Bob Hamp recently posted a link to an article on destinyinbloom.com called “Expecting Superman” which I read and thought was particularly relevant for woman whose fathers struggle with SSA. It got me thinking about my relationship with my dad and some things I wanted to talk a little bit about here.
One of the great points made by the author of the post above is that we shouldn’t allow our expectations of what a father “should be” keep us from seeing how we are loved.
I agree with that whole-heartedly… I think the world is constantly sending us messages, surrounding us with images and dictating to us what love is supposed to look like. Not too surprisingly, most of the time the picture of love the world is painting for us is more than a little distorted. Conveniently for the Enemy, this leads our expectations away from what it is that we really need, causing us to miss the truth about love in the relationships we’re in and ultimately making it more difficult for us to understand God’s love in the process. Oh the tangled web…
Bringing this back specifically to women whose fathers struggle with SSA,I feel like part of the distortion that can happen and is little discussed is the idea of, ” My dad is my hero and he accepts me as a woman.”
My dad and I are very close, but our relationship isn’t perfect, and one of the areas I’ve had to really work through is in this idea and expectation. Because my parents were honest with my siblings and I about my dad’s struggle and their ministry, I was fully aware of what that really meant. I knew my dad was attracted to men, I knew that he had been in relationships with men, I also saw my parents relationship through the lens of “God forced them together” (which I’ll discuss in another post). This meant that as I grew up and as my dad became naturally concerned with things like my being modest, instead of understanding it as him being protective of me because I had value, I understood it to mean that my body was unacceptable, and I found myself confused about how the opposite sex was supposed to respond to me.
I will forever encourage parents to be honest with their children about their struggle, I believe far more damage is done in keeping things secret than it is in being honest, but I will caution you that honesty comes with its own set of hazards. =)
My expectations coupled with what I knew about my dad worked together to distort my dad’s love for me and cause me to feel ashamed of who I was. This is where I feel like it’s really important for us, as daughters, to look first to our Heavenly Father, to tell us who we are and to define love for us. None of us are going to have perfect parents, whatever they may struggle with, and at some point we will have to fight the lie, in whatever way it manifests itself in our lives. We must seek to know God and let him filter our understanding of love if we hope to overcome the lie and be the women he created us to be.