he fully supported me, fully accepted me, and helped me in greater ways than I would have ever asked or thought of. His love is so obvious to me now. I can only imagine how my life might have been different if I had learned to recognize it earlier. Just imagine my excitement when I began to learn to recognize the love of my heavenly Dad!!! It doesn’t get any better than that.

  8. Laura August 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    My experience was similar to this story in a lot of ways. My dad loved and treasured me very much, but I didn’t realize it when I was younger. He expressed his affection over and over, just not in the ways that I wanted him to. He rarely said no to me, so that wasn’t the issue with us. I viewed him as being distant and indifferent. Because I didn’t recognize his love and affection for me, I looked for it from “father figures” when I was younger, and boyfriends when I was older. I made a horrible choice for myself in choosing a mate, in spite of the objections of my parents, extended family, and friends. I’m sure I broke my dad’s heart, because he knew what I was in for. He tried to warn me, but I wasn’t listening. My dad was exactly like the father you described, not interfering, but patiently waiting for me to come to the end of myself. 12 years later, when I had endured enough abuse and was finally willing to publicly admit that I was wrong, he never said “I told you so.” He still did not show affection in the ways I wanted when I was younger. But he fully supported me, fully accepted me, and helped me in greater ways than I would have ever asked or thought of. His love is so obvious to me now. I can only imagine how my life might have been different if I had learned to recognize it earlier. Just imagine my excitement when I began to learn to recognize the love of my heavenly Dad!!! It doesn’t get any better than that.

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