“My whole life I’d been craving a male role model to fill the void left by my father, and now I felt like God could be that for me. But deep down I wondered if my relationship with my heavenly Father was as fragile as my relationship with my earthly one. If I made God mad by misbehaving or not doing enough good things for Him, would He leave me too? I didn’t know the answer, but I wasn’t going to risk it.Every day turned into a quest to earn God’s approval.”
When we think of a child being fatherless we can feel sad for that child or children in a family, even a little frustration at the father for leaving the kids or not doing enough to care for his children. At times, we may not think anything. Afterall, fatherlessness and homelessness are becoming almost “normal” in today’s world. One of the few things that we probably wouldn’t associate with fatherless child, is shame.
I’m a woman who grew up with an absentee father. As I’m working on my woundedness from that life as an adult, I’m realizing that I am carrying around a lot of shame that should have been carried by my father growing up. It has clouded my judgment in ways that I never would have imagined. I want to live in a new apartment, but do I deserve it? I need a new car, but do I really deserve a new car? The day after I bought a new-to-me car I was late for work. The first thought through my mind? “I wonder if they still have my old junker, because I clearly don’t deserve this.” I was ashamed. Had I grown up in a home with a loving and gracious father, I’m not sure that I would have felt the same way. As I’m learning, stuff happens and the only thing we can do about it is learn from it and move on and say sorry if we need to.
It makes me wonder about the statistic above. How many of those 90% of children would feel that they need to be homeless or deserve anything less than a loving support system around them if they didn’t carry shame around? I’m almost certain that the statistic would drop. The question becomes, how can we help those children succeed and learn that no matter what their father’s actions were, they are indeed enough.