Daddy, Do You Love Me?

I picked this up a while ago at a Family Life Conference because as a pastor this is a question I often hear ask in a number of different ways. Many young women and adults are really questioning if they were loved by their fathers. My hope was that this book would be a book of hope for those struggling with the relationship with their father.

Let me start out by saying that while this book was written by women and mainly for women it may have a greater impact on men that are willing to read it. As I read through the stories of the authors and other women that had poor or damaging relationships with their fathers and the pain came through so clearly I thought there is a lot of men out there that should hear the depth of the pain their actions cause the very ones that should be able to look to them for love and support.

According to Divorce magazine the United States is the world leader of fatherless families. There is a tremendous increase in fatherless families not only from divorce but the unwed mothers as well. If you include the number of homes that a father is there but not really active in their daughter’s life the numbers are staggering.

The authors of are both living out the experience of broken relationships with their fathers. One has a father that she is rebuilding a relationship with and the other her father is dead. Both reconnected with a father that had hurt them deeply and they share their journey of healing that continues today. They share their stories along with the stories of many other women and their longing to be their daddy’s little princess and the delight of his eye. Many of the stories will break your heart as they take you through abandonment, in and out of the home, emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and the hurt of words and actions.

Many men walk out of their children’s lives every day and the damage is tremendous. Since the relationship with their father is designed to be the first model girls have for what a man is to be and looks to them to learn about relationships with men the impact is lifelong.

A key point is that it is never too late to begin the healing process. For men an important point is that it is never too late to begin being the father you should have been from the beginning. The hard part is that you have to make the decision to take the risk to start and the truth is that you may have to do it alone and that at times it will never be what you want it or need it to be.

One of the key points is that God is the model of a perfect father and the one that we can first look to experience that perfect love. The difficulty that is often faced is understanding that God is the perfect model for a father rather than our father being a model for God.

A word of caution for women that have experienced a broken relationship with your father is that this book will at times be difficult and painful to read. It will probably make you angry and at times you may find it frustrating. There are some statements made that I question that are pretty blanket and may need to be tempered. That said, it is worth taking the journey and my prayer is that it would start many daughters and fathers on a path to new life.